Lee & Gordon's Mills

Lee & Gordon's Mills (HM2N58)

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N 34° 52.989', W 85° 16.061'

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A Chickamauga Landmark

— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails —

Lee & Gordon's Mills became a familiar landmark
for Federal and Confederate soldiers before and during
the Battle of Chickamauga in
September 1863. It is located
along West Chickamauga Creek
on the vital "State Road" between
Chattanooga and La Fayette.
Portions of both armies marched
past the mill, positioning troops
here and nearby both before and
during the fighting. The
original mill was built in
1836 by James Gordon
(1801-1863). He later built
his home near Crawfish
Spring, about two miles
southwest. When Gordon
retired he left the mill's
operation to James Lee.

On September 8, 1863,
Confederate General Braxton
Bragg withdrew his army
south from Chattanooga. For
two nights he made his
headquarters near the
mill. The Confederate rear
was positioned here, with
its line extending south to
La Fayette. After Confederate
headquarters moved to
La Fayette on the 10th the Federal 21st Corps, under
Major General Thomas L.
Crittenden, followed to the mill
and vicinity. Active, even
heated, skirmishing occurred
on the 12th and 13th against
Confederate Lieutenant
General Leonidas Polk's corps.

As the Battle of Chickamauga
raged less than two miles north
of the mill on Saturday,
September 19th, Union
7 Brigadier General William H.
Lytle's brigade defeated a detachment of Confederate

General John C. Breckinridge's division
attempting to capture the nearby ford. About 3:00 pm
on the 20th, over 6,000 Confederate cavalrymen under
Major General Joseph Wheeler crossed the creek at the
mill. Private John A. Wyeth, fighting dismounted with
the 4th Alabama Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, recalled,
"...a number of us started to run across the [mill] dam; but
an officer shouted: 'Get off! They're
going to rake you with grapeshot!,' and
we leaped into the water like so many
In two hours of combat
against one Federal infantry and two
cavalry brigades, led by Union
Brigadier General Robert B. Mitchell,
Wheeler's Confederates fought their
way from the mill to Federal field
hospitals near Crawfish Spring.
Mitchell's defense enabled most
wounded Federal soldiers to be
hurriedly moved to safety. However,
Wheeler's cavalrymen captured over
1,000 wounded and able-bodied men.

In early May 1864 about 24,000 soldiers in Union
Major General James B. McPherson's "Army of the
Tennessee" began their
portion of the Atlanta
Campaign by massing at
and near the mill. They
marched through Snake
Creek Gap, southwest of
Dalton, forcing Confederates
to abandon that city leading
to the Battle of Resaca.

The original mill burned
shortly after the war, and
another was constructed with some modifications on the
same site.

It operated until 1967. In 1993 a new owner
began restoring the mill to working order. It contains
artifacts and equipment from the mill's early years.
HM NumberHM2N58
Series This marker is part of the series
Year Placed2019
Placed ByGeorgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 at 4:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 658309 N 3861453
Decimal Degrees34.88315000, -85.26768333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 52.989', W 85° 16.061'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 52' 59.34" N, 85° 16' 3.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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