Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Killed at the Battle of Chickamauga

I mentioned in my previous post, Tombstone Tuesday - The Knights at Burnt Church, that my sister and I went to the cemetery at Union Primitive Baptist Church (Burnt Church) in Lakeland, Georgia, to visit the graves of our maternal fourth great grandparents William Anderson and Sarah Cone Knight. While we were there, we found the graves of several other members of the Knight family. The grave of Barzilla S. Knight, their grandson, particularly caught my eye:

Headstone of Barzilla S. Knight at the Union Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in Lakeland, Georgia
This is inscribed on the back of his headstone: "In Memory Killed-Battle of Chickamauga" (see below)

The back of the headstone of Barzilla S. Knight at the Union Primitive Baptist Church cemetery in Lakeland, Georgia
Born in 1836 in Ware County, Georgia, Barzilla was the son of Jonathan W. and Frances Staten Knight and nephew of my maternal third great grandmother Sarah Knight Roberts.  He enlisted as a Corporal in the 29th Georgia Infantry, Company K of the Confederate Army in 1861.

1861 Civil War muster roll record of Barzilla Knight
The 29th Infantry was organized at Big Shanty, Georgia, the year Barzilla enlisted. Companies A and G were in the Savannah area and handled the heavy artillery.  The other companies were at Charleston.

In May 1862, Barzilla was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant:

Card File record of Barzilla Knight's promotion to 2nd Lieutenant

Barzilla's muster rolls note where he was and when:  on Sapelo Island in November 1861; Caustons Bluff in May, June, and July 1862; sick and on furlough "near Savannah," August through September 1862;  sick at Camp Young in November 1862; and sick at Camp Clingmans (?) December 1862.  On December 23, 1862, he signed a requisition for 45 blankets.  On February 25, 1863, he signed a requisition for 13 blankets, and on August 21, he signed a requisition for 9 jackets, 21 pairs of pants, 8 cotton shirts, 6 pairs of drawers, and 16 pairs of shoes.

In September 1863, the 29th Regiment was consolidated with the 30th Regiment and which then joined the Army of Tennessee campaign.   The battle of Chickamauga began at sunrise the morning of September 19. Barzilla died that day, the first day of the battle.

Google Earth aerial of the location of the Battle of Chickamauga in north Georgia

Card File Record of Barzilla Knight's death in the battle of Chickamauga on September 19, 1863.
A map on the Civil War Trust website shows the positions of both Union and Confederate troops during the morning of September 19, and there are links to maps of the afternoon fighting on that day and on the following day, September 20.

Total casualties of this battle were estimated at over 34,000 soldiers.  That's hard to fathom.  That's more than half of the population of the town I live in.

Sources used:

National Park Service, Civil War, Confederate Georgia Troops, 29th Regiment, Georgia Infantry (http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-regiments-detail.htm?regiment_id=CGA0029RI : accessed November 21, 2013)

Compiled Service Records, Barzilla Knight, Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia. Carded Records, compiled 1903-1927, documenting the period 1861-1865. Record Group 109.  National Archives, Washington, D.C. Images.  Fold3 (http://www.fold3.com/ : accessed  23 October 2013).

Civil War Trust, Saving America's Battlefields.  (http://www.civilwar.org/ : accessed 23 October 2013).

The Battle of Chickamauga.  Civil War Trust, Saving America's Battlefields.  (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/chickamauga.html?tab=facts : accessed 21 November 2013).

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