Near Fort Oglethorpe in Walker County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Colonel Wilder´s "Lightning Brigade" Resisted the Confederate Tide
The Union mounted infantry brigade of Colonel John T. Wilder witnessed the disaster. Armed with deadly 7-shot Spencer repeating rifles, Wilder´s men counterattacked on foot, driving Manigault´s Confederate brigade backward toward the La Fayette Road.
Soon Wilder realized his brigade was isolated, and withdrew to this hill which he defended against repeated Confederate assaults. Wilder then fell back to the northwest to guard the retreating columns and wagon trains of the routed Union right.
Painting of a mounted soldier: Soldiers of Wilder's mounted infantry known as the "Lightning Brigade," rode to the battlefield on horseback, then dismounted and fought as infantry. Their Spencer repeating rifles — paid for by the soldiers themselves — could fire three times faster than muzzle-loading weapons commonly used.
Survivors of Wilder's Brigade raised funds for (?) the tower and named it after their commander. Wilder returned to the area after the war and was elected mayor of Chattanooga in 1871.
(right)Photograph: Col. John T. Wilder, USA
Medal: Wilder's Lightning Brigade 1861-1865
Erected by Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Location. 34° 54.424′ N, 85° 16.351′ W. Marker is near Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Glenn-Viniard Road and Vittetoe-Chickamauga Road. The marker is beside a path to the Wilder Tower from the parking lot off the Glenn-Viniard Road. The marker is about 130 feet south of the Tower. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Oglethorpe GA 30742, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 21st Michigan Infantry Detachments (a few steps from this marker); 8th Wisconsin Battery (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named 8th Wisconsin Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); 123rd Illinois Infantry 2nd Michigan Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilder Brigade Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); 4th Indiana Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); 18th Indiana Battery (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Oglethorpe.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
More. Search the internet for Wilder´s Defense.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 451 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 1, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 4, 5. submitted on August 19, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.