At Bear Creek Station (Hampton), on Sept. 4, 1864, Brig. Gen. Joseph H. Lewis famous "Orphan Brigade" (2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th Kentucky Infantry) was relieved from assignment to Bate's division, Hardee's corps. Army of Tennessee [CS], in which it had served with conspicuous gallantry all through Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's classic retreat from his exposed position at Dalton to the strong lines surrounding Atlanta and later, through Gen. John B. Hood's failure to hold that vitally important city.
The "Orphan Brigade," "orphaned" because the secession movement had failed in Kentucky, leaving them with no "home state" in the Confederacy, was then assigned to Jackson's division, Wheeler's cavalry corps [CS] and ordered to Griffin for the purpose of being mounted, partly on horses surrendered by Maj. Gen. Geo. Stoneman, USA, to Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson, Jr., CSA, at Sunshine Church (19 miles NE of Macon) on July 31,1864.
In its new role as "mounted infantry," the Orphans served in Wheeler's corps all through the last winter of the Confederacy, actively opposing Gen. Sherman's destructive March to the Sea and his subsequent campaign through the Carolinas. When, at last, the gallant Army of Tennessee was surrendered at Durham Station, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865. the Orphans had added fresh laurels to the already great name which four years of glorious achievements had earned.