Bruce Catton’s account of the death of General Israel B. Richardson; is there a discrepancy?


Michigan’s own Bruce Catton described the death of General Israel B. Richardson during the Battle of Antietam in The Army of the Potomac: Mr. Lincoln’s Army on pages 298-299:

“The ten thousand fresh Federals were at hand, and to spare. Franklin’s army corps was on the field, and Franklin believed that he had brought it there to fight. Richardson’s division was still in good shape despite its terrible losses. Franklin was preparing to advance and Richardson was moving guns up, getting his ranks reassembled, making ready to attack beside him; and at this distance it is very hard to see how the attack could ever have been stopped. The only trouble is that it never was made. Bringing some guns up to a new location, Richardson was hit by a rifle bullet and was carried off the field-only slightly wounded, it seemed, but in a few days infection set in the the wound killed him.”


For a view of the monument to General Richardson at Antietam, please follow this link:


I find something very interesting in Mr. Catton’s account of Richardson’s wound. Did you notice he said that “Richardson was hit by a rifle bullet?” I have never heard that to be so. My understanding was that he had been hit by a shell fragment. Is there something to this apparent discrepancy?

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