Chattooga Academy - John B. Gordon Hall
Bragg's Headquarters and the Battle of LaFayette
— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. —
The Federal Army of the Cumberland's advance into northwest Georgia in early September 1863 threatened the communications of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee, prompting the latter's evacuation of Chattanooga on September 8th. Bragg moved about 25 miles south to La Fayette, making his headquarters at the Academy from September 10 through 17. He worked each day under the shade of a large oak tree located in front of the school. Bragg left to observe activities at Davis's Cross Roads on September 11 and at Lee and Gordon's Mills on September 13, returning each evening. From here he also mapped his army's strategy for what became the Battle of Chickamauga which
Near dawn on June 24, 1864, approximately 1,000 Confederate cavalrymen commanded by Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow attacked about 400 Federals occupying LaFayette. A two-pronged strike from both the south and west was initially successful. Confederate Captain William V. Harrell's Alabama battalion drove some of Union Colonel Louis D. Watkins' Kentuckians from the Academy and took possession of it. Pressing their advantage to the center of town, the Confederates were close to forcing Watkins' surrender when suddenly the Federal 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry Regiment under Colonel John T. Croxton arrived and turned the fight.
The Confederate 8th Alabama Cavalry Regiment, principally conscripted young boys and old men in their first battle, was fighting dismounted. They retreated in panic but could not reach their horses before a number were captured, many near the Academy. Among those captured was 44-year-old Private Thomas Jefferson White of Fayette County, Alabama. After his capture, White, along with other Confederates, was sent via train to Camp Morton, a prisoner-of-war camp in Indianapolis, Indiana. White contracted pneumonia there during the winter of 1864-65 September 13 from which he died shortly here he after being exchanged. at be a Although not listed
After the war the Academy continued until
1921 under various names. The famous oak
tree, named “Bragg's Oak," stood until 1925
when felled by lightning. The building was
renamed “John B. Gordon Hall” during its
centennial year of 1936. Gordon had attended
the Academy as a boy. The building has since
been used for a variety of community purposes.
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 3.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 34° 42.531′ N, 85° 16.84′ W. Marker is in LaFayette, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker can be reached from North Main Street (Business U.S. 27) north of Wardlaw Street East, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 308 North Main Street, La Fayette GA 30728, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are
More about this marker. This marker is along the "historic driving route" of the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail.
Also see . . . City of LaFayette on the Chattooga Academy. (Submitted on November 26, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 89 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 26, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.