“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hampton in Henry County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

"The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station"

Captain Edward Croft's Flying Artillery of Columbus, Georgia

"The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, September 20, 2013
1. "The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station" Marker
At first light of August 20, 1864, Confederate General Sul Ross’s Texas Cavalry had located Kilpatrick’s retreating Federals near Lee’s Mill and fought their rear guard as they took the road that led southward to the McDonough Road. This road took Kilpatrick’s raiders on a direct path to his next objective, “Lovejoy’s Station.”

By midmorning, contact was made with Kilpatrick’s main body near the station s where the Texans were joined by the cavalry brigades of Generals Red Jackson and Daniel Reynolds Arkansas infantry brigade.

Kilpatrick’s troopers were soon surrounded at Lovejoy’s station and they were forced to fall back. Kilpatrick’s cavalry retreated eastward on the McDonough road and reformed on a ridge located just west of Nash farm, where Kilpatrick’s officers quickly devised a plan of escape.

A reference from, “Capt. Croft’s Flying Artillery Battery,” Columbus, Georgia by William Forbes, page 211-212 describes the action:

However, when Kilpatrick was about four miles from Lovejoy’s and near the Nash place, the Confederate’s “got them surrounded.” To assault the stalled enemy, Ross dismounted
"The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, September 20, 2013
2. "The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station" Marker
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his troopers in a lane and deployed them “in line in the open field to the left or south side of the lane, (McDonough road) and as section of Croft’s Georgia Battery was placed on an elevation to the right of the lane.”

Observing these maneuvers, Kilpatrick realized his danger and quickly determined to save his command by a desperate drive, (cavalry charge), to break out of the encircling Rebels. With sabers flashing, the Yankee raiders charged forward in “three heavy columns” along the McDonough Road covered by Lieutenant Young’s howitzer. As the blue coated column thundered headlong toward him, Young “played on their charge…throwing shells across the charging columns until his ammunition was exhausted and his piece overrun.”

It was in this charge that the old belching 12-pounder under Lieutenant George B. Young from Columbus, GA., did noble and effective work. As a column would charge down on him, he would open so wide a break in it that it would pass him without running over his gun. He fired rapidly, turning his gun in three or four different directions. The enemy made desperate attempts to take it and twice General Ross sent word to Lieutenant Young that he better leave his gun and try to save his men. His reply was, “Not while I have a shot left.”

Then General Ross took thirty men and went up to the piece and said, “Well, Young, if you are
The Nash Farm Main House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, September 20, 2013
3. The Nash Farm Main House
determined to stay with your gun, we will stay with you.” They did stay there ‘til they had fired every round of ammunition. Next to the last round, a double charge of grape shot cracked the gun barrel but it did not frighten them from firing the last shot.

Only then did they abandon the disabled bronze howitzer. Kilpatrick’s troopers eventually hauled it away from the knoll as a battlefield trophy and continued heading eastward toward McDonough.

Lieutenant Young reported one artilleryman killed, Cpl. A.F. Knight, and five wounded.

Captain Edward A. Croft, Columbus GA.
Erected by The Order of the Southern Cross.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1864.
Location. 33° 27.507′ N, 84° 17.451′ W. Marker is in Hampton, Georgia, in Henry County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Jonesboro Road and Babbs Mill Road, on the left when traveling south. The marker is on the grounds of the Nash Farm Battlefield Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4361 Jonesboro Rd, Hampton GA 30228, 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. The "Right Flank" on the McDonough Road (a few steps from this marker); Locomotive Bell from the Nancy Hanks (within shouting distance of
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this marker); Kilpatrick's Raid at the Nash Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); Kilpatrick's Raid (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Crawford-Dorsey House (approx. 1.3 miles away); Cavalry Action at Lovejoy's Station (approx. 2.1 miles away); Constantine Memorial (approx. 2½ miles away); Georgia Militia at Lovejoy's Station (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hampton.
Also see . . .  Nash Farm Battlefield. Explored Georgia website entry (Submitted on December 3, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 11, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 768 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 11, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 4, 2022