Thursday, August 21, 2014

TBT John T. Wilder

Today's Throwback Thursday is inspired by the book I'm currently reading. Blue Lightning: Wilder's Mounted Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Chickamauga by Richard A. Baumgartner.

Colonel Wilder was a remarkable man in that he was willing to consider unconventional methods to protect his men and turn them into one of the most effective fighting forces the world had ever seen to that point.

His troops were infantry and fought on foot, but when he was charged with chasing John Hunt-Morgan's cavalry, he petitioned his superiors to allow him to mount his men in order to make them more mobile.

Perhaps even more significant, Wilder armed his men with Spencer repeating rifles. This enabled his men to shoot seven times faster than their opponents with single-shot muzzle-loading rifles. Wilder's Indiana and Illinois troops showed their rifles' superiority at the Battle of Hoover's Gap and at Chickamauga.

Having recently visited the Chickamauga Battlefield, I was eager to learn more about this interesting brigade and its fearless commander. He was so beloved by his men, they erected in his honor the only privately funded monument at the Chickamauga Battlefield. The tower stands 85 feet tall on a rise near Widow Glenn's home.

Wilder Monument - Chickamauga

The view across Glenn Field toward Brotherton Field from the top of the Wilder Monument
I've almost finished reading Blue Lightning, and I'm more fascinated than ever. 

Have you visited Chickamauga or another Civil War Battlefield?  Have you heard of Wilder's Lightning Brigade?


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5 comments:

  1. Oh Erica, thanks for sharing! I'd love to visit some day. My husband's 3x great grandfather was a Lieutenant in Company G 108th Indiana Infantry. He marched on foot and was taken prisoner there.

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    1. You would love all the monuments on the battlefield. Indiana has a lot!

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  2. We've visited Fort Morgan in Alabama a couple of times. We've even been fortunate enough to see a war reenactment.

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    1. I love Civil War reenactments! I've not been to Fort Morgan. I'll have to read up on it. :)

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  3. An interesting post, Erica!! I hadn't heard of Chickamauga or Wilder's Lightning Brigate. Will have to learn more about it when I have time. I've been to several Civil War battlefields - one being Gettsburg.

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