On January 13, 1863, Daniel Boyd wrote his father from his camp near Fredericksburg, Virginia. He provides some additional details about the Battle of Fredericksburg. He also talks of receiving a letter from his brother Thomas in the Western Theater of the war. Unfortunately, Daniel is unaware that Thomas had been killed on New Year’s Eve in the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
In that battle, Thomas’s commander, Colonel Augustus Lythgoe had also been killed. A native of Aiken, S.C., Col. Lythgoe was a railroad builder who had moved to his wife’s hometown of Abbeville to become a partner in a mercantile operation.
The February, 1900 edition of The Confederate Veteran Magazine had this to say about Colonel Lythgoe and the Nineteenth’s actions at Murfreesboro: “Murfreesboro was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and here again and for the last time Col. Lythgoe led his regiment with great skill and valor into the thickest of the fight, his brigade capturing a battery of four guns. This exploit was so daring and brilliant that the commanding general of the army by general order directed that the chief officers, Col. Lythgoe being one, should have their names inscribed upon the several pieces. The regiment went into action with two hundred and thirty men, and lost eighty-two. It was here that Col. Lythgoe received a mortal wound, from which he died in a few hours.”
The Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for History 2012.
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