"The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station"

"The Old Bronze Gentleman of Lovejoy's Station" (HM1BVH)

Location: Hampton, GA 30228 Henry County
Country: United States of America

N 33° 27.507', W 84° 17.451'

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Captain Edward Croft's Flying Artillery of Columbus, Georgia

At first light of August 20, 1864, Confederate General Sul Ross's Texas Cavalry had located Kilpatrick's retreating Federals near Lee's Mill and fought their rear guard as they took the road that led southward to the McDonough Road. This road took Kilpatrick's raiders on a direct path to his next objective, "Lovejoy's Station."

By midmorning, contact was made with Kilpatrick's main body near the station s where the Texans were joined by the cavalry brigades of Generals Red Jackson and Daniel Reynolds Arkansas infantry brigade.

Kilpatrick's troopers were soon surrounded at Lovejoy's station and they were forced to fall back. Kilpatrick's cavalry retreated eastward on the McDonough road and reformed on a ridge located just west of Nash farm, where Kilpatrick's officers quickly devised a plan of escape.

A reference from, "Capt. Croft's Flying Artillery Battery," Columbus, Georgia by William Forbes, page 211-212 describes the action:

However, when Kilpatrick was about four miles from Lovejoy's and near the Nash place, the Confederate's "got them surrounded." To assault the stalled enemy, Ross dismounted his troopers in a lane and deployed them "in line in the open field to the left or south side of the lane, (McDonough road) and as section of Croft's Georgia Battery was placed on an elevation to the right of the lane."

Observing these maneuvers, Kilpatrick realized his danger and quickly determined to save his command by a desperate drive, (cavalry charge), to break out of the encircling Rebels. With sabers flashing, the Yankee raiders charged forward in "three heavy columns" along the McDonough Road covered by Lieutenant Young's howitzer. As the blue coated column thundered headlong toward him, Young "played on their charge?throwing shells across the charging columns until his ammunition was exhausted and his piece overrun."

It was in this charge that the old belching 12-pounder under Lieutenant George B. Young from Columbus, GA., did noble and effective work. As a column would charge down on him, he would open so wide a break in it that it would pass him without running over his gun. He fired rapidly, turning his gun in three or four different directions. The enemy made desperate attempts to take it and twice General Ross sent word to Lieutenant Young that he better leave his gun and try to save his men. His reply was, "Not while I have a shot left."

Then General Ross took thirty men and went up to the piece and said, "Well, Young, if you are determined to stay with your gun, we will stay with you." They did stay there ?til they had fired every round of ammunition. Next to the last round, a double charge of grape shot cracked the gun barrel but it did not frighten them from firing the last shot.

Only then did they abandon the disabled bronze howitzer. Kilpatrick's troopers eventually hauled it away from the knoll as a battlefield trophy and continued heading eastward toward McDonough.

Lieutenant Young reported one artilleryman killed, Cpl. A.F. Knight, and five wounded.

Captain Edward A. Croft, Columbus GA.
Placed ByThe Order of the Southern Cross
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 9:44am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 751797 N 3705396
Decimal Degrees33.45845000, -84.29085000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 27.507', W 84° 17.451'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 27' 30.42" N, 84° 17' 27.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)770, 678
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 227 McDonough Rd, Hampton GA 30228, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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