Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lt. Colonel William Shy

William Shy before the war

Lt. Colonel William Shy wearing the suit that he was probably buried in

  One of the first articles I posted was about finding Lt. Colonel William Shy's body after grave robbers dug his body up in the late 1970's which led to the creation of the "Body Farm" in Knoxville. Shy's Hill is named after him because of the heroic defense of Shy and his men against overwhelming odds. The hill was and is very steep and Confederate engineers made a critical mistake that doomed Shy from the start. They dug their trenches on the crest of the hill rather than the military crest. The military crest is always lower and gives the defender a better view of their attacker. Because the trenches were dug so high Shy's men could not see the Yankee's until they were right on top of them. This caused close hand to hand combat and Shy was shot at point blank range in the front of his head and the bullet exited out the back of his skull. He was probably shot with a .58 caliber Springfield rifle. These bullets as you can see caused devastating injuries. I might add that Confederate engineers made the same mistake a year earlier which led to the Confederate defeat at Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga.

The entrance wound

Lt. Colonel Shy's skull showing the exit wound
Colonels Shy's hermetically sealed iron casket that broken into by grave robbers

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