6th South Carolina Volunteers Memorial Stone Placement

Wauhatchie, Tennessee

Placed as a symbolic gesture to honor the memory of the men of the Sixth South Carolina Volunteers who fought and died at Wauhatchie, Tn. during the rare nighttime and early morning battle of Oct 28-29, 1863.

 

Official Records: Report of Lt Gen. James Longstreet

 

Report of Brig Gen Henry L. Benning, CS Army

 

Interactive Map: Placement of 6SC Memorial Stone

Several members of the 6th SC Volunteers pose for a photo at the top of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Top/Down: Gerald Goins, Joseph Marett. L/R: Tommy Pappas, Rick Walker, Erik Marcusson and John Wilson. The valley in the background of this image was the site of the rare nighttime Battle of Wauhatchie. The battle took place during the night and early morning hours of Oct 28-29, 1863, between elements of Geary's Federal Division and South Carolinians under Col John Bratton. (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th SC, Palmetto Sharpshooters and Hampton's Legion).

Above: Several members of the 6th SC Volunteers pose for a photo at the top of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Top/Down: Gerald Goins, Joseph Marett. L/R: Tommy Pappas, Rick Walker, Erik Marcusson and John Wilson. The valley in the background of this image was the site of the rare nighttime Battle of Wauhatchie. The battle took place during the night and early morning hours of Oct 28-29, 1863, between elements of Geary's Federal Division and South Carolinians under Col John Bratton. (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th SC, Palmetto Sharpshooters and Hampton's Legion).

L/R; Sixth members Erik Marcusson and Rick Walker carefully and delicately chisel into the stone the simple but meaningful inscription of "6SC".

Above: L/R; Sixth members Erik Marcusson and Rick Walker carefully and delicately chisel into the stone the simple but meaningful inscription of "6SC".

Sixth member Joseph Marett gives his hand at finishing the stone's engraving.

Above: Sixth member Joseph Marett gives his hand at finishing the stone's engraving.

Completed Stone Engraving. The smooth stone was found by a member of the Sixth while participating in the 145th Battle of Chickamauga reenactment located at Davis Crossroads, Georgia. It was located in a wooded area within one of  the Confederate camps and was chosen for its gray color and unusual shark-tooth like appearance.

Above: Completed Stone Engraving. The smooth stone was found by a member of the Sixth while participating in the 145th Battle of Chickamauga reenactment located at Davis Crossroads, Georgia. It was located in a wooded area within one of  the Confederate camps and was chosen for its gray color and unusual shark-tooth like appearance.

The stone marker's  final resting place. Located near the vicinity of the monument erected to New York units of Ireland's Brigade where Bratton's men first engaged them under Geary's command.

Above: The stone marker's  final resting place. Located near the vicinity of the monument erected to New York units of Ireland's Brigade where Bratton's men first engaged them under Geary's command.

 

Placed by members of the Sixth SC Volunteers on Friday, Oct 19, 2008

 

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Engagement at Walhatchie, Tennessee

Official Records, Ser. I, Vol. 52, pt. I, pp. 89-90

 

Excerpt from the Report of Lieut. Gen. James Longstreet, C. S. Army, commanding corps, with field dispatches, &c. relative to engagements at Wauhatchie, October 28-29, 1863:

 

GREENEVILLE, TENN., March 25, 1864.


Colonel:


On the 28th, I met the commanding general on the mountain in accordance with his appointment. While engaged in an examination of the enemy's new position, one of my signal party reported to us that the enemy was advancing in force from Bridgeport. He guided us to a projection on the mountain about a mile off, where we saw the head of the enemy's column, and where we saw his force [about 5,000] file past and unite with the force already at Brown's Ferry. The rear guard of this command [about 1,500, with a battery of artillery] came up in about an hour and halted about 3 miles from the main force. The road between the two commands ran along the western base of a Ser. of heights, and parallel to them. The position that had been taken by Gen. Law's brigade was about a mile from this road, and opposite the point of the road, about half way between the rear guard and the main force.


As soon as the rear guard halted I sent orders to Gen. Jenkins to concentrate at the base of the mountain his three brigades that were on the east side, and to be ready to cross it as soon as it was dark enough to conceal our men from the fire of the enemy's batteries and I directed that he should report to me upon the mountain at once. I also ordered Gen. Law to advance his brigade as soon as it was dark and occupy the height in his immediate front, which commanded the road between the enemy's forces.


Gen. Jenkins reported in time to see the positions occupied by the enemy. He was ordered to hold the point designated for Gen. Law with a sufficient force, while a portion of his command moved up the road and captured or dispersed the rear guard. He was also directed, if time and circumstances favored it, to make a demonstration against the main force, and if an attack at night should give us such advantage as to warrant it, to endeavor to drive the enemy across the river; but if the latter should appear inexpedient, to recross the mountain before daylight.


As soon as it was dark his troops were put in motion, but the route across the point of the mountain was so difficult that he was not able to get his troops into their positions until midnight. He arranged two brigades under Gen. Law to hold the position between the enemy's force, while his own brigade, under Col. Bratton, was sent to make the attack upon the rear guard. His fourth brigade [Gen. Benning's] was held on the left of Gen. Law's two in readiness to reenforce Col. Bratton. The brigade under Col. Bratton claims to have had complete success up to the moment that it was recalled. It was recalled in consequence of Gen. Law's abandoning his position, which was essential to the safety of Col. Bratton's command. As soon as Gen. Law yielded his position it became necessary to recall Col. Bratton and send the troops back to their positions, in order that they might pass the mountain before daylight. The loss sustained by the two brigades under Gen. Law was probably one-tenth of the loss sustained by the single brigade which claims a victory. As Gen. Law's troops were veterans, I can only attribute the want of conduct with his troops to a strong feeling of jealousy among the brigadier-generals.


About 8 o'clock at night on the 28th, I received notice that the commanding general had approved my plan, and information from him that another of my divisions had been relieved from the lines and could be used in this attack, but it was too late for it to cross the mountain before daylight, and the success of the affair depended entirely upon a night attack and a surprise. To have put two divisions on the west side of the mountain during daylight would have exposed them to an attack from the enemy's entire force without artillery, and in a position where they could not be re-enforced. My object was merely to inflict such damage upon the enemy as might be accomplished by a surprise. That the point was not essential to the enemy at Chattanooga is established by the fact that he supplied his army at that place some six weeks without it.


I am, Colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


JAMES LONGSTREET, Lieut.-Gen.

 

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Report of Brig. Gen. Henry L. Benning, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.

 

HDQRS. Benning's Brigade, November 4, 1863.

 

CAPT: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the participation of this brigade in the action of the 28th [of October] beyond Lookout Creek:

 

It was, I think, about 8.30 or 9 p. m. when the brigade reached the railroad, having crossed the mountain since dark. There it was halted, and I was informed by the brigadier-general commanding the division that Law's brigade had already crossed the creek at the lower bridge; that Robertson's was then crossing there; that these two brigades would be on the right of the line of battle, occupying ridges so as to command the road on the other side of the ridges and prevent the force of the enemy encamped on the right moving up that road to the assistance of the force encamped on the left when that should be attacked; that it would be attacked by Col. Bratton with Jenkins' brigade; that Jenkin's brigade was already across the creek, having crossed it at the upper bridge, and was advancing toward the enemy's force encamped on the left; that my brigade must follow Col. Bratton and occupy the crest of the hill in front of the bridge as soon as Col. Bratton had passed the hill in marching forward, and that, connecting on the right with the two brigades on the right, I should co-operate with them in preventing the enemy's force on the right from moving up the road to the aid of that on the left. In an hour or two I was ordered to advance. I crossed the creek, and had to halt again for some time till the troops in my front could get out of my way. At length my brigade ascended the ridge indicated and formed in line of battle on it. I discovered almost immediately that the road was too far off to be commanded from that line. The distance could not have been less than 300 yards, and the intervening ground was a thickly wooded mountain side, in some places very steep, the wood entirely excluding a view of the road. I thought the spirit rather than the letter of my instructions was to be obeyed, and therefore I advanced the brigade till it came within thirty yards of the road. There I halted again in line of battle. Shortly after assuming this position I received an order to march to the left to the railroad. I did so by the flank, thus leaving a wide gap between my brigade and the two on the right.

 

On arriving at the railroad the brigadier-general commanding informed me that he wished me to select the best position there for covering Col. Bratton on his return from the attack on the left, whom he had ordered back, or was about to order back. I then placed my line in the road which passes to the right out of the road from the bridge and makes a short cut-off into the valley road from which I had come. Thus my line faced sufficiently toward the left to oppose any force moving from that direction, and yet on the right commanded a part of the valley road, by which it could intercept an attack from that side. Here I ordered a breast-work of rails to be erected as quickly as possible. A pretty good one was put up in a very short time. When this was about completed the pickets reported to me that the enemy were near on the right. I then turned the breast- work across the road at right angles, and ran it thirty or forty yards into the woods. The men formed behind this rectangular work. Soon afterward Col. Logan with the pickets of the division, who having after night-fall been relieved on the other side of the mountain had lately come up and been placed under my command, was ordered by me from his first position on my left to a position on my right in continuation of the line across the road into the woods. This order he executed promptly. These depositions made, we awaited the approach of the enemy. Little firing had taken place. Our pickets had shot down several cavalrymen attempting to dash up the road from the right to the left where the fight was going on, and had taken a few prisoners. The enemy, however, were still near at hand, and a part of them had got into the wood and on the ridge which I by the original order was to occupy. I heard them talking myself, and their line was visible to the pickets. Thus they were threatening to cut us off from the bridge. About the time Col. Logan had established himself in his new position on my right in the woods I saw the first of Col. Bratton's troops returning down the road. They proved to be two regiments, the foremost commanded by Maj.-. They were moving in perfect order, and without any sign of hurry or excitement. Knowing that the enemy were in the wood toward the bridge, I requested the major to form his regiment in front of the bridge and face the hill instead of crossing over. He did so. I afterward found him in line there. The rest of Col. Bratton's command passed down to the bridge by another way nearer the creek, which way was out of my sight. When the whole command had crossed the bridge, except the part of it lately formed in line in front of the bridge, I moved my brigade back to the bridge, leaving in the breast-works a strong line of skirmishers. Col. Logan pursued a similar course with his command. Arriving near the bridge, I deployed the Fifteenth Regt. Georgia Volunteers as skirmishers in front of the bridge and of the line referred to. This line then crossed the bridge and I followed it with the three other regiments of my brigade. My skirmishers were sent for when I commenced moving to the bridge with the three brigades. They all came in safely; having repulsed two attacks of the enemy, one a dash of a small cavalry party on the breast-work across the road, the other an attack of infantry skirmishers on the angle of the work. Thus, captain, I have given you an account of the part which this brigade had in the night affair of the 28th, and I regret much having had to use so many words for so little matter. We had two or three wounded, not dangerously, and two are missing, no doubt taken prisoners, as they went toward the part of the wood occupied, as we afterward found out, by the enemy. It was important to know where Gen. Robertson's left was. These two young men volunteered to go and ascertain. They were gallant fellows. Their names are John J. Boswell, Company C, Seventeenth Georgia, and David Zachary, Company H, Seventeenth Georgia.

 

I am, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

 

Henry L. Benning, Brig.-Gen.

 

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Interactive Location Map of New York Monument and General Vicinity of 6SC Stone

 

 


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