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Federal (USV)

Private

William L. Everett

(c. 1846 - 1862)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 107th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Giving his age as 19, he enlisted at Elmira and mustered on 6 August 1862 as Private in Company G, 107th NY Infantry.

On the Campaign

He was killed in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Captain Brigham later wrote:

... in my old company, G, eleven fell killed and wounded by one shell, among whom was poor little Willie Everts [sic], merely a child of sixteen - with both legs shot away. He soon died. His agonizing cries in the din of the battle I shall hear to my grave. Here we found war a reality.
Soldiers of Company K of the 13th New Jersey came upon him:
We were temporarily halted along a piece of woods. I believe that this woods has gone into history as "The East Woods." Then every man was startled by the most unearthly yelling. None had ever before heard such demoniacal shrieks. They sounded as if they came from a lost soul in the nethermost depths of purgatory. We were all startled. It made our blood run cold ... So we went over to the edge of the woods from whence the unearthly shrieks were coming. [Sgt.] Wells made an exclamation of horror. There was no more cool and self-possessed man in the army than Heber Wells, but the sight that he saw was enough to turn the stomach of the most hardened veterans.

There lay a wounded soldier. He was a member of the One Hundred and Seventh New York, one of the regiments of our brigade, and whose face was instantly recognized. He had been struck by the fragments of a bursting shell, and both of his legs were torn off near the knees. The feet and ankles were gone entirely, but there protruded from the lacerated flesh the ends of the bones of the legs in a most horrible manner, making a sight that was simply sickening. Nearly every man of Company K went over to take a look at the wounded man and immediately turned away with a pallid face.

Heber Wells saw that the man was beyond hope and all that could be done for him would be to possibly receive his sufferings.

"What do you want, man?" asked Heber, sympathetically.

"Water, water, water!" moaned the wounded man.

Wells reached for his canteen and handed it to the dying man.

"No, no," he said, in a weak voice, as Heber held it to his lips. "No, not - drink. Pour - head -"

The man's head was bursting with the fever of the terrible anguish he was suffering.

"Thank - thank - better -" painfully gasped the poor wretch, as he felt the cooling draught trickle down his forehead.

An order to "fall in" ended this painful scene. The wounded man must have died a few minutes later, for he was going fast when we left him ...

References & notes

Service information from State of New York.1 The first quote above from H.G. Brigham in the New York Monuments Commission's Final Report of the Battlefield of Gettysburg (Vol. II, 1902). The second from Joseph Crowell's The Young Volunteer: The Everyday Experiences of a Soldier Boy in the Civil War (1906). Thanks to Andy Cardinal for identifying Everett and finding the quotes about him.

Birth

c. 1846

Death

09/17/1862 Sharpsburg, MD

Notes

1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1903, Ser. No. 34, pg. 54  [AotW citation 21876]