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Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Sharpshooters Check The Union Right

 
 
Sharpshooters Check The Union Right Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 30, 2012
1. Sharpshooters Check The Union Right Marker
Inscription. In the early morning hours of August 30, 1862, a handful of Confederate cavalry approached the Union line near Mt. Zion Church, where they were met by a burst of fire from Federal artillery. The Union salvo was answered in kind. An artillery duel raged as both sides deployed their infantry, Gen. Mahlon Manson placing his Union infantry across the high ground east of Mt. Zion Church and Confederate Gen. Patrick Cleburne pushing skirmishers forward as he looked for an opportunity to flank Manson's line.

Cleburne also ordered a company of sharpshooters from 2nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment forward to harass the Federal right flank. Captain James J. Newsom of Company C was given command. As the company neared "a large brick residence (Pleasant View), Newsom could clearly see both the Union artillery and the 69th Indiana in his front. He quickly divided his company, Newsom and half of the men moving north and west of the house and the remainder, under Lt. William E. Yeatman, taking position north and east of Newsom. Once in position, the sharpshooters popped away at the Union line for an hour.

The fire from the small band of Confederates held the Union line in check, or at least made the jumpy, new soldiers wary and, for a while, kept their heads down. Newsom realized he had found the end of the Union line and sent Lt.
Sharpshooters Check The Union Right Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 30, 2012
2. Sharpshooters Check The Union Right Marker
Yeatman back to his colonel with the information. Newsom's information may have been critical to the final result of the fighting here but gathering it cost him his life. After reporting to Lt. Col. John A. Butler, Yeatman hurried back to his company, only to find two of his comrades carrying the wounded Newsom toward the rear. Capt. Newsom died that day. He may have been the first casualty of the 2nd Tennessee but he would not be the last. Of the 300 men engaged 112 of them became casualties, a frightful percentage even by Civil War standards.

(sidebar)
The Sharpshooter
The British army began using sharpshooters, crack shots with rifles, in the 1760's. By 1862 both the Union and Confederate armies employed sharpshooters. Initially, the Union army created two regiments of sharpshooters. Later, both sides determined that the soldiers were best organized in smaller numbers, generally as a single company attached to a regiment.

(sidebar)
Rather than overextending his line, as Manson was doing, Cleburne Kept the Federal troops in check by harassing their right flank with his sharpshooters. The sharpshooters kept the Union infantry busy while an unseen infantry division advanced north through the Mound Creek ravine.
 
Location. 37° 39.92′ N, 84° 15.037′ 
Sharpshooters Check The Union Right Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 30, 2012
3. Sharpshooters Check The Union Right Marker
marker can be seen on the left in the distance next to the trail
W. Marker is in Richmond, Kentucky, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Battlefield Memorial Highway (U.S. 421) and Hays Fork Lane, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Part of the Union Trail Interpreted Loop at Richmond, Kentucky (Pleasant View Farm). Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 Battlefield Memorial Hwy, Richmond KY 40475, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "The Loud Mouthed Dogs of War Were Unleashed" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Union Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Near Fatal Mistake (about 400 feet away); Battle of Richmond (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named The Battle of Richmond (about 500 feet away); Slavery at Pleasant View Farm (about 500 feet away); "Good, Common-Sense Soldiering" (about 500 feet away); Barnett Burial Ground (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
 
Also see . . .  Battle of Richmond Visitors Center. (Submitted on July 28, 2015.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 26, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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