"Peculiarly distinguished among the advance guard, where all were distinguished, must be recorded . . . Private J. W. Brown, of Company F, First Georgia Regiment, who, upon hearing the order to fall back, exclaimed, 'I will give them one more shot before I leave,' and while ramming down his twenty-ninth cartridge fell dead at his post." - General Henry R. Jackson in his report of the Battle of Greenbrier River.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baptism of Fire

150 years ago today, the First Georgia Volunteers experienced their first taste of combat.  A picket post in advance of the fortifications at Laurel Hill, manned by the Gate City Guards, was attacked by Union skirmishers.  Ordered to advance the First in support of the pickets, Colonel Ramsey divided his regiment, taking five companies around the Confederate left in search of reported Federal activity there, and sending the remaining four companies, under Lt. Colonel James O. Clarke, around the right.  Coming abreast of a hill to the right of the Gate City Guards position, Clarke was informed that Union troops were coming up the opposite side, probably trying to outflank the Guards.  Clarke sent two companies, the Bainbridge Independents and the Walker Light Infantry, further down the road to protect his flank.  Forming the Dahlonega Volunteers and the Quitman Guards into line of battle, Clarke raised his sword and led the soldiers in a charge, yelling "Up the hill, boys!  And remember you are Georgians!"  Clarke's men hit the Federals at the top of the hill.  The Independents and the Walker Light also charged up the hill in support, and after several minutes of vicious fighting, the Georgians drove the Union troops off the crest. 

The image at the top of the page, taken from Leslie's Illustrated News, shows the battle.  In the foreground are Union troops.  The soldiers in the distance on the hillside are the Georgians.

No comments:

Post a Comment