Wilder Defense

Wilder Defense (HM1BOX)

Location: Chickamauga, GA 30707 Walker County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 54.424', W 85° 16.351'

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Colonel Wilder "Lightning Brigade" Resisted the Confederate Tide

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 men counterattacked on foot, driving Manigault 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.

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 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
Placed ByChickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 4:46am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 657822 N 3864098
Decimal Degrees34.90706667, -85.27251667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 54.424', W 85° 16.351'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 54' 25.44" N, 85° 16' 21.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 712 Vittetoe Chickamauga Rd, Chickamauga GA 30707, US
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