Category Archives: Chickamauga GA

Monuments at Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Catoosa County

Detail of 26th Ohio Infantry Monument [Peace Monument]

There are over 500 monuments and markers within the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, the majority of which were placed between 1890-1910. This is a very small sampling of them and in no particular order or preference. It would take several days to document them all. Text from the monuments or accompanying markers is included, as well as the dates they were erected. These monuments represent the greatest collection of public sculpture in Georgia and even someone with little interest in the Civil War should appreciate them from an aesthetic perspective.

26th Ohio Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Division. 21st Army Corps. (Erected 1894 by the State of Ohio)

This Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel William H. Young commanding, occupied a position at Lee and Gordon’s Mills from the afternoon of September 18th, 1863, till about 3:00 P.M. September 19th, when it was ordered at double quick to this position. It went into action at this place about 4:00 P.M. and continued in action the line alternately advancing and receding, till about 6:00 P.M.
September 20th, it first occupied a position near the Brotherton House till about 11:00 A.M. when it was ordered with the Division to the left at double quick. While executing this movement by the flank, it was struck by the advancing enemy and forced to the ridge near the Vidito Place. It there rallied and fought until it lost connection with the rest of the Army and finally retired to Rossville.
Number Engaged, Commissioned Officers 23: Enlisted Men 354: Loss, Killed, Officers 5: Enlisted Men 23: Wounded, Officers 6: Enlisted Men 133: Captured or Missing 45: Aggregate 212: Most of this occurred on the 19th.

Third Wisconsin Battery. 3rd [Barnes’s] Brig. 3rd [Van Cleve’s] Div. 21st Army Corps. (Erected 1890 by the State of Wisconsin)

About 1:30 p.m. the battery with Barnes’ Brigade moved from the line near Lee and Gordon’s Mill to this position. By order of Major Mendenhall the battery came into position on the right of the 2nd Minnesota Battery, southeast of the Viniard house. The battery fired until a battery on the left was captured by the Confederates, when it limbered up and returned to this position, opened fire on the woods filled with the enemy, checking his advance. The brigade having been driven back rallied and took position on each flank of the battery. From this position the battery opened a very effective enfilade fire on the enemy in the Viniard cornfield. This position was retained with slight changes until 2 a.m. of the 20th.

51st Ohio Infantry. 3rd Brigade. 3rd Division. 21st Army Corps (Erected 1894 by the State of Ohio)

September 18th, 1863, this Regiment, Colonel Richard W. McClain commanding, was under fire of the enemy at Class’ Mill. At 5:00 P.M. ordered to a position about one half mile north of Lee and Gordon’s Mills, where we lay on our arms all night.

September 19th, about 3:00 P.M. became heavily engaged in the timber southeast of this point and near Hall House, the engagement lasting till about 6:00 P.M. when being overpowered, were forced to retire.

September 20th, marched to the extreme left of our line, charged and drove the enemy at 10:30 A.M. and occupied a position near General Baird’s left until the Union troops were ordered to retire to Rossville. In consequence of this retirement without notice, to this Regiment, it became involved with the enemy and part of it was captured.

Loss, killed 8; wounded 35; captured or missing 55; total 98. Organized at Camp Meigs, Ohio, October 3d, 1861. Mustered out October 3d, 1865, at Victoria, Texas, by Captain William Nicholas, Commissary of Musters.

99th Ohio Infantry. Barnes’ Brigade, Van Cleve’s Division. 21st Army Corps. (Erected 1894 by the State of Ohio)

This regiment, Colonel Peter T. Swaine commanding, moved with the brigade into action September 19, 1863, at 3:30 P.M., advancing in an easterly direction from this point, through a dense woods; was attacked by a superior force on front and flank; after a spirited battle, lasting till near 5:30 P.M. was forced to retire, which was done in good order.

September 20, at 10:30 A.M. engaged the enemy near General Baird’s left, at the north end of Kelly’s Field, maintaining position there until the Army retired to Rossville at night.

Loss, killed 3; wounded 30; captured or missing 24; total 57.

13th Michigan Infantry. Buell’s Brigade, Wood’s Division, Crittenden’s Corps. (Erected 1895 by the State of Michigan)

This monument marks the position where the regiment performed its most important service.

Detail of 13th Michigan Infantry Monument

Sept. 19th, 1863. Casualties: Engaged 217. Killed 14. Wounded 68. Missing 25. Total Loss 107. On the 18th of September 1863 the regiment occupied a position near Lee and Gordon’s Mill on the 19th at 2:30 PM, moved to this position where it was engaged until dark on the 20th. Moved with its brigade to the left, where it was engaged near the right flank of the army until night closed the battle.

Detail of 58th Indiana Infantry Monument

58th Indiana Infantry. 1st Brigade-Buell. 1st Division-Wood. 21st Corps-Crittenden. (Erected 1897 by the State of Indiana)

This Regiment formed line of battle about 2:40 p.m., September 19th, charged the enemy, driving him from Viniard House across and east of LaFayette Road, and reformed on line with this monument, where a severe engagement ensued, with very heavy loss during the afternoon. Morning of September 20th went into position at Brotherton Farm and was soon hotly engaged. Moved at 11 a.m. with its Brigade to the left, and became involved in the break at the center. A considerable portion of the Regiment rallied on Snodgrass Hill and remained till the close of the battle. Loss in battle: Killed 16; wounded and missing 155.

105th Ohio Infantry, Col. Edward A. King’s Brigade, Reynolds Division, 14th Army Corps. (Erected 1894 by the State of Ohio)

September 19th, 1863, from about 3:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. this Regiment, Major George I. Perkins commanding, was engaged about 600 yards East of the Brotherton House. The success of the enemy at that time on that part of the line compelled it to retire, and it was rallied and reformed in this position, which it also occupied on the 20th, till about 1:00 P.M., when the retirement of Brannan’s Division to Snodgrass Hill made it necessary to take a more refused position facing South.

Loss, Killed 3: Wounded 41: Captured or Missing 26: Total 70.

17th Ohio Infantry. Lt. Col. Durbin Ward Commanding. Connell’s Brigade, Brannan’s Division. 14th Army Corps. (Erected 1894 by the State of Ohio)

September 19th, 1863, from about 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. the Regiment was engaged on the right of Van Derveer’s Brigade, about one mile east of the Lafayette road, and a few hundred yards south of the Reed’s bridge road.

September 20th, was in the first line of battle in this position until 12:00 noon when General Wood’s Division vacated the line on its right, then being assailed in front and on the its right flank, was driven beyond the range of hills west of here and became separated from the left of the Army. Later in the day Lieutenant Colonel Ward was wounded. The command thereafter devolved on Major Butterfield. A detachment of the Regiment rallied on Snodgrass Hill and fought till the Army retired at night. Loss, killed 16: wounded 114: captured or missing 21: total 151.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park + National Register of Historic Places

Gordon-Lee Mansion, 1847, Chickamauga

James Gordon and his two brothers came to Chickamauga, then known as Crawfish Springs, from Gwinnett County in 1836.  In 1840, James began construction of this home (employing slave labor and using bricks made on site) to serve as the centerpiece of his 2500-acre plantation. The site was of local importance, as the Cherokee Courthouse was located on the grounds prior to displacement. [It was originally executed in the Greek Revival style; the addition of the massive portico and entablature in a 1900 remodel gave it its present Neoclassical appearance].

Gordon’s son Clark was elected commanding officer of Company D, First Georgia Volunteer Infantry, organized in 1862. During the Battle of Chickamauga the home served as temporary headquarters of Union Major General William Rosecrans, Army of the Cumberland (16-19 September 1863). It also served as a field hospital (18-20 September 1863) under the command of Medical Surgeon R. G. Bogue, treating both Union and Confederate casualties. In 1889, 14,000 veterans of the battle held a reunion on the grounds known as the Blue-Gray Barbeque. The idea to establish the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park had its origins at the barbeque, significantly the first Civil War park in the United States to be protected through preservation.

Upon the death of James and Sarah Gordon, the home passed to their daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, James Lee. The next owner was their son, Gordon Lee, a United States Congressman (1904-1927), and his wife, Olive. Lee stipulated in his will that if no family member took on the property for twenty years that it would become the property of the City of Chickamauga and this happened in 1947.  It was sold to Dr. Frank Green in 1974. Dr. Green restored the house and grounds with great attention to historical accuracy. In 2007 it was purchased by the City of Chickamauga, which now operates a museum on the site.

This saddlebag house is the last surviving of six slave dwellings on the property.

Even if you don’t have the time to visit all the Civil War sites in the area, take the time to walk the wonderful grounds of the Gordon-Lee Mansion. Operated by the Friends of the Gordon-Lee Mansion in conjunction with the City of Chickamauga, it’s a wonderful green space and historic site.

National Register of Historic Places

Deconstruction of Crystal Springs Bleachery, Chickamauga

The Bowen-Jewell Bag Company first opened a bleachery across from the Central of Georgia Depot in 1909. A cotton mill was added in 1914 and the business was incorporated as the Crystal Springs Bleachery Company. A larger more modern bleachery was constructed in 1923, making the facility one of the largest employers in the region. The main product of the bleachery was printed cotton fabric, primarily in the form of bags. Dan River Mills purchased the business in 1969 and by 1976 had a peak employment of 1200. Downsizing began in 1977 and by 1982, Dan River announced plans to close the facility. In February 1983, former Chickamauga mayor Frank Pierce, Steve Tarvin and Stanley Cunningham purchased the business and saved about 200 jobs. Downsizing continued over the following decades and the business, by now known as the Crystal Springs Print Works, was shuttered in 2013. Even with a reputation as one of the best printers in the business, Crystal Springs is emblematic of the loss of U. S. textile business to China; whether that’s the fault of bureaucratic regulation or cheaper labor remains a topic of debate. Having grown up in a town with hundreds of textile jobs myself, the reason isn’t as important as the loss of a way of life. Chickamauga was unusual in that local investors did their best to keep it afloat, and that deserves some recognition.

The property was sold to a recovery company, which is slowly removing the valuable heart pine floors and other framework, handmade bricks, and salvageable historic fixtures and metal. A residential community is planned for the site in the future.

Elizabeth Lee United Methodist Church, 1915, Chickamauga

Organized in 1874 as the Chickamauga Methodist Church, this congregation, like many, met in a brush arbor for a time before erecting a combination church/lodge building, which served them until the present church (right in photo) was constructed between 1913-1915, during the pastorate of C. A. Hall. W. H. Sears, a prominent Chattanooga architect was responsible for the design. The Sunday School building (left in photo) was constructed in 1929. I’m not sure when the church name was changed to honor Mrs. Lee.

Chickamauga Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Central of Georgia Railway Depot, 1890, Chickamauga

After having fallen into disrepair for many years, including the loss of its tower, this depot was recently restored and is now home to the Walker County Regional Heritage and Train Museum.

Chickamauga Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Gordon Street, Chickamauga

Downtown Chickamauga is a busy place and I was only there for a few minutes on my recent trip. I can’t wait to get back and explore more of this wonderful town.

Chickamauga Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Masonic Lodge, 1926, Chickamauga

This was built by the Chickamauga lodge in 1926 but has had commercial tenants over the years.

Chickamauga Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Prince Hall Lodge No. 221, 1924, Chickamauga

From the historical marker placed in 2010 by the Walker County African-American Historical & Alumni Association: Chickamauga Prince Hall Lodge No. 221 Free & Accepted Masons of Georgia; First Charter 1915; Second Charter June 11, 1926. Present building completed in 1924, rededication 1952. Organized by once enslaved and and first generation freed African Americans. During segregation, in Walker County’s African American communities, Masons are active in the building & support of schools, churches, needy children & widows, laying cornerstones, funeral rites, burial insurance & social events. 1915 Charter: Rev. Kendall, Worshipful Master; C. D. Haslerig, Sr. Warden; C. S. Shellman, Jr. Warden; Archie Haslerig, Sec.; Sam Dodson, Treas.; John Daniel, Tyler. Worshipful Masters: C. D. Haslerig, C. W. Haslerig, W. A. Haslerig, Joseph McGinitis, Louis Moss, Raymond Smith, Bill Madden, Ray Hinton, Moses Cleveland, Lafayette Daniel, Joseph T. Suttle, Sam Mitchell, David Myers & Eddie W. Foster, Sr.

Chickamauga Ester Chapter 476 Order of Eastern Star. Charter granted June 28, 1944: Odessa Haslerig, Worthy Matron; Raymond Smith, Worthy Patron; Rugh Jones, Associate Matron; Sally Shropshire, Secretary.

The Walker County African-American VFW held its charter meeting here in the 1940s and the lodge was home to the organization for a time.

National Register of Historic Places