Edwin Spotswood Ware (1838 – 1905)

Note:  Since May is Memorial Month, I have asked several of our members to contribute information about one of their ancestors.  This story was sent to me by Joe Ware.  He suggested I could edit it as I saw fit, but I preferred to use his words.  It is a wonderful anecdote and a fitting memorial to the life of Edwin Spotswood Ware.

“Edwin Spottswood Ware was born on the family farm in Amherst County, Virginia on 27 April 1838.

When the War Between the States began, he enlisted in Company I, 19th Virginia Infantry and fought in ten major battles including Gaine’s Mill, Seven Pines and Frayser’s Farm. He was soon promoted to Sergeant.

Company I was incredibly lucky. Up until July 3rd 1863 they had relatively few casualties. On that fateful day in Gettysburg, however, they were part of Pickett’s Division and participated in the well known charge up Cemetery Hill.

Ed was hit six times and went down. He spent that night on the battlefield with the screaming wounded all around him.

The day had been hot and Ed had lost a lot of blood. Then the rain started He was terribly thirsty so he dug a little trench to collect the rainwater. Ed later said “It was muddy and it was bloody but it was the best damn drink I ever had”!

The next morning the Yankees picked him up and took him to a field hospital where his leg was amputated. After some time in a prison hospital ward he was paroled and returned home.

After the years of Reconstruction, Ed Ware ran for County Commissioner.

His campaign slogan was “Vote for the only man in Amherst County with two left legs; one left on my body and the other left at Gettysburg”! He won by a landslide and held the position until his death in 1905.”


Edwin Spotswood Ware (1838 – 1905) — 1 Comment

  1. Excellent article Joe and well written. The troops on both sides of that war suffered greatly. We must never forget them and their contributions. Thank you.

    C. Wayne Ware
    Cedar Falls, IA

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