(Front Side): The Mell Rifles, Co. D, Cobb's Legion Infantry, was raised in Athens, GA. in July 1861, by Patrick Hues Mell, Baptist minster and Vice Chancellor of the University of Georgia. After Mell resigned due to his wife's death, Thomas U. Camak was named commander. John Boswell Cobb, Robert Goodman, and W.A. Winn were named lieutenants. Noncommissioned officers were J.F. Wilson, Wm. A. Gilleland, S.P. Kenney, G.W. Barber, J.J. Mattox, and L.H. Horne. The unit fought throughout the war until two days before Appomattox when it was surrounded and captured. Troup Light Artillery
Sgt. Benjamin Mell, son of Patrick, was seriously wounded. Thomas S. Lee, a local Southern sympathizer, nursed Mell at his home, "Needwood Forest," near Petersville. Mell died there on Oct. 21, 1862, and was buried in St. Mark's Episcopal Churchyard, Petersville, his grave marked by a handsome monument.
The Troup Light Artillery was organized in Athens in 1859 and was placed under command of Professor Marcellus Stanley. Stanley later became ill and turned over command to Dr. Henry Carlton, an Athens physician. In his report on the Battle of Crampton's Gap, Gen. Howell Cobb praised the unit for coolness under fire in checking the advance of the enemy.
(Back Side): This marker is erected to honor the memory of Athenians and their neighbors who fell at Crampton's Gap on September 14, 1862. The valor of these citizen-soldiers is remembered with gratitude and affection. Most of these men now lie in uninscribed graves in Washington Confederate Cemetery, Rose Hill, Hagerstown, MD:
Cobb's Legion, Cobb's Brigade
John J.N. Kenney
Mell Rifles or Camak's Company
Co. D, Cobb's Legion Infantry, Cobb's Brigade
J. Martin V.B. Cody, Asa G. Haguewood, John McHannon
Cody Fowler, George T. Highland, Jr., Benjamin Mell
William Glover, John F. Kenney, Burwell E. Yerby
Also killed were Col. John Basil Lamar, General Howell Cobb's aide and brother-in-law, and Lt. Col. Jefferson Mirabeau Lamar, Commander of Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb's Georgia Legion Infantry, who had close ties to Athens.