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Near Dalton in Whitfield County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Battle of Dug Gap

Many of them gained the crest, but were met by a tremendous fire..."

 

Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail

 
Battle of Dug Gap Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 19, 2019
1. Battle of Dug Gap Marker
Inscription.  In early May 1864 the main advance of Union Major General William T. Sherman's armies near Dalton was made toward Snake Creek Gap to the southwest. To draw attention away from this effort other Federal troops attempted to cross Rocky Face Ridge at various passes, including at Dug Gap. Confederate Colonel J. Warren Grigsby's cavalry brigade was ordered to support a small force already at Dug Gap. The horsemen dismounted at the foot of the ridge and “double-quicked to the top, and none too soon,” wrote Confederate Private Austin Peay, 2nd Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, “for the enemy was swarming up the (steep) acclivity on the farther side.” In the valley to the west, Union Brigadier General John W. Geary's division was advancing eastward toward Dug Gap. He observed, “palisades of rock impossible to scale and to be passed only through a few narrow clefts filled with loose rocks." Their approach was observed by the Confederate 1st and 2nd Regiments, Arkansas Mounted Rifles (fighting dismounted). Private Robert H. Dacus, 1st Arkansas, recalled it began to look like we were going to
Marker with entrance to the Dug Gap Battle Park in background. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 19, 2019
2. Marker with entrance to the Dug Gap Battle Park in background.
have something to do.”

“May 8 was on a Sunday...It was a morning to make man remember the goodness of his maker, and turn his heart with loving kindness to his fellow-man,” wrote Union Private Charles W. McKay, 154th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Yet at 3:00 pm two brigades of General Geary's division attacked. Artillery kept up a steady fire upon the ridge, where Confederates were posted thickly across it. General Geary wrote, The attack was a most gallant one, officers and men rushing through the few narrow apertures or clambering the precipice. Many of them gained the crest, but were met by a tremendous fire...and were shot down or compelled to jump back for their lives.

On the Confederate side, two brigades of Major General Patrick R. Cleburne's division were rushed to the gap after heavy firing began. They dropped their packs and began the ascent. Yet the best they could manage, wrote Captain Sebron G. Sneed of the 6th Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was “the speed of a slow dog trot.” At the crest, Confederate Lieutenant General William J. Hardee, who arrived earlier, ran into the road swinging his cap and calling “Here are my fighting Texans!” There was brief hand-to-hand combat, and the use of stones as well as bullets proved deadly. Ultimately, two assaults on the crest

Marker across the road about Dug Gap battle. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 19, 2019
3. Marker across the road about Dug Gap battle.
and another just south of the gap all failed.

Federal casualties at Dug Gap were 357. Confederate losses were only 58. General Geary broke off this diversionary attack after being informed the main Federal movement toward Snake Creek Gap was successful. Private McKay and Sergeant Stephen Welch began to withdraw with their regiment. Yet when a wounded Federal color bearer was seen lying near the Confederate palisades they reached him under heavy fire and carried him off the field. The color bearer subsequently died but both rescuers later received the Medal of Honor.
 
Erected 2019 by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 12.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 34° 44.553′ N, 85° 0.919′ W. Marker is near Dalton, Georgia, in Whitfield County. Marker is on Dug Gap Battle Road 0.6 miles south of Battlefield Park Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Dug Gap Battle Road, Dalton GA 30720, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dug Gap (a few steps from this marker); Ascent to Dug Gap (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Dug Gap (approx. 1.3 miles

Dug Gap Georgia Rocky Face Ridge drawing. image. Click for full size.
By Public domain (LOC), May 8, 1864
4. Dug Gap Georgia Rocky Face Ridge drawing.
Artist: Alfred R. Waud
away); Babb's Settlement (approx. 1 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Dug Gap (approx. 1 miles away); Johnny Marcus Memorial Loop (approx. 1.8 miles away); Dalton Confederate Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away); Dalton Confederate Cemetery (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dalton.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for Battle of Dug Gap.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 62 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 23, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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