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

Crawfish Spring

A “Magnificent” Respite from Carnage

 
 
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Tibbs, 2008
1. Crawfish Spring Marker
Inscription. Crawfish Spring was the first name given to the modern community Chickamauga, Georgia. Cherokees lived in this area before their forced removal in 1838, with their Chickamauga District courthouse located near the spring. In the 1840s an early white settler, James Gordon used enslaved African craftsmen to build an imposing two-story brick plantation house west of the spring, located today just across this highway. James Gordon's son, Clark stood on a large rock between the spring and the house to raise a company of local men for Confederate Service to defend their homeland from federal invasion.

Struggle came to Crawfish Spring in September 1863. On the 16th, Union Major General William S. Rosecrans, commander of the Army of the Cumberland, established his headquarters in the Gordon House. The summer had been extremely dry and the most reliable source of water in the area was Crawfish Spring. Colonial John P. Sanderson of Rosecrans' staff wrote in his diary, "the spring here is a magnificent one, affording an abundant supply, for man and beast of the entire army of cool, soft, delicious water." Thousands of canteens were filled from its water, including over 1,000 alone for the parched lips of the 39th Indiana Mounted Infantry after the first full days fighting on the 19th. For these reasons, the federal armies Medical Director,
Crawfish Spring Map Closeup image. Click for full size.
By David Tibbs, 2008
2. Crawfish Spring Map Closeup
This is a blown up image of the map on the marker.
Dr. Glover Perin, also made Crawfish Spring his major hospital depot for the Battle of Chickamauga from September 18 through 20.

The house and several large tents were used, but many of the wounded lay outside. Every effort was made to place the men under shelter, and to provide them with cover, as the nights were cold. When this could not be done, the men were arranged in rows with lines of campfires built at their feet. As thousands of other Federal soldiers marched north pass Crawfish Spring toward the battle, the hospitals became exposed to attack. Many men were hastily evacuated late on the 20th, but by 5 pm Confederate Major Joseph Wheeler's Calvary captured the hospitals, with 20 wagons of medicines and camp equipage, plus over 1,000 wounded federal soldiers.

On September 20, 1889, thousands of veterans from both armies, including General Rosecrans and former Confederate Major General (and then Georgia Governor) John B. Gordon met at Crawfish Spring in a spirit of reconciliation and friendship. After barbecue and patriotic speeches the men visited with comrades, and got acquainted with former enemies. Together they walked over the battlefield, recalling the bloody days they had shared so long ago. They sought out places where friends had died, and recalled their own actions during the desperate fighting. This land is sacred to the veterans, thus talk began
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
3. Crawfish Spring Marker
Close-up view, that is displayed on the marker, of Dr. Glover Perin. Unfortunately this image has been vandalized with magic marker and although weathered, the effects of the vandalism are still there to be seen.
about erecting monuments to permanently mark various actions on the field. Their reunion furthered efforts already underway to make the entire battlefield a park to honor the courage and valor shown here in 1863. On August 19 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a bill establishing America's First National Military Park.
 
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail, and the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 34° 52.235′ N, 85° 17.563′ W. Marker is in Chickamauga, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker can be reached from Cove Road (Georgia Route 341). Touch for map. The marker is located within a park behind a water tower. Marker is in this post office area: Chickamauga GA 30707, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. North and South Reunited (a few steps from this marker); Sickness at Camp Thomas (a few steps from this marker); The Town of Lytle (a few steps from this marker); Camp George H. Thomas (a few steps from this marker); 3rd Confederate Georgia Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker);
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
4. Crawfish Spring Marker
Close-up view, that is displayed on the marker, of the veterans gathering in 1889 at Crawfish Spring.
The Real Rock of Chickamauga (within shouting distance of this marker); Hospitals, Right Wing, Union Army. (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Headquarters Army of the Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chickamauga.
 
More about this marker. Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail, Army of the Cumberland site #26
 
Categories. Antebellum South, USNative AmericansWar, US Civil
 
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
5. Crawfish Spring Marker
View of the marker in the foreground, with a view of the waters from Crawfish Spring in the background.
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
6. Crawfish Spring Marker
Another, more distant view of the marker, with another more distant view of the waters from Crawfish Spring in the background.
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
7. Crawfish Spring Marker
A more distant view of the featured marker, which is part of a grouping of five (5) markers, although the featured marker is more distant and by itself to the far right.
Crawfish Spring Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
8. Crawfish Spring Marker
A distant view of the featured marker, along with several other markers, situated behind the Crawfish Springs water tower.
Crawfish Spring image. Click for full size.
By David Tibbs, 2008
9. Crawfish Spring
Crawfish Spring Resurgence image. Click for full size.
By David Tibbs, 2008
10. Crawfish Spring Resurgence
This is the where the spring emerges to form Crawfish Spring Lake.
The Gordon Mansion image. Click for full size.
By David Tibbs, 2008
11. The Gordon Mansion
This is the Gordon Mansion mentioned on the marker. It is now called the Gordon-Lee Mansion and is located directly across the street opposite the water tower.
Crawfish Spring Google Earth View image. Click for full size.
Snapshot From Google Earth, 2008
12. Crawfish Spring Google Earth View
This is a view of the spring in Google Earth. The marker is near the base of the water tower that is clearly viable in the image.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 15, 2008, by David Tibbs of Resaca, Georgia. This page has been viewed 1,631 times since then and 29 times this year. Last updated on October 10, 2008, by David Tibbs of Resaca, Georgia. Photos:   1. submitted on September 15, 2008, by David Tibbs of Resaca, Georgia.   2. submitted on September 16, 2008, by David Tibbs of Resaca, Georgia.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 28, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on September 15, 2008, by David Tibbs of Resaca, Georgia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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