Chattooga Academy - John B. Gordon Hall

Chattooga Academy - John B. Gordon Hall (HM2N75)

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N 34° 42.531', W 85° 16.84'

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Bragg's Headquarters and the Battle of LaFayette

— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. —

Named for John Brown
Gordon, a Confederate
general, Georgia governor
and U.S. Senator, this
school stands, as a silent
monument to the citizens
whose legacies made
La Fayette a historically rich
community. Originally
named "Chattooga Academy," it was completed
in May 1836 when this area was inhabited
mostly by the Cherokee Nation. Its architecture
is a classic design in Georgian simplicity. It cost
$815 to construct.

The Federal Army of the Cumberland's
advance into northwest Georgia in early
September 1863 threatened the communications
of Confederate General
Braxton Bragg's Army
of Tennessee, prompting
the latter's evacuation
of Chattanooga on
September 8th. Bragg
moved about 25 miles
south to La Fayette,
making his headquarters
at the Academy from
September 10 through 17. He worked each day
under the shade of a large oak tree located in
front of the school. Bragg left to observe
activities at Davis's Cross Roads on September 11
and at Lee and Gordon's Mills on September 13,
returning each evening. From here he also
mapped his army's strategy for what became the
Battle of Chickamauga which occurred 15 miles
north from September 18 through 20, 1863.

Near dawn on June 24,
1864, approximately 1,000
Confederate cavalrymen
commanded by Brigadier
General Gideon J. Pillow

about 400 Federals
occupying LaFayette. A
two-pronged strike from both
the south and west was initially
Confederate Captain
William V. Harrell's
Alabama battalion drove
some of Union Colonel Louis
D. Watkins' Kentuckians
from the Academy and took
possession of it. Pressing
their advantage to the center
of town, the Confederates
were close to forcing
Watkins' surrender when
suddenly the Federal 4th
Kentucky Mounted Infantry
Regiment under Colonel
John T. Croxton arrived and
turned the fight.

The Confederate 8th
Alabama Cavalry Regiment,
principally conscripted young
boys and old men in their
first battle, was fighting
dismounted. They retreated in
panic but could not reach their
horses before a number were
captured, many near the Academy. Among
those captured was 44-year-old Private Thomas
Jefferson White of Fayette County, Alabama.
After his capture, White, along with other
Confederates, was sent via train to Camp
Morton, a prisoner-of-war camp in Indianapolis,
Indiana. White contracted
pneumonia there during
the winter of 1864-65
September 13 from which he died shortly
here he after being exchanged.
at be a Although not listed as
being killed during the
Battle of La Fayette, White
ultimately died because of
it. The 8th Alabama
suffered the largest
number of Confederate
casualties, which totaled
24 killed, 53 wounded

77 captured. Colonel
Watkins reported 4 killed,
7 wounded and 64
captured, most of whom were taken captive
near the Academy.

After the war the Academy continued until
1921 under various names. The famous oak
tree, named "Bragg's Oak," stood until 1925
when felled by lightning. The building was
renamed "John B. Gordon Hall" during its
centennial year of 1936. Gordon had attended
the Academy as a boy. The building has since
been used for a variety of community purposes.
HM NumberHM2N75
Series This marker is part of the series
Placed ByGeorgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 at 4:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 657454 N 3842101
Decimal Degrees34.70885000, -85.28066667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 42.531', W 85° 16.84'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 42' 31.86" N, 85° 16' 50.4" 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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