BGES Streight's Raid Tour Eastport MS to Cedar Bluff AL June 25-27, 2021

lelliott19

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I woulda done it too. :D
I know you would have been right in the ditch with me! Thanks @bdtex

Now here's something most people have never seen. The Blount Plantation. Not because it's hard to find - it's not - just most people don't know they're looking at it when they see it.
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The engagement here at the Blount Plantation on May 2nd was disastrous for Streight. It was here that the men realized that, in crossing Big Wills Creek, their powder had gotten wet. Having not slept for days, they were tired. Not just tired but sleep-deprived --- dead on their feet. And to make matters worse, the trap they had prepared to spring on Forrest just south of here was a failure. Colonel Gilbert Hathaway -- Streight's right hand man, the gallant and brave commander of the 73rd Indiana, was killed here by a sharpshooter's bullet fired from 1/2 mile away. Writing back to Mrs. Hathaway to inform her of her husband's death, John A Frazier, Chaplain 73rd IN:

...It is with much regret I seat myself to write you to inform you of the death of your husband, Col. Gilbert Hathaway, although you may have heard of it before this time through some other source. He was shot in the battle on the 2nd of May about three o'clock in the afternoon. I was not present when he was shot, but was with him as soon as I could get there. When I got to him he was not quite dead, but could not say anything. I helped to carry him into a house where I closed his eyes in death. I took all his effects from his pockets and when I had got done, my hands were covered in his blood. He was shot a little to the right of the centre of his breast, the ball going through his lung. He died very easily, without a struggle....His death was felt through the whole brigade and his regiment felt that they had lost all that was dear....There was no one so brave....I loved him as a Christian and a warrior. He was too brave.....​
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lelliott19

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At the Blount Plantation stop (Post #22 above), we learned of Colonel Abel D. Streight's many challenges and losses - most notably the death on May 2 of his right hand man, the gallant Colonel Gilbert Hathaway. From there, Streight's brigade became disoriented in an area of creeks, coaling, and cutover around the Round Mountain Ironworks. On the morning of May 3, 1863, as Col. Streight enjoyed breakfast at the Lawrence Farm, near Cedar Bluff, AL the mule brigade's last bit of luck finally ran out, just 24 miles short of Rome, GA.
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Streight met with Forrest here, on a knoll near the Lawrence Family Cemetery. As Forrest spoke, couriers rode up stating the names of various commanders (who were actually not within 100 miles) and asking for instructions. First one: "Gen. Roddey wishes to know where you'd like him positioned?" Then another: "Colonel Walker wishes to know if you'd like him to come up?" And another: "Sir, General Wheeler reports that he is in position and wishes to know upon what signal he should launch his attack."
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Streight watched in the background as the same 2 gun section was altered, pulled by different teams, manned by soldiers in different uniforms, and paraded behind Forrest. As he watched, Streight finally exploded, "My God man! How many cannon do you have? I have counted 15 already!" To which Forrest calmly replied, "I reckon that is all that has kept up."
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And so on May 3, 1863, Streight's Raid ended with the capitulation of about 1500 (officers and men) of Streight's Mule Brigade to Forrest's 400 cavalrymen right there at the Lawrence Farm near Cedar Bluff, Alabama -- just 24 miles from Streight's end goal of Rome, GA.
 

lelliott19

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As promised, one last post of final thoughts. BGES did a fantastic job with this tour. First and foremost, they secured the best guides available to lead the tour. These guys @Norman Dasinger Jr and Dr. Brian Steel Wills were top notch - extremely knowledgeable but not at all cocky. Each recognized the other's strengths and they valued each other's contributions. They genuinely wanted to share their knowledge with us and enjoyed working together. The attendees were awesome! - A really great group of Civil War enthusiasts. These factors all combined to make the entire experience amazing.

I'd have to say that my biggest takeaway was the shift in morale of Streight's brigade. That was something I hadn't given much thought. That and Forrest's intuitive ability to make the "right decision at the right time." In conclusion, it was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend BGES tours to anyone who may be considering participating!

Here are some of the materials provided:
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And Laura was a van driver, host, photographer, reporter, greeter, facts reminder and all around great person to have assist me and Brian. Thank you Laura!!! There were two gentlemen on the tour that had an ancestor in the 3rd OH Inf - part of Streights forces.
We skipped a few stops due to time. Could have made it a 3 day tour and added Rome and included more sites.
Norman
 

Sharon C.

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What a great presentation! I've been to the Wheeler House in Courtland, AL, and wondered if you took photos
of that beautiful Native American hand-carved bedstead... or the cherry sugar safe? Been so long ago that I was
there, I've forgotten all else... except Gen. Wheeler's sword! Good Stuff!
 
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If you've ever heard of Streight's Raid, you probably know that a lot of it was a "running fight" and you may have heard of the Battle of Day's Gap? Well here's some stuff you probably didn't know. This is the Day Farm.
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The night of April 29th, Streight's men camped here at the Day Farm and the battle happened the next day. Day's Gap refers to the opening to the left in the mountain there in the background. There were lots of gaps on this mountain face and Streight was concerned about Confederate cavalry using other gaps and outflanking his men as they passed through the steep and narrow trail of Day's Gap. Turns out he was right and an engagement commenced before all the Federals had even gotten out of camp.
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Here at the Day Farm something amazing happened that only happens when you go on a tour with @Norman Dasinger Jr :D The owner of the Day Farm saw the vans out on the gravel road in front of his house and came out to see what we were doing. Once Norman told him, he invited us in!!!! Inside the fence and through the gate to see the location of a field hospital that was on the property. That rock chimney marks the spot where Union surgeons treated wounded Federals and Confederates. Most people know that Dr. William Spencer (Surgeon, 73rd​ IN) was left behind to tend the wounded at a field hospital. Link page 77 What you may not know is that Henry R King (Asst. Surgeon, 51st​ IN) was captured on the field and “sent back to Day’s Gap” as a prisoner.

These two surgeons are probably the ones who treated the wounded at the Day Farm. And those wounded Union and Confederates likely included William Forrest - NBF's brother who was badly wounded in the leg at the beginning of the Battle of Day's Gap. Link HERE to an account of the treatment of some wounded Federals at Day’s Gap.
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The owner of the place was pleased at our apparent interest and was happy to show us the Day Family Cemetery with all its recent improvements and good care. And there in the cemetery, he pointed out the graves, marked with stones, of 6 Confederate soldiers who died at the Field Hospital on the Day Farm.
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<to be continued>
Excellent and informative. Thanks so much Laura
 

lelliott19

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And Laura was a van driver, host, photographer, reporter, greeter, facts reminder and all around great person to have assist me and Brian. Thank you Laura!!!
Thank you Norman. It was my pleasure entirely. I submitted the Official Report last night, on schedule, to BGES for inclusion in the next Dispatch newsletter so be sure to keep an eye out for it in your inbox.
There were two gentlemen on the tour that had an ancestor in the 3rd OH Inf - part of Streights forces.
Max and his dad followed their ancestor's path on Streight's Raid with us and enjoyed it so much they have begun to track all of his CivilWar activity in the 3rd OH. Max messaged me that they were detouring on the way home to stop by his grave in Kansas. I always have to smile when a young person becomes so interested.

We skipped a few stops due to time. Could have made it a 3 day tour and added Rome and included more sites.
I agree. A three day tour would have been perfect. There's just so much distance to cover and so much to see! Still, even in 2 days it was fantastic! You and Brian are extraordinary guides and all around nice people to spend a few days with. I enjoyed it very much and appreciate the opportunity to participate.
 
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