Brown's Mill Battlefield

In this page, you can truly come to light on how remarkable and important this battle was, not only in the civil war, but in our country's history as well. Enjoy!

Summary

The Battle of Brown's Mill was fought July 30, 1864, in Coweta County, during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War.  While attempting to cut communication and supplies to south-central Georgia, Edward M. McCook's Union cavalry was meat with an unexpeteing force: Confederate soldiers.  Under Joseph Wheeler's leadership, the Confederate forces defeated the union forces and helped to change the course of the Atlanta Campaign. This defeat forced Sherman to quit his efforts to cut  Atlanta's railroads, and he was then forced to siege Atlanta in a more difficult way.

Leaders

Joseph Wheeler

Joseph Wheeler was born in Augusta Georgia on September 10, 1836.  In September of 1861 he was appointed as the Colonel of the 19th Alabama Infantry. On April 6-7 in 1862,he covered the Confederate retreat, and in July he was given command of the Calvary in General Braxton Bragg's army of Mississippi. Since then, he as almost contentiously in the field. He was wounded three times and had 16 horses shot from under him.  He even helped to cut railroad tracks to Union sources.He is most famous for his contact with General Sherman, when he engaged his Calvary on several occasions.  The most famous being the Battle of Brown's Mill, where he defeated the union Calvary from cutting supplies and communication to Confederate sources.

Brigadier Edward M. McCook

Edward Moody McCook was born on June 15, 1833, in Steubenville, Ohio, and on May 8, 1862 McCook joined the cavalry and was commissioned lieutenant. McCook commanded a cavalry brigade at the Battle of Perryville in October 1862 and a division at Chickamauga in September 1863. On April 27, 1864, McCook was promoted to brigadier general and was given command of the First Cavalry Division in the Army of the Cumberland. In late July 1864, during General Sherman's massive cavalry offensive, his 3,600 cavalrymen severed the Macon & Western Railroad and planned an attempt to free the 30,000 federal POWs at Camp Sumter at Andersonville. McCook took part in Wilson’s Raid through Alabama and Georgia in the closing months of the war and was present at the Battle of Selma, where federal cavalry defeated Confederate cavalry legend General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

The Story

Sleepless and exhausted, McCook's  advance guard approached Newnan early on July 30th, only to find a trainload of Confederate soldiers  blocking the road ahead of them.

           The train, carrying Brigadier General Philip D. Roddey and 550 dismounted Alabama cavalry men, had stopped at Newnan during the night due to the damage the raiders had done to the tracks at Palmetto. At that instant, McCook's advance guard came charging over the hill on the Lower Fayetteville Road (now East Broad Street). Roddey's startled troopers grabbed their guns and opened fire, quickly forcing the Federals to retreat. Late that morning, while McCook searched for a road to carry his column around the south side of Newnan, General Joe Wheeler galloped into town with 720 men. Dividing his small force, Wheeler sent 200 men down LaGrange Street and out on the Corinth Road to intercept the head of the Yankee column, while he hurried the rest of his command down the Grantville Road (present day Old Corinth Road) to strike the raiders' flank. Shortly after noon, a flurry of gunshots erupted three miles southwest of Newnan, at the intersection of the Ricketyback (Millard Farmer) and Corinth Roads. As Ashby's men ambushed McCook's  guard, the rest of Wheeler's command struck the blue-coated column's flank, driving the Yankees into the woods south of the Ricketyback Road.  As the fighting see-sawed back and forth through the tangled woods, McCook suffered heavy casualties while Wheeler received substantial reinforcements. Brigadier General Robert H. Anderson arrived with about 400 Confederate cavalrymen who had ridden more than fifty miles by the time they reached the battlefield. They went into the fight about the same time General Roddey marched up with 1,000 dismounted cavalrymen, convalescent soldiers, and medical personnel from Newnan's four military hospitals. Fighting on foot alongside Wheeler's men, these troops repeatedly charged the Yankee lines, steadily crowding them back.
           By late afternoon, two of McCook's brigade commanders were missing in action and his men were running out of ammunition. Calling his officers together, McCook declared the situation was hopeless. He was going to surrender.

Why Was it Important?

This defeat of the Union had a large impact on the war.  First off, the Confederates beating the Union helped to protect what the Union was out to destroy on this mission: supplies and communication to Georgia.  The Union Calvary was attempting to cut all the supplies and communication to Georgia, making them weak and unable to defend themselves to the full extent.  Their defeat forced Sherman to stop his intended plan of cutting Georgia's railroads and burning most of the state.  Sherman then had to make a plan to bring down Georgia in a different way, by seizing Atlanta.   

Brown's Mill Battlefield Historic Site

In March of 2001, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recommended that the state purchase 104 acres for the Brown’s Mill battlefield site as part of the green space program. The site, which would contain nature trails and  displays, would also be part of the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trail. On December 5, 2001, the Coweta County Commission voted unanimously to proceed with the purchase of acreage needed to create the Brown’s Mill battlefield site, using funds provided to the county from the state’s green space program and a grant from the Department of Natural Resources

Why Should I Go?

Learning about Social Studies and learning about the past, has always been something I have been interested in and enjoyed doing. Seeing something of this proportion, and these importance would be amazing.  Something like a war reenactment really brings history to life, and that is something I would absolutely love to see and witness.  I feel like this would be something i could fully appreciate and get a lot out the experience.  Doing this research and learning about this battle, has just further intrigues me, and i truly hope you will think of letting experience this remarkable piece of history.