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Resaca in Gordon County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Stories from the Wild Hills of Resaca

 
 
Stories from the Wild Hills of Resaca Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 11, 2021
1. Stories from the Wild Hills of Resaca Marker
Inscription.  Approximately 160,000 men fought on the hills of Resaca. About 7,000 of them died and many, many more were wounded. Some were captured and spent the remainder of the war in either a Confederate or Union prison camp. A few wrote of their experiences. These are some of the stories.

Reminiscence (author unknown) of Captain James M. Summers, 42nd Georgia Infantry Regiment, Stovall's Brigade, Stewart's Division:
The record for bravery of Captain Summers of Company F, Forty second Georgia Regiment in the Confederate Army … was long and he was held in high esteem by the members of his regiment. His promotion from private … to Captain of Company F came about as a reward on account of unusual bravery at the battle of Resaca, by which he saved the lives of most of his company. A lighted bomb thrown by the enemy fell into the midst of his company. Pandemonium reigned. The only one of the troop to keep a level head, he gathered the bomb in his hands and threw it into a nearby ravine where its immediate explosion dug a gaping hole in the soil.

Colonel Lovick Pierce Thomas, 42nd Georgia Infantry Regiment,
Stories from the Wild Hills of Resaca Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 11, 2021
2. Stories from the Wild Hills of Resaca Marker
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Stovall's Brigade, Stewart's Division:

At your request and others of that grand old regiment, the Forty Second Georgia, … I have been asked … what was the closest call made by myself to death or capture, during these times, this may answer the purpose. Numbers of my men fell near me in battle, and in the desperate charges on the battlefield at Resaca eight bullet holes were found in my clothing and an old army blanket which was thrown across my shoulder, after the fight was over. I took charge of our regiment, the Forty-Second Georgia Infantry, on the battlefield there on that day, after our brave Colonel R.J. Henderson had been wounded, and nearly all the officers with over one hundred men of this regiment.

Thomas Jefferson Walker, Company C, 9th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Maney's Brigade, Cheatham's Division:
[Resaca, 15 May] Often the lines of battle would not be more than 300 or 400 yards apart. Just before day, the squad in my immediate front called for water and thinking I could carry them the water and return before the sharpshooters could see sufficiently to shoot, I carried the water. As I was about to return to the protected line, a battery of Parrot guns opened and there I had to stay in the hot broiling sun the entire day. Never while I live, will I forget that terrible day! The gunners of that Parrot
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Battery got the exact range of our little fort and commenced to throw their shot and shell into the little pile of dirt that the boys had thrown out of the ditch. The shells passed through it, and over the top of the ditch, and buried themselves in the side of the hill in our rear. As the day wore slowly on, the range became more accurate, so much so that we had to continuously work with our tin pans to keep the loose dirt that was thrown into the ditch by the shot from filling the ditch. As the day wore on, the shot began to strike into the solid ground of our ditch to such a degree that by nightfall, one of the five in that ditch was dead. He was killed by a direct hit and two more were wounded from shells. The dead boy we placed on top of the ditch to give more room. When the enemy saw it, they commenced cheering all along the line … Oh, how we longed for night to fall. It came at last and when we were relieved, we found that our command had been withdrawn and was then crossing the river. With the assistance of the relief guard, we bore our wounded comrades to a house in the village. Then we hurriedly crossed the bridge which was soon blown up to prevent the enemy from crossing. Thus ended one of the most terrible days I spent during the war.

Robert M. Magill, 39th Georgia Infantry, Cumming's Brigade, Stevenson's Division:
Sunday,
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15th.--At 7 am., ordered to the new line we left last night, and were fired on very heavy as we were moving in. By 10 a.m., had pretty fair works, by digging with bayonets and throwing out dirt with our hands. Heavy skirmishing all along the lines. Lieutenant Hill, Company C, killed. Shelling and sharp-shooting us heavy. 3 p.m. assault on the right of our brigade and Brown's brigade. 3:30 p.m., heavy fighting for some distance along our right front; seems to be a general charge; 5 p.m., Yanks repulsed. Started to charge 39th but one volley sent them back to their works. Charged Brown's brigade three times. Corput's battery of four Napoleon brass guns were ordered forward to support the skirmish line; the Federals drove in the skirmish line and killed so many of the horses that the artillery was abandoned for a few moments, and the Federals took charge of the guns, but before they had time to remove them, Brown's and Reynold's Brigades charged so impetuously on them that they, in turn, abandoned the guns in double quick time. … Neither party could go to the guns, and no further attempt was made that day to remove them … Have been shelled very heavily all day.

Monday, 16th. - Last night after dark everything moved out of ditches … while waiting “en masse” to get across the river, a minnie ball, nearly spent, came down among us, and struck one of our boys. With a groan, he caught the place, and the boys gathered round to see how badly he was wounded, but did not find any blood. After a time, some one noticed a hole in his haversack. Upon further investigation, the minnie ball was found lodged in a pone of corn-bread, and had never touched the man, but jarred him considerably.

John S. Jackman, Company B, 9th Kentucky, “Orphan Brigade,” Bate's Division:
May 14th.- Early, ordered further to the left. Just before we fell in, rations of whiskey were issued, and some of the boys got so top-heavy they could hardly march - in fact, some got so bad off, they had to be helped along.

John Dacuble, 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry [Primarily a German-American regiment], 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division:
[May 13 to 14 Rocky Face Ridge] Towards morning the 13th it was quiet, one heard no more shots. The enemy had withdrawn however we were not certain of it until 9 o'clock. I and [Pvt. August] Damprecht proceeded up the Rocky face Mountain which is near 1000 feet high and had remarkable rock projections. When we reached the top we had a wonderful view, the enemy had fortifications all along the hill from 4-5 feet high made out of stone. Down in the valley all was fortified just as a mass of well built abandoned Rebel camps were located there. … On our march there was nothing to see for six miles but abandoned Rebel camps.

[May 15, Resaca] The 15th Joh. Deisinger and Zanger from our Comp[any] were shot to death and [Sgt.] Franz Maas wounded. During the night around 11 o'clock the Rebels made a charge on us which lasted Ό hour, we spent the night with changing and improving our fortifications. Our Regt received this day 9 wounded and 4 dead. In the afternoon our Brigade was requested to make a charge toward the enemy fortification but we were driven back again. We had day and night neither quiet nor rest and lay or crouched behind the fortifications. We could not cook or eat.

1st Lieutenant Isum Gwin, 80th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 1st Brigade, 2nd Division:
“Co D 34 guns … ordered to advance and charge the Rebble forts at 12 O'clock got in one hundred yards of the [enemy's] works remained until dark when I went to the Regt.”

The unit suffered 26 killed and 100 wounded out of 270 men who were ordered to take part in the charge. Gwin received his commission only 3 days prior to the battle.

Private Gottried Rentschler, 6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry [Primarily a German-American regiment], 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division:
[May 3, 1864 letter home] … Major General Howard, our new corps commanding officer, held a review of his whole corps. A large number of General Officers assembled in our headquarters. If one thinks of himself as a commanding officer, then he likes to think that with every step the ground crashes under him or when on horseback that his eyes dispatch lightning and, in general, his appearance is sort of majestic. Not many generals of this country make this imposing appearance; many of them have lawyers' faces and, in Germany, several of the thin ones of his class would be mistaken for a mediating schoolmaster, or a tailor plagued with galloping consumption. Several of the fat ones would be mistaken for well-fed village or city mayors. However, as all that shines is not gold; in comparison, some gold does not shine and some of these high officers have proven through shining deeds that looks can be deceiving.

[Writing about events on 9 May while in support of General McPherson on Bald Hill] Our brigade moved up until just below the rock wall; there, however, we could go neither forward or backward. We lay there stretched out on the ground for several hours, because everyone that stood received a bullet from the Rebel sharpshooters who held the ridge of the mountain in a enormously long and strongly-occupied line. A soldier of the 23rd Ky. Regt., for fun, hung his handkerchief on a small branch of a tree; as fast as the Rebels saw it, three shots were fired; two bullets went through his handkerchief. This may serve as evidence of the skillfulness of the Rebel sharpshooters; who, for the most part, have large rifles on stands. Our soldiers named these rifles “young cannons,” because they almost have as great a bark as a howitzer.
Captions:
Top left: Civil War era Ketchum 1 lb. grenade
Bottom center: The long scope of the sharpshooter rifle made it effective at long ranges. English Whitworth rifles were issued to some Confederate troops just before the Georgia campaign began.
Top right: John Dacuble, a native German, rose from private to first sergeant in Company E. He died at the Battle of Pickett's Mill.
 
Erected by Georgia Department of Natural Resources - State Parks and Historic Sites.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
 
Location. 34° 35.736′ N, 84° 57.705′ W. Marker is in Resaca, Georgia, in Gordon County. Marker can be reached from Resaca Lafayette Road Northwest (Georgia Route 136). Marker is along circular path near the pavilion at the end of Resaca Battlefield State Historic Site's entrance road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6 GA-136, Resaca GA 30735, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Enduring the Battle of Resaca (here, next to this marker); Picturing a 19th-century Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Action — Judah's Division (within shouting distance of this marker); Did You Know That Both Sides Used Red, White and Blue Flags? (within shouting distance of this marker); Resaca Battlefield State Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Action — Carlin's Brigade (approx. Ό mile away); How to Tell the Yankees from the Rebels! (approx. Ό mile away); Resaca's Confederate Cemetery / Resaca's Fort Wayne (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Resaca.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 14, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 14, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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May. 14, 2021