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

Hamilton House

The Confederate Army Reorganizes

 

— Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail —

 
Hamilton House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 19, 2019
1. Hamilton House Marker
Inscription.  Hamilton House is the oldest surviving house in Dalton, pre-dating the city's founding. The brick home and spring house were built about 1840 by John Hamilton and his wife Rachel. John was a civil engineer with the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Previously, a Cherokee had a home on this property. He is said to be buried nearby on land now covered by the railroad after being killed during a horse race. In addition to working for the railroad, Hamilton ran a large plantation, served as a judge and was instrumental in the construction of Dalton Academy in 1851. He died two years later. All five Hamilton sons would subsequently serve in the Confederate army, and all five survived the war. Rachel Hamilton died in 1876, and the house was later sold. Hamilton House was purchased by the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society in 1997.

In late November 1863, the Confederate “Army of Tennessee,” under General Braxton Bragg, retreated to Dalton following its defeat at Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga. Confederate camps during the winter of 1863-64 consisted mainly of wooden huts throughout the area. Private Frank

Hamilton House and the marker are in the background. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 19, 2019
2. Hamilton House and the marker are in the background.
Roberts of the 2nd Georgia Sharpshooters recalled,

  Our cabins were built of split logs, the cracks
  being ‘chinked during the severest weather
  with red clay, thus making a very comfortable
  house indeed. An ample chimney was
  constructed of sticks ‘chinked in the same
  manner as the house; and when the fireplace
  was piled up with wood and set going, we
  had as comfortable quarters as to warmth as
  one could wish.

Brigadier General Joseph H. Lewis, commander of the Kentucky “Orphan Brigade," chose the Hamilton House for his headquarters, with his tent located near the spring house. Federal troops controlled Kentucky throughout the war, preventing the “orphans” from visiting their families.

General Bragg resigned his army's command on December 2, 1863. His successor, General Joseph Johnston began rehabilitating and reorganizing his discouraged army. He restored morale by improving the food supply and instituting “home leave.” One well-received reform reunited the Tennessee Division and created a Georgia Division. As a demonstration of improving conditions and confidence, following a heavy snowfall, these two divisions staged “The Great Snowball Fight.” Noses were bloodied and fingers broken as Tennesseans defeated Georgians in the largest

Another Hamilton House Marker at the location. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 19, 2019
3. Another Hamilton House Marker at the location.
of several such “battles.”

A religious revival also swept through Confederate camps. Hundreds of soldiers were baptized, including Lieutenant General John B. Hood by fellow Lieutenant General and Episcopal Bishop Leonidas Polk. A witness to this baptism stated that Hood “looked happy and as though a great burden had been lifted.”

With springtime weather the fighting resumed. The Confederate army retreated south from Dalton on May 12, 1864. The Hamilton's daughter, Elizabeth, watched the retreat while sitting on a gate post waving a flag. “For hours I sat there waving that flag while a long line of weary soldiers passed," she recalled. “Each one that passed saluted the flag and gave a rebel yell...I didn't let the flag fall!”
 
Erected 2019 by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 10.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 34° 46.875′ N, 84° 58.347′ W. Marker is in Dalton, Georgia, in Whitfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Chattanooga Avenue and West Matilda Street, on the left when traveling north on Chattanooga Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 Chattanooga Avenue, Dalton GA 30720, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers

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are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Hamilton House (a few steps from this marker); General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Huff House (approx. 0.4 miles away); George Whitefield (approx. 0.6 miles away); Tristam Dalton (approx. 0.7 miles away); Western and Atlantic Railroad Depot (approx. 0.7 miles away); Joseph E. Johnston Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); Fort Hill (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dalton.
 
Also see . . .  Whitfield-Murray Historical Society on the Hamilton House. (Submitted on November 23, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for Hamilton House.
 
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 55 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 23, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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