Irish Confederate Col Robert McMillan 24th GA at Chancellorsville

lelliott19

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Camp near Banks’ Ford
May 8th, 1863


"In the battle of Chancellorsville, which resulted so gloriously to our arms and where disorganization was first thrown into their ranks, it was the privilege of our brigade [Wofford’s] to occupy the post of honor. The 18th Georgia in the right, the 24th under the brave [Col Robert] McMillan hard by its left, the 16th [Georgia] and two Legions [Cobb’s Legion & Phillip’s Legion] extending the line, formed a living wall which that day the most desperate bayonet charge would have found difficult to scale. The enemy had entrenched himself in a thicket, and felled the trees toward us to prevent the storming of his works. Skirmishers had been prudently thrown forward to feel his position and draw his fire. Discovering his stronghold, the brigade moved forward to the work.....

Supported by a powerful battery in the rear, and sheltered from the fury of our storm behind defenses of admirable structure, they hurled their death-shafts into the midst of men who fought them without faltering on exposed ground, until a height some fifty yards behind us was chosen for our line. From this, a fair view for two hundred yards in front could be obtained, and the firing continued fiercely till the walls tumbled down and another victory perched upon our blazing standards. It was indeed an hour of triumph and joy, saddened only by our gallant and heroic dead, who perished in its winning....

If the name and fame of Col.
[Robert] McMillan were not already established, we would pronounce him a rising officer, for his course and conduct in the few days just past, have added fresh laurels to the wreath that already encircles his brow. Shortly before leaving camp, while on battalion drill, his foot was severely injured by his horse, which unfitted him for the discharge of his duties. When the order came that the enemy was to be met, the hour found him in the saddle and at the head of his command. In the bloody battle of Sunday, the 3d and the successful charge at twilight the following evening, he was ever to be found either in front of or in the midst of his men who, embolden by his example, breasted the storm with the courage of veteran heroes. His valuable services have already been felt and realized, and his name will be venerated and loved when the present generation shall have passed away."

Source: Southern Watchman, Athens, Georgia, May 27, 1863, p. 3.

Robert McMillan was born January 7, 1805 at Antrim, Ireland and died at Clarkesville, Georgia on May 6, 1868. At the age of 56 years, McMillan raised the 24th Georgia Regiment; he was appointed its Colonel Aug 30, 1861. When General Thomas R. R. Cobb was mortally wounded behind the stone wall at Fredericksburg, Col. McMillan assumed temporary command of the brigade. According to his obituary, "he came to America about the year 1832, and engaged in mercantile pursuits in Augusta, Ga. In 1836 he was married to Miss Ruth A. Banks, of Elbert Coumty [GA], where he settled and continued his mercantile pursuits until 1839, when he abandoned this for the profession of the law and legislator." http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=54506377
 
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lelliott19

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I knew you'd be interested in a 1st person account detailing McMillan's reputation. :bounce::dance::bounce:

Had you seen it before?
 

lelliott19

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Im sorry I cant really recall what I was looking for when I ran across it. You know I am working on the 16th Georgia and there is very little compiled info available. :nah disagree: I pretty much have to dig by division, brigade, and individual names. :unsure:

I believe but am not certain that I found it when looking for additional info about the formation and 1st engagement of the 3rd GA Sharpshooter Battalion. I was thrilled to run across a letter dated May 7, 1863 stating that the 3rd GA SS Batt actually participated in their first battle (as SS) at the Battle of Chancellorsville, 2 months earlier than most folks thought. I posted the info about that here
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-lost-battalion-3rd-georgia-sharpshooters.120252/#post-1268445
 

Pat Young

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Im sorry I cant really recall what I was looking for when I ran across it. You know I am working on the 16th Georgia and there is very little compiled info available. :nah disagree: I pretty much have to dig by division, brigade, and individual names. :unsure:

I believe but am not certain that I found it when looking for additional info about the formation and 1st engagement of the 3rd GA Sharpshooter Battalion. I was thrilled to run across a letter dated May 7, 1863 stating that the 3rd GA SS Batt actually participated in their first battle (as SS) at the Battle of Chancellorsville, 2 months earlier than most folks thought. I posted the info about that here
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-lost-battalion-3rd-georgia-sharpshooters.120252/#post-1268445
Thanks.
 

lelliott19

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Maybe soon? IDK :nah disagree: Seems like just when I think its ready, something like this - a new discovery - comes along and I think it would be a shame to print it and miss something important. :unsure: I mean, there's still a whole lot of old newspapers I havent searched through yet! :bounce:
 
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