“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chickamauga in Walker County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Lee & Gordon's Mills

A Chickamauga Landmark

— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails —

Lee & Gordon's Mills Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, November 20, 2019
1. Lee & Gordon's Mills Marker
Inscription.  Lee & Gordon's Mills became a familiar landmark for Federal and Confederate soldiers before and during the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. It is located along West Chickamauga Creek on the vital “State Road" between Chattanooga and La Fayette. Portions of both armies marched past the mill, positioning troops here and nearby both before and during the fighting. The original mill was built in 1836 by James Gordon (1801-1863). He later built his home near Crawfish Spring, about two miles southwest. When Gordon retired he left the mill's operation to James Lee.

On September 8, 1863, Confederate General Braxton Bragg withdrew his army south from Chattanooga. For two nights he made his headquarters near the mill. The Confederate rear was positioned here, with its line extending south to La Fayette. After Confederate headquarters moved to La Fayette on the 10th the Federal 21st Corps, under Major General Thomas L. Crittenden, followed to the mill and vicinity. Active, even heated, skirmishing occurred on the 12th and 13th against Confederate Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk's corps.

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As the Battle of Chickamauga raged less than two miles north of the mill on Saturday, September 19th, Union 7 Brigadier General William H. Lytle's brigade defeated a detachment of Confederate Major General John C. Breckinridge's division attempting to capture the nearby ford. About 3:00 pm on the 20th, over 6,000 Confederate cavalrymen under Major General Joseph Wheeler crossed the creek at the mill. Private John A. Wyeth, fighting dismounted with the 4th Alabama Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, recalled, "...a number of us started to run across the [mill] dam; but an officer shouted: 'Get off! They're going to rake you with grapeshot!,' and we leaped into the water like so many bullfrogs." In two hours of combat against one Federal infantry and two cavalry brigades, led by Union Brigadier General Robert B. Mitchell, Wheeler's Confederates fought their way from the mill to Federal field hospitals near Crawfish Spring. Mitchell's defense enabled most wounded Federal soldiers to be hurriedly moved to safety. However, Wheeler's cavalrymen captured over 1,000 wounded and able-bodied men.

In early May 1864 about 24,000 soldiers in Union Major General James B. McPherson's “Army of the Tennessee” began their portion of the Atlanta Campaign by massing at and near the mill. They marched through Snake Creek Gap, southwest of Dalton,

Lee & Gordon's Mills Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, November 20, 2019
2. Lee & Gordon's Mills Marker
forcing Confederates to abandon that city leading to the Battle of Resaca.

The original mill burned shortly after the war, and another was constructed with some modifications on the same site. It operated until 1967. In 1993 a new owner began restoring the mill to working order. It contains artifacts and equipment from the mill's early years.
Erected 2019 by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 5.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1864.
Location. 34° 52.989′ N, 85° 16.061′ W. Marker is in Chickamauga, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Lee Gordan Mill Terrace and Red Belt Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 71 Red Belt Road, Chickamauga GA 30707, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lee and Gordon's Mill (here, next to this marker); Crittenden's Corps at Lee and Gordon's Mills (within shouting distance of this marker); General Joe Wheeler's Attack (within shouting distance of this marker); Start of the Atlanta Campaign (within

Lee & Gordon's Mill image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, November 20, 2019
3. Lee & Gordon's Mill
shouting distance of this marker); Medal of Honor Heritage Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Medal of Honor Heritage Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Lytle's Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); 3rd Georgia Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chickamauga.
Regarding Lee & Gordon's Mills. This marker is along the Chickamauga Campaign "historic driving route" portion of the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 560 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 23, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Apr. 15, 2024