Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Decatur and The Civil War in North Alabama
“A Hard Nut To Crack”
—The Battle For Decatur —
The building in front of you served as a branch of the state bank until that system collapsed, and a private residence when war arrived. The columns are said to weigh 100 tons each and were quarried on
Confederate General Edmund W. Pettus wrote a letter from Florence, Alabama after passing through Decatur during Hood’s Middle Tennessee Campaign in late 1864: “This country is the most desolate in appearance and truth than any [such] country I ever saw. Wealthy families are wanting bread. The worst of all is that most of the inhabitants have been conquered.”
During the Battle for Decatur, the Old State Bank was directly in the line of fire, and possibly was used as a field hospital. Federal officers reported a total loss of 113 officers and enlisted men killed, wounded and captured at Decatur. Confederate casualties are difficult to determine, because few official reports were made for the engagement. Estimates of Confederate casualties range from 500 to 1,500. A correspondent from Hood’s army, writing to a Mobile, Alabama Newspaper, stated “We attempted to take Decatur, but found it a hard nut to crack… After losing 1,500
Mungo P. Murray, 31st Ohio Infantry letter to “Dear Sister Jenny” dated July 19, 1863 from Decatur, Alabama “Well, I believe I have not yet described our comfortable quarters. We are located on Broadway, occupying one of the largest buildings in town. It is a large, two story brick, formerly occupied by a banking house. But stop! I forgot to tell you how many occupy this building. Well, there are two companies of the 31st, Companies H and G.”
Erected by City of Decatur. (Marker Number 1.)
Location. 34° 36.851′ N, 86° 59.006′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is on Bank Street Northeast north of Church Street Northeast, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur AL 35602, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Hood’s Middle Tennessee Campaign and The Battle for Decatur (here, next to this marker); Old State Bank Building (a few steps from this marker); Battle of Decatur (a few steps from this marker); First Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Two Bridges Across The Tennessee River (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Leadership at Decatur - McCartney Hotel Site (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dancy-Polk House (circa 1829) (about 500 feet away); “An Affair Most Important to Us” - The Federal Right, October 27-28, 1864 (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Decatur.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,836 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.