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TABLETS & MONOUMENTS OF THE 8TH KANSAS VOLUNTEERS

On the

CHATTANOOGA & CHICKAMAUGA BATTLEFIELDS

Transcriptions by
Ernst F. Tonsing
October 16, 2005

Following are transcriptions of inscriptions on the tablets and monuments erected in


honor of the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry where they fought during the Civil War
“Battle of Chattanooga.” The engagements included the capture of Orchard Knob,
Missionary (or, Mission) Ridge, as well as the conflicts on the nearby battleground of
Chickamauga. The markers are placed at the sites in which the actions described
occurred during September and November of 1863. These transcriptions mostly are from
photographs that I have taken, and differ from official sheets furnished by the National
Park Service in some minor details, especially punctuation. In the copies below, except
for the identifying lines, the texts are in lower case for ease of reading, even though most
of the originals are written in caps.

1. MONUMENT ON ORCHARD KNOB,


CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE.1

THE 8TH KANSAS VOL. INFTY.,


COL. JOHN A. MARTIN, COMMANDING,
1ST BRIGADE, GEN. AUGUST WILLILCH,
3RD DIVISION, GEN. T. J. WOOD,
4TH A. C. GEN. GORDON GRANGER,
NOVEMBER 23, 1863.

Moved on this point at 2 o’clock p.m. from the railroad track in front of Fort Wood as
skirmishers for the brigade and supported by the brigade captured this knob and line of
works without much resistance and before the main line arrived. The regiment remained
in this position until 3 o’clock when it moved with the brigade to assault the enemy’s
works at the foot of Missionary Ridge.

2. CAST IRON TABLET NEAR TOP OF ORCHARD KNOB,


CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE.2

WILLICH’S BRIGADE
WOOD’S DIVISION 0 GRANGER’S CORPS

1
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 11, 2005.
2
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 11, 2005.
BRIG. GEN. AUGUST WILLICH
Nov. 23, 1863

25TH ILLINOIS -
COL. RICHARD H. NODINE
35TH ILLILNOIS -
LIEUT. COL. WILLIAM P. CHANDLER
89TH ILLINOIS -
LIEUT. COL. WILLIAM D. WILLIAMS
32ND INDIANA -
LIEUT. COL. FRANK ERDELMEYER
68TH INDIANA -
LIEUT. COL. HARVEY J. ESPY
CAPT. RICHARD L. LEESON
8TH KANSAS - COL. JOHN A. MARTIN
TH
15 OHIO - LIEUT. COL. FRANK ASKEW
49TH OHIO - MAJ. SAMUEL F. GRAY
TH
15 WISCONSIN - CAPT. JOHN A. GORDON
BRIDGES (ILLINOIS) - CAPT. LYMAN BRIDGES

This brigade, with Hazen’s on its right, and S. Beatty’s on its left rear, advanced from in
front of Fort Wood directly on Orchard Knob during the afternoon of Nov. 23d. It
captured the knob which was occupied as a fortified outpost, while Hazen’s Brigade
carried the ridge to the south of it. During the night of the 23d strong double lines of
infantry entrenchments were constructed. The brigade held the entire Knob throughout
the 24th and the 25th up to 3:13 p.m., the hour of the general advance against Missionary
Ridge. The present works indicate the position of the brigade line.

3. TABLET AT 108 NORTH CREST ROAD,


MISSIONARY RIDGE, CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE.3

WILLICH’S BRIGADE.
WOOD’S DIVISION – GRANGER’S CORPS.
BRIG. GEN. AUGUST WILLICH.
Nov. 25, 1863

25TH ILLINOIS - COL. RICHARD H. NODINE.


35TH ILLINOIS - LIEUT. COL. W. P. CHANDLER.
89TH ILLINOIS - LIEUT. COL. W. D. WILLIAMS.
32ND INDIANA - LIEUT. COL. F. ERDELMEYER.
68TH INDIANA - LIEUT. COL. HARVEY J. ESPY.
CAPT. RICHARD L. LEESON.
8TH KANSAS - COL. JOHN A. MARTIN.
15TH OHIO - LIEUT. COL. FRANK ASKEW.
49TH OHIO - MAJ. SAMUEL F. GRAY.
15TH WISCONSIN - CAPT. JOHN A. GORDON.

3
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 11, 2005.
This brigade, the center of Wood’s Division, with Hazen’s Brigade on its right, and Gen.
Samuel Beatty’s on its left, moved to the assault from Orchard Knob in two lines, with
the 15th Wisconsin in reserve. Upon carrying the earthworks at the foot of the ridge the
command assaulted without further orders and gained the crest, General Willich having
no instructions to halt at the base. Artillery was captured on the summit by both wings of
the brigade, Hazen’s troops on the right assisting in taking two guns. Part of the brigade
pursed to the eastern base of the ridge, capturing several guns on the slope, while part of
it advanced northward along the ridge.

4. MONUMENT AND STATUE AT 120 NORTH CREST ROAD,


MISSIONARY RIDGE, CHATTANOOGA.4

THE 8TH KANSAS VOL. INFTY.,


COL. JOHN A. MARTIN, COMMANDING,
WILLICH’S BRIG., WOOD’S DIV., GRANGER’S CORPS.
__________

November 25, 1863

Advanced from Orchard Knob at 3 p.m. and with the brigade carried the works at the foot
of the ridge, and continued the assault up its face. The regiment broke through the
opposing line on the crest at this point and a portion of it pursued the enemy 200 yards
beyond, and there engaged in a lively but short fight while the rest assisted in driving the
enemy from the left. The regiment bivouacked on the ridge near this point.
__________

Total number engaged 219, 1 commissioned officer wounded, 3 enlisted men killed. 23
enlisted men wounded.

5. GRANITE MARKER #860,


ABOUT .2 MILES NORTH OF THE VINIARD-ALEXANDER ROAD,
NEAR VINIARD FIELD,
CHICKAMAUGA, GEORGIA.5

POSITION
OF THE
8TH KANSAS VOL’S
SEPT. 19TH, 1863
AT 12:30 P.M.

6. CAST IRON TABLET ON LaFAYETTE ROAD,

4
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 11, 2005.
5
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 16, 2005.
AT BROTHERTON CABIN,
CHICKAMAUGA, GEORGIA.6

HEG’S BRIGADE.
DAVIS’ DIVISION McCOOK’S CORPS.
COL. HANS C. HEG.
COL. JOHN A. MARTIN.
SEPT. 19, 1863, 2 P.M. – 1ST POSITION.

25TH Illinois - Maj. Samuel D. Wall.


Capt. Westford Taggart.
35th Illinois - Lieut. Col. William P. Chandler.
8th Kansas - Col. John A. Martin.
Lieut. Col. James L. Abernathy.
15th Wisconsin - Lieut. Col. Ole C. Johnson.
8th Wisconsin Battery - Lieut. John D. McLean.

This brigade, being the left of Davis’ Division, reached this line about 1 p.m., and formed
on the right of Wilder’s Brigade of Mounted Infantry, having Carlin’s Brigade on its
right. The line advanced across the LaFayette Road and became desperately engaged
about 2 o’clock. After three-quarters of an hour the Brigade was forced back to the road.
It rallied and nearly regained its most advanced position when it was again repulsed. In
rallying the line in the low ground west of the road Col. Heg was mortally wounded. At
3.30 p.m. Wood’s Division arrived from Lee and Gordon’s Mill and relieved Davis’ line,
when Heg’s Brigade, now commanded by Col. Martin, again advanced but was not
further engaged during the 19th.

7. CAST IRON TABLET #504 AT BROTHERTON FIELD,


SOUTH OF BROTHERTON ROAD ON WEST CENTER SIDE OF FIELD
ABOUT 3.3 MI. SOUTH OF BROTHERTON ROAD.7

HEG’S BRIGADE
DAVIS’ DIVISION –McCOOK’S CORPS
COL. JOHN A. MARTIN
SEPT. 20TH, 1863, 10 A.M. 1ST POSITION

25th Illinois - Maj. Samuel D. Wall


Capt. Westford Taggart
35th Illinois - Lieut. Col. William P. Chandler
8th Kansas - Lieut. Col. James L. Abernathy
th
15 Wisconsin - Lieut. Col. Ole C. Johnson
Capt. Mons Grinager
th
Wisconsin Light Artillery, 8 Battery – Lieut. John D. McLean

6
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 11, 2005.
7
Transcribed from printout from the National Park Service of list of monuments at Chickamauga.
The brigade advanced from its bivouac west of the Crawfish Springs Road and took
position on this ground in the rear of Carlin’s Brigade about 10 o’clock. It was soon after
ordered to occupy the line to the left of Carlin’s from which Buell’s Brigade of Wood’s
Divison was withdrawing towards the left. While executing this movement and when
three regiments had reached the barricades, the enemy attacked in heavy force. After a
spirited resistance the brigade was overwhelmed and forced to the rear in confusion. It
rallied on the high ground to the rear but was soon forced entirely off the field. It was
rallied near McFarland’s Gap and returned to the field, but not in time to take further part
in the action. Strength in action September 19th, 1,218 officers and men. Casualties
during the battle: killed 70; wounded 519; captured or missing 107; total 696;
percentage of loss 57.13.

8. GRANITE MARKER #859 AT WESTERN CENTER EDGE OF


BROTHERTON FIELD, ABOUT .2 MILES SOUTH OF BROTHERTON ROAD,
CHICKAMAUGA, GEORGIA.8

POSITION
OF THE
8TH KANSAS VOLS.
SEPT. 20TH, 1863
AT 12:00 NOON

9. GRANITE MONUMENT #858,


ON THE LaFAYETTE ROAD
ACROSS FROM COL. HANS CHRISTIAN HEG MONUMENT
AT VINIARD FIELD
CHICKAMAUGA, GEORGIA9

(On front of monument)

8TH KANSAS INFANTRY


RD
3 BRIGADE, 1ST. DIV., 20TH CORPS.

(On reverse of monument)

THE 8TH KANSAS VOL. INFTY.


COL. JOHN A. MARTIN COMMANDING
HEG’S BRIGADE, DAVIS’ DIVISION, McCOOK’S CORPS.

On Sept. 19th, went into action east of this point and was in the hottest part of the battle
from 12:30 until 6 p.m. Col. Heg was killed, Col. Martin assumed command of the

8
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 15, 2005.
9
Recorded from photograph of the inscription, October 11, 2005.
brigade, and Lieut. Col. J. L. Abernathy commanded the regiment. The fighting during
this day was severe. The ground where this monument stands was repeatedly occupied
by the opposing forces. At the close of the day the regiment bivouacked west of the
Viniard House. During the night the division moved to the high ground west of the
Crawfish Springs Road and north of Widow Glenn’s. Sept. 20th, at 12:00 o’clock the
brigade went into action on the Brotherton farm, but were soon forced to retire to
McFarland’s Gap. The division rejoined Gen. Thomas at 6:00 p.m. Total number
engaged 406. Loss: 2 commissioned officers killed. 9 commissioned officers wounded.
28 enlisted men killed. 156 enlisted men wounded. 25 enlisted men missing. Total loss
220: 54.9 per cent.