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Infantry Battle

Infantry Battle at Lovejoy
September 2nd – 5th, 1864

john_bell_hood

General John Bell Hood

Kilpatrick’s Raid had demonstrated that even a large cavalry action could not, or as Sherman groused, “would not,” inflict enough damage on the Confederate supply lines around the city to force General Hood from behind his defenses there.  Subsequently, Sherman decided that a more definitive move was necessary and ordered nearly his whole army from its base on the Chattahoochee River around to the west and south to cut the railroad lines and accomplish his objective (Scaife 1993:122, 131).

On August 25, he left Slocum’s 20th Army Corps (A.C.) at the Chattahoochee to protect their supply line, while the reminder of his force set out around to the southwest, crossing Camp Creek and screening his movements with a southward line from East Point.  They made quick progress toward the West Point Railroad, as Hood did not send a sufficient force in time to block the movement, thinking that it was only a bluff.  He sent General William J. Hardee’s and General Stephen D. Lee’s corps to Jonesboro, instructing them to drive whatever forces they encountered back across the Flint River should they cross it.  Instead, Sherman’s left flank was able to reach the railroad at Rough and Ready north of Jonesboro on September1, cutting Hardee off from Atlanta and facing the entire Army of the Tennessee from his defenses at Jonesboro.  After two days of battle, Hardee finally was forced to abandon the town during the night, retreating six miles south to Lovejoy’s Station where he again entrenched (Scaife 1993:131-134).

Meanwhile, Hood left Atlanta in the early morning hours of September 2 after blowing up a large supply of ammunition stored at the rail yards to prevent it from falling into Union hands.  On the morning of September 2, Slocum’s men found the city empty, and the mayor riding out under a white flag.  Word of this did not reach Sherman until the 3rd, however, and though he had heard the noise of the ammunition explosion from his position at Jonesboro, he was not certain of its meaning and so pressed on against Hardee until he got confirmation from a reliable source that Atlanta was occupied by Union forces (Castel 1992:524-527, 530).

Sherman pursued Hardee to Lovejoy’s Station, and found the Confederates in a strong position, being made stronger by the on-going construction of earthworks and abates.  The line ran east-west along a ridge known as Cedar Bluffs, with the right and left anchored on streams and the front protected by a series of swamps and tangled brush.  Major General Stanley of the 4th A.C., who occupied the left of the Union line, wrote to Sherman that the Confederate line was about a half-mile north of Lovejoy’s Station in front of the McDonough-Fayetteville Road.  “I think, he observed, “their object is to hold this road to make a junction with the troops in McDonough.”  This was indeed the case, as they were protecting the movement of Hood, with Stewart’s corps, and the Georgia Militia who were making their way toward Hardee.  Stephen D. Lee’s corps, which had been hung up between Atlanta and Jonesboro as Hood debated whether he was needed more in Atlanta or supporting Hardee, was moving into position on the Confederate right.  Sherman did not make any attempt to cut off Hood’s forces retreating from Atlanta on the 2nd.  If he had, he may have prevented the divided forces from reuniting and been able to deal a severe and possibly final blow to the Army of Mississippi.  Instead, he hoped that the work on the Confederate defenses was not complete, and that an attack would catch them unprepared (Castel 1992:521-522, 529-530).

Major J.A. Campbell, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Ohio received word from Union cavalry commander, Colonel Israel Garrard, “Major, I have the honor to report that I went across on to the McDonough and FayetteviiIIe road, striking it between three and four miles from, Lovejoy’s Station. Citizens report that infantry from Atlanta, said to be Lee’s corps, was moving all the morning, and that the stragglers were still passing when we reached the road. A large wagon train was moving on Thursday night and yesterday to Lovejoy’s Station. Last night Ross brigade of cavalry camped just this side of the road, and moved on this morning to Bear Creek Station, below Lovejoy’s. The force that moved on the road this morning had artillery. The people speak of there being a great deal of artillery, and of the infantry being very great in quantity, but as near as I could ascertain nook the regular column some three or four hours to pass.”

F. A. SHOUP, – Chief of Staff – Report at Lovejoy on SEPTEMBER 2,1864–6.30 p. m.
Lieutenant-General STEWART, Commanding Corps:  “From information recently received from General Hardee, and the artillery firing now going on, General Hood thinks it important that you take a very early start in the morning and move to his assistance.  Be certain you have good guides, well informed. Do not bear too far north, as it is reported the enemy moved out on the McDonough road from Jonesborough to-day. General Hardee’s line of battle crosses the railroad, running east and west, about half a mile in front of Lovejoy’s Station. From your present position you should come into the road leading to Lovejoy’s at or near Mount Carmel Church, approaching Hardee’s position rather from the north. Should he be driven from his position to-night I hope to inform you in time. That would make it necessary for you to move south on the Griffin road.”  (OR 50:1016).

On the afternoon of September 2, Sherman ordered Howard on the Union right and Stanley on the left, east of the railroad, to attack the Confederate line.  The Union advance pushed the rebels out of their skirmish pits, but the rough ground slowed the progress of the attack.  At 4 p.m., Howard received an order from Sherman to call off the attack, as the advantage to be gained was not worth the costs from attacking such a strong position.  Stanley did not receive the message, however, and continued to advance.  Wood’s and Kimball’s divisions struggled through “abrupt ascents, deep ravines, treacherous morasses, and the densest jungle,” coming within sight of the Confederate works at about 6 p.m.  (OR 1997:1:38:1:384).

Wood organized an attack from the left, using Knefler’s brigade from his division and Grose’s and Taylor’s brigades from Kimball’s division.  The advance overran the Confederate skirmish pits and found the main line of the enemy across a ‘deep ravine full of thick brush and fallen timber.”  Grose and Taylor decided not to attack the line and began digging in, but Knefler charged on and received a volley of musket fire than cut down 38 of his men (Castel 1992:530-532).  This action took place to the west of the Nash Farm property in the vicinity of the Stephen Green Dorsey home site, located at the corner of Freeman and McDonough Roads.

By this time, Brigadier General John M. Schofield’s 23rd A.C., which had been behind Stanley on the march from Jonesboro, had begun deploying to Stanley’s left after what he called “a long and tedious march, through fields and woods, upon the flank of the main army.”  Milo Hascall’s division, which was the first to arrive on Stanley’s left, was “subjected to a severe shelling” as they were getting into position.  According to Stanley, Hascall refused to support his attack and Stanley called off any further assaults.  Hascall did not mention this is his report, saying only that darkness had fallen before he could get in position, and he had been unable to take part in the advance, which had already ended (Castel 1992:532; OR 1997:1:38:2:519).

At 8 p.m. Sherman ordered Schofield to “fell for the McDonough Road, to prevent reinforcements coming to the enemy from that direction.”  Schofield replied that he would try to reach the road in the morning, if Lee’s corps did not come that way during the night, which is exactly what happened.  In the morning he wrote to Sherman the “the enemy’s line has been considerably extended [eastward] since last evening and is probably beyond my reach.”  The position is described as running “along a high ridge immediately in the front of the McDonough Road [the McDonough-Fayetteville Road south of the Nash Farm property] and behind Walnut Creek” (OR 1997:1:38:5:764, 774, 785-786).  Walnut Creek originates on the Nash Farm property, and the left flank of the Union line was facing the right flank of the Confederate line across the property, where their skirmishers were engaged in an effort to prevent any incursions by the enemy (Map).

A special field report was sent to U.S. Brig. Gen. J.D. Cox who was commanding the Third Division by Major Assistant Adjutant-General J.A. Campbell.  It read as follows:  “In the field:” -

GENERAL:  “The commanding general directs me to inform you that the signal officer reports that the enemy is in line of battle behind his works on his right, (flank), with battle-flags flying from the parapets, and he has thrown out about fifty skirmishers in his front and a company on his flank.”  Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. A. CAMPBELL, Major and Assistant Adjutant- General.  (OR: 1997: Chapter 50:799)

The 23rd corps prepared defensive works throughout the day of September 3rd as heavy rains fell in the afternoon and skirmishing and artillery fire continued across the front.  The skirmishing and shelling continued over the next two days, with Schofield’s lieutenants reporting varying levels of engagement.  (This accounts for the immense artillery shell fragments that have been recovered during the years by relic hunters and during the March 2007 Archaeological dig).  Major John W. Tucker of the 80th Indiana Infantry Regiment reported, “we reached the rebel line of works three miles east of Lovejoy’s Station, where we took up position within 500 yards of the enemy’s works, where we lay, continually skirmishing with the enemy until the evening of September 5th. (OR 1997:1:38:2: 606, 614,629, 631, 651).

When Sherman, had confirmed that Atlanta was his, he withdrew his army through Jonesboro and back to Atlanta, content with having achieved the objective of the campaign.  The withdrawal was orderly and uneventful, with Hood also taking advantage of the opportunity to rest and resupply.  In the attack on the Confederate line, the brunt of the damage was to the center and left flank of Stanley’s corps, to the west of the Nash Farm property, but some intense skirmishing and artillery bombardments took place along the east end of the line, (Confederate Right Flank) in the vicinity and beyond Nash Farm property.

General Stanley’s Official Report of the Infantry Battle Fought Near Lovejoy

 

OR, VOL 38, P.932                   THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.                   [CHAP. L]

September 2.–4.30 a. m., the enemy has retreated. 4.40 a. m., directed General Kimball to move down the railroad, Newton to move on his left and parallel with him, and Wood to follow Newton; all to move by the flank. 5.30 a. m., head of our column reached Jonesborough and halted. The skirmishers of the Army of the Tennessee are moving out in our front. 7.30 a. m., received instructions from General Sherman to move forward; at once directed division commanders to march, Newton’s division to lead, followed by Wood’s, then Kimball’s; the line of march to be southward, down the Macon railroad, after the enemy; our artillery, ambulances, and headquarters trains to move on the road along the side of the railroad. The Army of the Tennessee is moving along the direct road to Griffin, on the right hand of the railroad; we keep the railroad and the left hand dirt road. 7.50 a. m., our column passing through Jonesborough. 9.30 a. m., received note from General Thomas stating that our trains would move in the rear of our column, and that he had sent orders to send them in that direction. 9.30 a. m., directed General Kimball to leave one brigade with the trains as a guard. 12 m., have arrived at a point within two miles of Lovejoy’s Station. The enemy can be seen about half a mile this side of the station, and just this side of the McDonough and Fayette road, on high ground, building barricades and constructing earth-works. The Army of the Tennessee has halted on the right-hand side of the railroad and deploying in line of battle. 12.15 p. m., commenced to deploy and informed Major-General Thomas by note of this fact. 1.15 p.m., received word from General Thomas to push forward at once. 1.45 p. m., General Thomas sends word to General Stanley that “We have Atlanta,” and he wishes him to press forward as soon as he possibly can. The troops are not yet in position, but our skirmishers have advanced about half a mile. 2.25 p.m., Newton’s and Wood’s divisions now deployed, and the head of Kimball’s division has arrived. He is ordered to deploy on Wood’s left immediately. Newton holds the right of the line, then Wood, then Kimball. 2.35 p. m., General Thomas directed General Stanley to move forward just as soon as General Howard moves (General Howard will send word when he is ready), and informs him (General Stanley) that Schofield is coming up on his left; to feel for him, and let him know when he gets up. 2.40 p. m., put two batteries or ten guns on the right of our line to quiet the enemy’s batteries; our right rests on the railroad; division commanders
instructed to take the enemy’s works if possible; not to stop for anything trifling. 3.20 p.m., General Howard reports that he has given to his command the order to advance. 3.20 p. m., orders given division commanders to move forward. The Second Division did not make much progress (being on the right of our line), as the Army of the Tennessee did not move up in conjunction with them.

The Third Division was on the left of the Second, and the First on the left of the Third. The First and Third Divisions had to move through an almost impenetrable swamp and over deep ravines and high ridges, and the Second Division had to pass through a very
dense jungle. It was after 5 p. m. when we came up in sight of the enemy’s works. 5.30 p. m., Kimball made an endeavor to assault the enemy’s works, but could not succeed, as the enemy was too strong, and had a terrible enfilading fire of artillery on his line; at the same time Wood’s division (Third) made an assault; Knefler’s brigade got into the works, but could not hold them; his (Knefler’s) loss was quite severe in officers.

At the time of this assault General Schofield was coming up, and was one mile in the rear. Afterward he joined us and made a connection on our left. It is supposed that the enemy’s right this evening is about opposite the center of our left division (Kimball’s).

Our troops are building barricades in their front to-night. 8.30 p. m., received note from Major-General Thomas, directing that to-night we break the railroad thoroughly for a distance of one mile to our rear, and then press the enemy at daylight in the morning with our entire line, and, if practicable, to assault them; replied that it will be impossible to withdraw the troops to-night to destroy the road, and that the enemy’s works cannot be assaulted with success. When General Schofield came up to our left this p. m. Captain Steele, aide-de-camp, instructed Hascall’s brigade so as to turn the enemy’s right flank, but he refused to make the attempt, as we had one brigade in reserve. There is no doubt but that he would have been able to have struck the enemy’s right (we then knew where it was) and to have routed him. Took 90 enlisted men and 5 commissioned officers prisoners to-day.

September 3.–6 a. m., received word from department headquarters that Atlanta was in our possession, and that we would advance no farther. The object of the four months’ campaign has been gained. 7 a. m., received Special Field Orders [No. 63], of which
the following is a copy :*

9 a. m., received Special Field Orders [No. 63], of which following
is a copy:

OR, VOL 38  P.934                   THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN.                    [CHAP. L.]

Major-General STANLEY, Comdg. Fourth Army Corps:

GENERAL: In accordance with the above order, you will this p. m. send your empty wagons, sick aid wounded who are able to travel, to Jonesborough, with orders for the colonel commanding the regiment which goes in charge to report upon his arrival to Brevet Major-General Davis, who is to send his wagons, &c., to Atlanta in charge of a brigade, the commander of which will take charge of the whole.

Yours, very respectfully,
WM. D. WHIPPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

The above orders were promptly carried out. The Third Kentucky Infantry, Thirty-sixth Indiana Infantry, and the non-veterans of the Thirty-first Indiana Infantry and Fifteenth Ohio Infantry were sent to Jonesborough this p. m. with the train, and they will accompany it to Atlanta, all under command of Colonel Dunlap, Third Kentucky Infantry.

*See p. 86.     For full text of orders (here omitted) see Part V.

OR, VOL 38, CHAP. L.]     REPORTS, ETC.–ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND                    P.935

5 p. m., division commanders were instructed to cut roads to the rear of their respective divisions, so that their troops may be easily drawn off when we march to Atlanta. The enemy is yet behind his works in our front in force, and we have been skirmishing heavily with him all day. Have lost a number of men killed and wounded today; no report of the number. Day hot and showery.

September 4.–Nothing of importance occurred to-day. Only the usual skirmishing and artillery firing. The enemy yet in our immediate front, behind his strong works. Have had quite a number of men wounded and killed on the skirmish line to-day; at least 42 men.
Day clear and very hot. 8.40 p. m., received official copy of Special Field Orders [No. 64], as follows :*

September 5.–12. 30 p. m., received verbal instructions to withdraw the troops of the corps at 8 p. m. and the pickets at 12 p. m; these instructions received from Major-General Thomas. 1 p. m., sent orders to division commanders to withdraw their divisions at 8 p. m., moving to the field in the rear of corps headquarters, and then to march on the east side of the railroad to the position occupied by the corps on the night of the 1st instant, just beyond Jonesborough, the order of march to be, first, Newton’s division; second, Kimball’s; third, Wood’s. Pickets will be withdrawn at 12 m. Colonel Suman, Ninth Indiana, appointed special officer of the day. All headquarters wagons, ammunition wagons but five to a division and ambulances save six to a division, artillery wagons, and such artillery as can be moved without being observed, to be sent to the rear at once. 4.30 p. m., received Special Field Orders [No. 245), of which following is a copy:*

8 p. m., commenced to withdraw. The night is very dark, and the mud is so deep (owing to the heavy rains this morning) that the roads are almost impassable. The head of our column reached Jonesborough about 10.30 p. m.

Stanley's U.S. 4th  AC, "Order of Retreat From Lovejoy"

 

Stanley AC was position east of the Macon & Western RR with its left flank running towards Freeman Road and beyond.

HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,

Near Lovejoy's Station, Ga., September 5,1864.

Orders of the day for the Fourth Army Corps for today, September 5, 1864: In accordance with instructions received from headquarters the troops of this corps will withdraw tonight to the position they occupied on the night of the first instant, just beyond Jonesborough. After withdrawing to the field to the rear of the one in which corps headquarters is situated, the route of march will be along the east side of the railroad. The order of march will be, first, General Newton's division; second, General Kimball's; third, General Wood's. The troops will be drawn off at 8 p. m. exactly by headquarters time, and the pickets will be drawn off at exactly 12 p.m. Col. I. C. B. Suman, Ninth Indiana Infantry, is hereby detailed as special field officer of the day for to-day. He will report at these headquarters for orders at 5 pm., and division commanders will send their l  picket officers to report to him for instructions at the same time and place. All headquarters wagons, ambulances, except six to a division artillery wagons, ammunition wagons, except five to a division, and such artillery as can be withdrawn without attracting the attention of the enemy, will at once be sent beyond Jonesborough just to the rear of the position to be occupied by the troops to-night.

By order of Major-General Stanley:

J. S. FULLERTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Schofield's U.S. 23rd AC, "Order of Retreat from Lovejoy"

 

Serving as the U.S. left flank in the vicinity of Nash Farm, these field orders were given.

(To division commanders.)

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,          HDQRS. ARMY OF THE OHIO,

No. 101.         Near Lovejoy, Ga., September 5, 1864.

I. The army will move front its present position, in concert with the Army of the Cumberland, in the following manner: The trains will move to the rear, first the baggage and then the ordnance trains, taking the new road leading north from present headquarters. General Cox will send a regiment of infantry to guard the trains. General Cox will place his division on the ridge immediately in rear of headquarters. General
Hascall will then withdraw his division to the rear of General Cox, taking care to conceal the movement as much as possible from the enemy, and keeping his men under cover from the enemy's artillery. If the enemy follow, General Hascall will form his division in rear of General Cox, prepared to support him or cover his flank. Otherwise General Hascall will continue his march in rear of the trains. General Cox will follow as rear guard. Colonel Garrard will cover the flank of the infantry and trains during the march, using the road on which the infantry moved on the 2d instant. The first march will be to the position near Jonesborough occupied on the 1st instant, where orders will be given for further movements. The commanding general will give notice when the movement will begin.

By command of Major-General Schofield:
J. A. CAMPBELL,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Sherman's Reason For Leaving Lovejoy

 

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., September 8,1864.

General WEBSTER,

Nashville:

Don't let any citizens come to Atlanta, not one. I won't allow trade or manufactures of any kind, but will remove all the present population and make Atlanta a pure military town. Give public notice to this effect. General Thomas' army is now in and around Atlanta, General Howard's at East Point, and General Schofield's at Decatur. I want
Wheeler cleaned out, the roads repaired, and everything to the rear made right. Send forward paymasters. If the Sanitary Commission, have stores let them be sent to the agent at Chattanooga, whence we can draw as fast as we need. Hood s army retreated toward Macon, but will, I suppose, halt about Griffin. I was unprepared to follow below Lovejoy's, twenty-eight miles south of Atlanta, for we have been fighting constantly since about the 7th of May, and the men need rest and quiet. Our last move was beautiful and perfectly successful, as you observe from our occupation of the famous Atlanta. We have already found nineteen guns and others are being found daily. At Jonesborough, at the battle, we took 2 four-gun batteries, and in the whole move have near 3,000 prisoners. We killed about 500 at Jonesborough and wounded about 2,500. Our entire loss since beginning the movement will not exceed 1,500.

W.  T. SHERMAN,
Major-General, Commanding.

[VOL. 38, CHAP. L.]        CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.                831

Hood Remained Remains With His Army at Lovejoy

Hood remained with his army at Lovejoy’s station for much of September, before determining that he would swing around to the west to get in Sherman’s rear and attempt to cut his supply line (Hatfield 1983:68).  During that time (September 6-17), Stephen D. Lee’s corps camped on the Nash Farm as evidenced by several concentrations of camp related material recovered by relic hunters and Archaeologist from the site.

Report of Stephen D. Lee’s Campsites as mentioned in a report dated on SEPTEMBER 7,1864–10.50 p. m.  General LEE, Commanding Corps:  “General Hood desires that you select some convenient place near your present lines and bivouac your corps. Let your artillery go into regular park under its senior officer. Establish such police regulations as
shall secure the presence of the men.  [F. A. SHOUP, Chief of Staff.]

The spring head of Walnut Creek is situated on this property and there are numerous ponds.  A large cornfield grew on the Nash Farm at the time, which made this area a perfect place to camp.  Four separate campsites have been located on and near the property.  A North Carolina campsite was located on the southeast side of the largest pond on the property.  Other campsites have been tentatively identified between the ponds, in the southeastern and southwestern corners of the property.

 

Conclusion…

The historical research that was compiled from February through August 2007 by the LAMAR Institute’s research team at Nash Farm sheds new light on the importance of the August 20th action.  The July and August cavalry battles, were significant in the implementation and outcome of Major General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea Campaign.  This campaign was launched in mid-November of 1864.  During the summer of 1864, Sherman had three major U.S. Cavalry divisions at his command.  These were McCook’s, Kilpatrick’s, and Stoneman’s Cavalry.

McCook’s cavalry was adversely affected by the July battle at Lovejoy and his cavalry was defeated at Brown’s Mill, near Newnan, a few days later.  Stoneman’s cavalry was defeated at Sunshine Church in Jones County, also in July. That left only Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division intact. With no other option, General Sherman sent Kilpatrick on a mission around the south side of Atlanta, known as Kilpatrick’s Raid. The events of August 20, 1864 east of Lovejoy, Georgia at Nash Farm nearly resulted in the defeat of Kilpatrick’s cavalry. Had they not escaped from the Texas Cavalry by a daring charge, Major General Sherman would have been left without an effective cavalry force during his March to the Sea. Such a deficit in his army may have led to his choosing a completely different strategy of attack or withdrawal.

The most abundant battlefield evidence on the Nash Farm Battlefield Park property that was discovered and documented by the LAMAR Institute’s archaeological survey in February 2007 was associated with the August, 1864 Cavalry action. Other battlefield debris was also discovered and documented on the grounds, resulted from the September infantry battle.  The July 1864 battle was confined to Clayton County and is not evidenced on the Nash Farm property, unlike the August Cavalry action.

More than 1,300 metal artifacts were located by the LAMAR Institute’s survey team and were carefully plotted on the landscape. Of these, at least 800 are definitely Civil War related.  The survey also documented several Confederate Army campsites, which dot the landscape in this part of metropolitan Atlanta. These were the “Rest and Relaxation” camps of Confederate General S.D. Lee’s Confederate troops after the fighting in September officially ended the Atlanta Campaign.  While these campsites are important cultural resources, they can be distinguished between the battlefield debris to a certain extent.

The findings of the LAMAR Institute’s archaeological work certainly indicated Henry Counties portion of the Battle of Lovejoy.  The facts are that the Nash Farm site does indeed include a Civil War cavalry battle and was totally supported by factual evidence, including both archaeological and primary historical documentation.  In addition to the many fired and unfired minie balls from weapons possessed by the Cavalry and Infantry regiments of both armies in the Civil War, the survey team located artillery shell fragments, explosive cannon ball bomb fragments, cannon friction primers, grapeshot (or anti-personnel ordnance), Cavalry and Infantry uniform buttons, saber fragments, horseshoes, other Cavalry horse regalia, and many personal effects (wedding rings, jewelry, keepsakes, etc.) that were lost by the soldiers in the heat of battle.  These were all located and recorded at the Nash Farm site.

When carefully plotted on the landscape the story of the August 20th battle begins to emerge with U.S. Cavalry movements from a west to east direction evident and areas of intense clash and artillery bombardment just west of the Nash Farm house (on the Nash Farm site) clearly evident. The spatial patterning of these artifacts is such that the LAMAR Institute research team was able to plot the approximate location of one Texas Cavalry defensive line and an area to the south of that line where the U.S. Cavalry outflanked the Confederates and made their escape. The dozens of horseshoes, many with nails still intact on them, illustrate where more than 4,000 U.S. Cavalry charged the Texans on the Nash Farm property.

Only a very small percentage of the Civil War sites in Georgia and the entire United States are protected. In Georgia, only a small handful of these sites are actually protected as state or federal parks. Most of the other sites are subject to destruction through development, looting, or other forces, at the discretion of the landowners.  Congress recently has mandated an update of this 15 year old study, the 1993 Civil War battlefield study.  This is fortunate, since the subject of the Battle of Lovejoy needs to be revisited and its significance reassessed in light of the substantial new evidence uncovered through archaeology and extensive historical research.

In the years since 1993 thousands of acres of Georgia’s battlefields and Civil War-era cultural landscapes have been destroyed by modern land use.  The creation of the Nash Farm Battlefield Park protects only 204 acres of a battlefield landscape.  It does not include any property in Clayton County because it was acquired by Henry County.

Clayton County should help protect its own resources and Henry County should not be faulted for attempting to protect non-renewable cultural resources within its boundary.  The acquisition and protection of the entire battle of Lovejoy military theatre is impractical today. Such foresight would have been practical in 1993 and even more practical in 1964, but we are faced with the present situation.  Real estate prices in the Lovejoy area are not cheap and former farmland, timberland, and pasture is fast being transformed into houses, streets, schools, and strip malls.

Henry County took a brave step to actually protect a piece of American history.  Subsequent historical and archaeological research on the property has borne out the wisdom of this purchase of battlefield property.

Daniel T. Elliott, Register of Professional Archaeologists
President, The LAMAR Institute, Inc.
February 22, 2008.

TE Nash Claims Commission

Thompson Edward Nash and Elizabeth Nash Thompson E. Nash was a minister who contributed land for the County Line Methodist Church (now County Line Congregational Christian Church), and also served as postmaster of Fosterville, which at that time apparently was located on McDonough Road near the County Line Methodist Church or possibly near Walnut Creek. …

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