History buffs commemorate Civil War battle

A group of two dozen Coweta County residents met at the Brown’s Mill Battlefield site on Millard Farmer Road to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Brown’s Mill. The group read the names of all soldiers who lost their lives during the battle or as a result of it. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It was 150 years ago, on July 30, that the Battle of Brown’s Mill was fought in Coweta County.

A group of two dozen Brown’s Mill Battlefield Association board members and supporters commemorated the anniversary with a Toast and Taps ceremony Wednesday by gathering at the Gen. Joseph Wheeler memorial located on the property of the battlefield site on Millard Farmer Road.

It was at the short ceremony where the names of all those, both Union and Confederate, who lost their lives during the battle and afterward at hospital sites in Newnan were read.

A large number of men lost their lives in the battle or from injuries sustained in it. In their ranks were soldiers from the 8th Iowa Cavalry, the 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, 1st Tennessee Cavalry, 2nd Indiana Cavalry, 4th Indiana Cavalry, 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, 8th Indiana Cavalry, 5th Iowa Cavalry, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, 4th Tennessee Cavalry, 8th Confederate Cavalry, 5th Georgia Cavalry, 9th Tennessee Battalion, 3rd Arkansas Cavalry, 8th Texas Cavalry, 6th Texas Cavalry and Moreland’s Regiment Alabama Cavalry.

It was on July 30, 1864 that the Battle of Brown’s Mill was fought. The Civil War battle occurred during the Atlanta Campaign.

Gen. Edward McCook’s Union cavalry, on a daring raid to sever communications and supply lines in south central Georgia, was defeated at the battlefield site by Confederate forces under the command of Gen. Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Wheeler.

After a successful raid in Fayetteville, McCook was trying to return to the main army in Atlanta but was attacked by Wheeler’s cavalry four miles south of Newnan at Brown’s Mill. McCook wanted to surrender but instead let his officers lead their battalions out separately.

Though Wheeler lost 50 men in the ensuing battle, McCook’s forces were routed. McCook had 1,285 men captured, 100 killed or wounded and lost 1,200 horses, several ambulances and two pieces of artillery. With the victory, Wheeler freed approximately 300 Confederate prisoners.

The ramifications of the battle extended far beyond the rolling hills of the battlefield.

The defeat of Union forces in Coweta County forced Gen. William T. Sherman to abandon his efforts to use cavalry to cut Atlanta’s railroads and compelled him to begin the lengthy siege of Atlanta, according to the association.

The battlefield site is dedicated to the Confederate and Union cavalrymen who fought and died on on July 30, 1864, and to the Confederate and Union medical staff who tended the wounded after the Battle of Brown’s Mill, according to the Brown’s Mill Battlefield Assoc.

For more information on this historic site visit www.battleofbrownsmill.org

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