Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

“Captain, We’ve Got It At Last” - The Charge of the 14th U.S. Colored Infantry

“A Hard Nut To Crack”

 

—The Battle For Decatur —

 
“Captain, We’ve Got It At Last” - The Charge of the 14th U.S. Colored Infantry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 20, 2010
1. “Captain, We’ve Got It At Last” - The Charge of the 14th U.S. Colored Infantry Marker
Inscription. As sharpshooting and artillery fire continued throughout the morning of October 28, Granger and Doolittle determined to launch an attack upon the Confederate battery at the edge of the Tennessee River, whose fire threatened the critical pontoon bridge. Chosen to make this assault was the 14th USCT. Colonel Thomas Jefferson Morgan recorded the preparations for this charge, “The men were stripped of all extra load, carrying only gun, accouterments, and canteen of water. They were cautioned that a battery was to be charged and taken, if only ten men survived to take it. They seemed anxious for the work.”

At precisely noon Morgan ordered the assault to begin. Captain Romeyn of Company B remembered: “…The order was at once given to charge, and with arms at the right shoulder 363 enlisted men and officers rushed to the assault. It required but little time to reach and go over the slight works, and driving off the artillerymen spike the guns and get the prolonges [ropes] down to haul them off. But before the guns could be moved the rebel infantry had charged, and after a hand-to-hand fight the colored soldiers abandoned the attempt and retired, bringing off their killed and wounded….” The fighting was intense, close, and personal. Colonel Morgan reported, “As Captain Rolph was retreating a rebel seized
Tour Stop 9 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 20, 2010
2. Tour Stop 9
him by the collar, and paid the forfeit of life by a stroke from the captain’s sword.”

Their mission successfully accomplished, having captured and disabled four Confederate cannon, the regiment fell back to Decatur’s fortifications. Captain Romeyn recalled that, “…on its return [as the regiment] re-entered the works surrounding the town, the white soldiers mounted the parapet and gave it three rousing cheers. I shall never forget the glad look of my first sergeant as, marching by my side, he turned his face to me and said ‘Captain, we’ve got it at last.’ Our victory was complete.”
 
Erected by City of Decatur. (Marker Number 9.)
 
Location. 34° 36.823′ N, 86° 58.794′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Oak Street Northeast and Market Street Northeast. Click for map. Marker is located at the Rhodes Ferry Park at the end of Oak Street Northeast. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur AL 35602, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Benson Field (a few steps from this marker); Confederate Leadership at Decatur - McCartney Hotel Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hood’s Middle Tennessee Campaign and The Battle for Decatur
Picture Left: Colonel Thomas Jefferson Morgan image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 20, 2010
3. Picture Left: Colonel Thomas Jefferson Morgan
Colonel Thomas Jefferson Morgan led nearly 400 proud African-American warriors fighting for their freedom at Decatur, across the ground where you are standing. Photograph courtesy MOLLUS, U.S. Army Military History Institute.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); First Railroad (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle of Decatur (approx. 0.2 miles away); Decatur and The Civil War in North Alabama (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old State Bank Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Two Bridges Across The Tennessee River (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Decatur.
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
Captain Albert H. Rolph image. Click for full size.
By Tim Carr, February 20, 2010
4. Captain Albert H. Rolph
Captain Albert H. Rolph Company Commander 14th U.S. Colored Infantry Photograph courtesy MOLLUS, U.S. Army Military History Institute.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,243 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement