Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Iron Brigade Supports Us
One incident always talked over during the Iron Brigade reunions was an incident involving Battery B of the Fourth U.S. Artillery which supported the Black Hats during the hard fighting at Antietam on September 17, 1862. One of the brigade chaplains, a pious man who was "always at hand when the boys were double shooting, sleeves rolled up, working their guns to the best." As the churchman watched, one gunner stepped back before firing, calling out to his comrades, "Now boys, give 'em hell!" The clergyman stepped in to reprimand the gunner. "How do you expect to have the support of Divine Providence when you use such language!" The gunner gave the chaplain a long and hard look. "To hell with the Divine Providence, the Iron Brigade supports us," he said. or at least that is how the story was told long after the war.