53 VA at Gettysburg--Only the Brave
Fri Apr 27 19:56:13 2001
Deborah, The 53 VA according to my research was in the woods, but most of Pickett's regiments were in the open exposed to the hot sun. A substantial number were wounded in the artillery barrage preceding the attack; others were overcome by heat exhaustion and simply could not take part. I'll wager John Bradner made the charge, but if he did not, it was not due to cowardice. He would not have become a sergeant unless he showed bravery on the battlefield, nor would he have remained one if his courage had been found wanting. See account of Col. Rawley Martin and Capt John Holmes Smith in Southern Historical Society Papers, vol. 32 (1904), pp. 183-189 for an account of the 53rd on that day.