Dedication of marker is Saturday

Tue, 08/15/2006 - 4:27pm
By: Carolyn Cary

An historical marker will be unveiled this Saturday outlining the Civil War skirmish at the Shakerag community.

Just before dawn, July 30, 1864, a cavalry raid to cut the last two railroads supplying Atlanta was headed by Union Big. Gen. Edward M. McCook, who ordered the 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry to halt near the Asa Mitchell house, on Ebenezer Road in the community of Shakerag, now Peachtree City.

Union Lt. Col. Robert Kelly deployed some of his men to create a breastworks, using the wooden fence posts along the farms, and the rest of his men to hold any pursuing Confederates at bay until daylight.

Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler ordered Lt. Col. Paul Anderson’s 4th Tennessee Cavalry to dismount and attack on foot, while troopers from the 8th Texas, 1st Tennessee, and the 9th Tennessee battalions spurred toward both flanks.

Though Kelly’s men repulsed five separate assaults, Wheeler led a headlong charge that broke the Union line, captured Kelly and about 200 of his men, and routed the rest. Both sides suffered many casualties in the process.

These heavy losses destroyed McCook’s rear guard. Wheeler left the wounded with local Shakerag families and continued pursuit of Union forces toward Newnan.

In a reminisce written about 1936, Lucy Collier wrote, “In August, 1864, when a branch of Sherman’s Army came from Jonesboro and passed through Fayette County, I was a young girl 18 years old. I was visiting at my uncle’s home, Mr. Acy Mitchell‘s near Ebenezer Church. When Mr. Johnson said ‘the Yankees are coming!’ McCook’s raid came right through my uncles fence into the yard – a regular stampede – went on to the smoke-house to get the meat, but found it hanging so high they did not take time to get it, as the confederates rushed on them so close. We women ran out into the woods to hide. When we realized we were between the two armies fighting, we lay flat on the ground almost frightened to death. … Next morning we went and looked over the battle ground, it was a desolate looking place.”

The Skirmish at Shakerag will be noted on a historical plaque and will be dedicated August 19, at 9 a.m. Congressman Lynn Westmorland and noted Confederate author, Dr. David Evans, will be the featuredspeakers. The public is invited.

The dedication will take place at the corner of Ebenezer Road and Davis Road, 1.4 miles south of Georgia Highway 54.

For information, call 770-719-8583 or 770-716-8880.

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