In Memoriam

In Memoriam (HM1S87)

Location: Newnan, GA 30263 Coweta County
Country: United States of America

N 33° 20.012', W 84° 50.673'

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Inscription

Brown's Mill Battlefield

On June 17, 1908, a small group of ladies from Chapter 599 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy gathered at this place with a few Confederate veterans to dedicate a monument to "the only battle of the
Civil War fought in Coweta county." Mrs. Catharine Wright Gibson, who had suggested the idea, shoveled the first spade full of dirt into the hole dug to set up a simple four-foot marble shaft with the inscription:


GEN. JOS. WHEELER, C.S.A.,
ROUTED GEN. E. M. MCCOOK, U.S.A
JULY 27, 1864
CAPTURING 900 OF HIS MEN
NEWNAN CHAPTER U.D.C.,
1908


Among those watching was Tom Carpenter. An eyewitness to the battle, he had grown up just down the LaGrange Road in a single-story clapboard house which still showed signs of the fighting on that hot July afternoon when he was thirteen years old.

For 5 dollars Carpenter had sold the U.D.C. the 5-foot-square parcel of land where the monument stood. After the dedication, he invited the ladies and their guests to his home for some relief from the summer heat. He pointed out several bullet holes in the walls as well as a faint stain which grew darker on cloudy days, discoloring the planks of the covered porch connecting the house with the kitchen. This stain he said, marked the spot where a badly wounded Union officer had lain. Dressed in a white linen shirt and wearing a diamond ring, the bleeding man had pillowed his head on his blue coat before apparently falling unconscious. When a straggling Yankee trooper knelt beside him and began tugging at the coat the officer suddenly revived and hurled a string of invectives at the thief. Carpenter claimed he never heard such cussing in all his life, before or since.

The man who made this profound impression upon young Tom Carpenter was almost certainly Lieutenant Colonel William H. Torrey, a rough-and-tumble Wisconsin lumberman. Shot in his left lung at the beginning of the Battle of Brown's Mill, Torrey was later taken to Newnan's Buckner Hospital, where he died on August 2, 1864.
The monument accurately marked the spot where Wheeler's cavalry had ambushed Torrey's brigade but it dated the battle incorrectly. This error was remedied when the shaft suffered significant damage sometime after February 1910.

Under the leadership of longtime president Helen M. Long, the Newnan chapter persuaded George L. Wynn, who had acquired the Carpenter farm, to deed them enough land for one dollar to double the size of the monument lot. After erecting an iron fence anchored by four granite posts, the U.D.C. dedicated a new and larger" marble marker on July 24, 1912, which read:


GEN. JOS. WHEELER, C.S.A.,
ROUTED GEN. E. M. MCCOOK, U.S.A
JULY 30, 1864
CAPTURING 500 OF HIS MEN
NEWNAN CHAPTER U.D.C.,
1908


This new monument corrected the date of the Battle of Brown's Mill, but it seriously undercounted the number of prisoners taken. Wheeler actually captured about 1300 of McCook's men, crippling Sherman's cavalry and changing the course of the Atlanta campaign.
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Details
HM NumberHM1S87
Year Placed2013
Placed ByCoweta County, Georgia Departments of Transportation & Natural Resources
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, May 16th, 2016 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 700611 N 3690337
Decimal Degrees33.33353333, -84.84455000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 20.012', W 84° 50.673'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 20' 0.72" N, 84° 50' 40.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)770, 678
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1-249 Millard Farmer Rd, Newnan GA 30263, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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