Local News

October 20, 2013

Civil War anniversary: The aftermath of the Battle of Chickamauga in Dalton

In the days leading up to the Battle of Chickamauga the movements of the Union and Confederate armies affected many changes in Dalton. On Sept. 7, 1863, all the Confederate hospitals, their staffs and the 300 or so patients were evacuated from Dalton to other locations farther south in Georgia.

Many of the citizens of Dalton would follow suit, relocating in places considered more suitable for their families. Yet, when Confederate Gen. James Longstreet’s troops came to Dalton on their way to Chickamauga they were welcomed here in their overnight camps and were cheered on their way the next day.

The biggest change was yet to come. After the Battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 19-20, 1863, special arrangements had to be made to take care of the thousands of wounded being removed from the battlefield.

Medical Director Samuel H. Stout in one of his reports stated, “After the battle it became necessary to reopen hospitals in Ringgold and Dalton for the reception and shipment of patients.”

Ringgold was north of some burned bridges on the Western and Atlantic Railroad so many of the wounded were sent to Tunnel Hill and Dalton for the first three days after the battle and there placed in boxcars to be sent to hospitals further south.

Until about Oct. 1 the wounded were brought to the wood station near Catoosa Platform where they slowly but eventually were removed to hospitals for treatment. The hospitals that had been removed from Tunnel Hill before the battle were never reopened.

Among the first surgeons to arrive in Dalton was W.L. Hilliard. He arrived Sept. 18, 1863, from Knoxville, Tenn., and was placed in charge of the hospitals at the post there.

Surgeon R.P. Bateman was ordered back from Newnan to establish a receiving and distribution hospital (R&D) in Dalton. It was quickly set up in the Western and Atlantic Hotel and immediately began receiving hundreds of the wounded from the battlefield.

Surgeon James B. Murfree was ordered to gather up all the property belonging to the Asylum Hospital that had been in Knoxville and proceed without delay to Dalton. On Sept. 23, Murfree reopened the Asylum Hospital and treated patients for the next 69 days before moving to Madison.

On Oct. 28, Surgeon Samuel Meredith was ordered back to Dalton and placed in charge of the hospital operations. On Nov. 15, Surgeon Lunsford P. Yandell was ordered to move the Stout Hospital back to Dalton and report to Meredith for assignment. 

On Nov. 28, after 30 days’ service in Dalton, Meredith was instructed to shut down the various hospitals in Dalton. Yandell was ordered to report to Gen. Stewart for assignment by Gen. Breckenridge. 

With the exception of the R&D Hospital, all other hospitals in Dalton were closed and removed to other cities further south. TheR &D Hospital would remain in Dalton through the long cold winter until the end of April 1864, at which time it was removed to Griffin.

The living conditions in Dalton through September, October and November 1863 were somewhat chaotic, to say the least. Farmers and businessmen like John S. Oliver, the Rev. Arch Fitzgerald and W.J.M. Thomas and others were filing claims with the Confederate government for damages done to their properties by Longstreet’s troops as they moved through Dalton.

Rail fences were handy and were taken by the thousands and burned in the camp fires. Tens of acres of standing corn, wheat and sugar cane were confiscated and consumed as forage for the horses and the troops. Their claims for damages were proven and for the most part paid in full.

Foragers for the hospitals were traveling as far away as Fannin County to find subsistence. Times were difficult in Dalton and would remain so for several years to come.

This article is part of a series of stories about Dalton and life in Dalton during the Civil War. The stories run on Sunday and are provided by the Dalton 150th Civil War Commission. To find out more about the committee, go to www.dalton150th.com. If you have material that you would like to contribute for a future article contact Robert Jenkins at (706) 259-4626 or robert.jenkins@robertdjenkins.com.

Text Only
Local News
  • runner thompson.jpg Taking the race back

    Dean Thompson didn’t go 100 yards in his 26.2 miles through the streets of Boston without seeing people on the side of the road cheering for him.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobby Lee Dixon mg.jpg Officials: Man jailed for driving toward officer

    A Chatsworth man who officials said accelerated a vehicle toward a law enforcement officer who was approaching on foot remains in the Murray County jail without bond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Charges undetermined following standoff (Updated 5:45 p.m.)

    Police have yet to decide whether to press criminal charges against a man they say was armed and intoxicated while barricading himself in his office at a carpet mill in downtown Dalton Tuesday evening.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Man charged for using fraudulent Social Security card

    A man is being held in the Whitfield County Jail on multiple charges for using a fraudulent Social Security card with someone else’s Social Security number to land a job at a rug manufacturer in Dalton and for providing false information to receive workers’ compensation benefits, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.

    April 23, 2014

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

    A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Local wrestler ‘made everybody smile’

    Rash Renegade got his wrestling nickname after a motorcycle wreck several years ago left him with a bad case of road burn.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pinwheels in murray '14 1 mlh.jpg Awareness can prevent child abuse

    Three hundred forty-six pinwheels dotted the Murray County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday, representing 346 reported cases of child abuse in the county last year.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray library, regional system still far apart

    Murray County officials say they will announce soon if they will follow through with their plan to take the Chatsworth-Murray Library out of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fire believed to have started outside home

    Investigators are still working to learn what sparked a fire that nearly destroyed a house at 602 Top St. in Dalton on Monday.

    April 22, 2014