Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fort Oglethorpe in Walker County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Wilder´s Defense

Colonel Wilder´s “Lightning Brigade” Resisted the Confederate Tide

 
 
Wilder´s Defense Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, September 14, 1999
1. Wilder´s Defense Marker
Inscription. When the Confederates broke the Union line at the Brotherton Farm on September 20, Union units here on the southern part of the battlefield were swept away like "flecks of foam on a river." The Federals were simply overwhelmed and were forced to flee.

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.

(captions)
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.

(center) Photograph of the Wilder Tower: The Wilder Brigade Monument under construction in 1899. The 85-foot high (?) tower was completed in 1904. A stairway inside (?) leads to an observation
The Battlefield from the Wilder Tower image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, September 14, 1999
2. The Battlefield from the Wilder Tower
Looking east from the observation deck.The marker is beside the path on the right not visible in this view. The road leading to the left no longer exists.
deck.

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. Touch for map. 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. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Oglethorpe GA 30742, United States of America.
 
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 (within shouting distance of this marker); 2nd Michigan Cavalry
Wilder Tower image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, September 14, 1999
3. Wilder Tower
View from the parking lot. The marker is at the center of the photo hidden behind a tree.
(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
 
John T. Wilder image. Click for full size.
circa 1861
4. John T. Wilder
Library of Congress LC-USZ62-113167
Wilder´s Tower image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, September 18, 2010
5. Wilder´s Tower
Wilder's Lightning Brigade
Mounted Infantry
4th Division--Reynolds
14th Corps--Thomas
 
 
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 389 times since then and 51 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.
Paid Advertisement