Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
Pictures by: Stephanie McCullough
A very bloody battle was fought there Sept. 19 and 20 in 1863.
Lieut. John E Wilson of Quincy, Gadsden
and the Florida 6th Infantry Co. G
Lieut. John Wilson on Snodgrass Hill
By Mrs. J. B. Tutwiler, Rec. Sec. AL. Div. UDC, Dothan, AL.
In view of the unveiling by Alabama women of a monument to the bravery of Alabama soldier's who fell in the Battle of Chickamauga, it will be of more that passing interest to tell of the gallant courage even unto death of a soldier who fell there. The composite courage of the Confederate soldier is a treasured heritage of the South; it illumines the most precious page in our history. But dearer still is the story of individual valor.
Last summer I heard for the first time of the gallant Lieut. John Wilson and his charge up Snodgrass Hill. We were at a reunion of the Houston County veterans, and two of his comrades told the story. They had waited anxiously for the time when they might corroborate its incidents. A great day for the veterans of Camp Bartow it was. The forenoon had passed all too quickly in speech-making, songs, and a "drill by the boys of the sixties." The bountiful basket dinner spread by the good housewives of Pansy and the neighboring country had been thoroughly enjoyed. The shade of sheltering trees and the companionship of their pipes conspired to make the old men reminiscent, and they were ready to tell their cherished tales.
Mr. C. F. Duncan, of Co G 6th FL Regiment, began thus: It was at Chickamauga, on the west side of Snodgrass Hill, that I witnessed what was to me the bravest act of all those long, hard four years. We had been fighting two days, and it was Sunday afternoon, almost at the end of the battle. We were in a company made up of fragments of several companies which had been depleted during the battle, and we were under the command of Lt John Wilson. Lt Wilson was from Quincy, FL. And had enlisted with us near River Junction, near Apalachicola, at the old fort called the "Arsenal" built by Andrew Jackson. We were ordered to take a battery from an Ohio regiment stationed on top of the hill. Twice we had gone up the hill to be repulsed with terrible loss. The we charged for the third time amid shot and shell that fell like rain. Scarcely had we started up the hill when a cannon ball struck the Lieutenant Wilson on the leg, shattering the bone. With blood flowing from the wound, he shouted to us to come on, and he led that charge to victory, crawling on his hands and one knee. We took the battery and captured more than a hundred Ohio soldiers besides. That was the last battery taken in that battle. At the moment of victory Lt Wilson cried: 'We have gained the needed time. I am willing to die here.' A man named Miles rushed to his assistance, saying: 'You are to good a man to die here.' Taking him in his arms, he bore him from the battle field."
Here Mr. Duncan's memory grew dim, for he was himself severely wounded in the charge. Then Mr. Daniel, his comrade and mate for four years, a member of the same company, took up the story. He corrected Mr. Duncan's impression that Lt. Wilson died immediately in the arms of Miles and continued: "He was carried to a farmhouse in the valley which had been temporarily converted into a hospital, and in a day or so after that his leg was cut off by the army surgeon. I was waiting outside and I saw his leg when they threw it out a window on top of a pile of arms and legs that would have filled a wagon. Yes, it was a pity to wait so long to take his leg off; but you see that was the way of war. There were so many that he had to wait his turn with the surgeons. That night when we gathered for roll call there were only fifty-four of the one-hundred and fifty-four that made the charge, and of our company (G) we had left only two stacks of guns. All the rest were killed or wounded. Lt Wilson survived the shock of having his leg amputated and was carried soon afterwards to a hospital in Atlanta. Some weeks later his brother went to see him, and believing him able to stand the trip, started to take him home. His strength failed, however, and he died on the train between Atlanta and Columbus.
WILSON John E., Rank 1st Lieutenant, mustered in 11 MARCH 1862, Florida 6th Infantry Co. G
MILES William M, mustered in Mar. 11, 1862. Mustered out April 26, 1865. Shot at Atlanta, GA on July 22, 1864; also at Chickamauga, GA, Sept. 19, 1863; promoted Sergeant.
DUNCAN, Charles, Rank Pvt, mustered in 11 MAR 1862
McDANIEL, William, Rank Pvt, mustered in 11 MAR 1862 (There is no Daniel so I am thinking it is McDaniel)
Florida Monument to Soliders
|This is a free-standing marker which we found out in the woods near the battlefield, which marks the place those soldiers actually were. The battlefield and surrounding woods are dotted with such markers honoring various regiments.|
|Inscription on the monument to Florida Soldiers.|
William M . Miles was the brother of my great
grandfather, Willoughby Miles who was in the 2nd FL Calvary.
Article send in by
Wayne Devon Miles 3rd great grandson
of Willoughby Miles.
Betty James Smith
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Betty James Smith
16 Sep 2000