One mile south from this point, near the current corner of Wycliff Road and 28th Street, a gallant Confederate soldier known to his men as the "Rock" was mortally wounded by an artillery round while leading an assault against entrenched Federal infantry.
Brigadier General Clement Hoffman Stevens of South
Carolina was a man of many talents and great
accomplishment. Born August 14, 1821 in Norwich,
Connecticut, Stevens moved to Pendleton, South Carolina,
working for the U.S. Navy, and as a cashier at the Planters and
Mechanics Bank in Charleston. When South Carolina
withdrew from the United States on December 20, 1860 he
was a member of a railroad construction firm and quickly
offered his service in defense of his adopted state.
Always an innovator, Stevens created an "Iron Battery,"
credited by many historians as the prototype for the CSS
Virginia and an early version of this invention was used in the
bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Another of
his inventions was a portable oven, making it possible to bake
bread for troops while in the field.
At the First Battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, Stevens
served as an Aide-de-Camp to his brother-in-law Brigadier
General Barnard Bee and was severely wounded on the field.
Returning to Charleston to recuperate, he raised the
Regiment, South Carolina Volunteer Infantry and served as its
Colonel. In that capacity he saw action at the Battle of
Seccessionville. On May 3, 1863, his regiment was attached
to the South Carolina brigade of Brigadier General States
Rights Gist and following the Vicksburg Campaign; the brigade was transferred to the Army of Tennessee. During the second day of the Battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, Stevens was severely wounded after he had two horses killed beneath him while leading his regiment, a display Gist referred to as "iron-nerved". For his "gallantry on the field and... his devotion to the cause," Stevens was promoted to Brigadier General on January 20, 1864 and given command of a Georgia brigade composed of units of the 1st, 25th, 29th, 30th and 66th Georgia Infantry Regiments and the 1st Georgia Sharpshooters, serving admirably in Lt. General William J. Hardee's Corps, Walker's Division during the entire Atlanta Campaign. When General Joseph E. Johnston was removed from command on July 18, 1864 by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Stevens immediately wrote to Johnston expressing his displeasure: "The announcement that you are no longer to be our leader was received by officers and men in silence and deep sorrow... We would hail with joy your return to command us."
July 20, 1864, during the Battle of Peachtree
Creek, General Clement Hoffman Stevens led his Georgia Brigade against Federal lines and received his mortal wound. Stevens's life would linger five days until he died in Atlanta on July 25, 1864. General Braxton Bragg called his death "a serious loss." His body was reverently taken back to Pendleton, South Carolina and there buried next to General Bee in St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery.