Van Den Corput's Battery at the Battle of Resaca

AUG

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#1
On May 15, 1864 the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Joe Johnston was entrenched north and west of Resaca, Georgia with its left on the Oostanaula River and the right extending to the Conasauga. They had just beaten back multiple assaults by the Union Army of the Cumberland and Army of the Tennessee commanded by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas and Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson the previous day.

On the morning of May 15, Lt. Gen. John B. Hood instructed his division commander Maj. Gen. Carter Stevenson - on the Confederate right - to position a battery so as to bear on enemy artillery bombarding Maj. Gen. Thomas Hindman's Division. Stevenson ordered Capt. Maximilian Van Den Corput's "Cherokee Battery" of four Napoleons to be placed about 80 yards in front of his entrenched infantry. Stevenson recorded the occurrence in his official report: "During the course of the morning I received orders to place the artillery of my division in such a position as would enable it to drive off a battery that was annoying General Hindman's line. Before the necessary measures for the protection of the artillery could be taken, I received repeated and peremptory orders to open it upon the battery before alluded to. Corput's battery was accordingly placed in position at the only available point, about eighty yards in front of General Brown's line."

Brig. Gen. John C. Brown's Brigade constructed an earthen lunette for the guns, but before they could connect it to their main line with rifle pits, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's XX Corps and Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard's IV Corps attacked the Confederate right. The IV Corps was repulsed by Hindman's Division, but at Van Den Corput's Battery - in front of Stevenson's Division - two Federal regiments of Brig. Gen. John Ward's brigade stormed up to the Confederate earthworks. Future U.S. President Col. Benjamin Harrison led one of them, the 70th Indiana.

Van Den Corput's infantry supports had run away, and "with a wild yell," Harrison reported, his troops "entered the embrasure, striking down and bayoneting the rebel gunners, many of whom defiantly stood by their guns til struck down." Some men of Col. Adolphus Buschbeck's Brigade also ran in through the embrasures in the entrenchments and over the battery's guns. Soldiers of the 33rd New Jersey planted their colors on the counter scarp of the ditch.

From the entrenchments behind the battery, Tennesseans of Brown's Brigade poured heavy fire into the Federals, who scrambled back down the slope. Neither side could sortie forward to reclaim Van Den Corput's battery. By 3 p.m. both sides resorted to heavy skirmishing and artillery dueling while the Confederate cannon sat in no-man's land. "Come on - take those guns!" yelled the Southerners. "Come on and take 'em yourselves!" the Northerners replied. After dark Brig. Gen. John Geary ordered his troops to move up and quietly dig through the earthwork, and with ropes drag the four guns back into Union lines. The mission was successful. The Cherokee battery was the only artillery lost by the Army of Tennessee during the Atlanta Campaign.

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Men from Geary's division dig through earthworks to drag Van Den Corput's guns back to Federal lines. (Library of Congress)

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chellers

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#2
On May 15, 1864 the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Joe Johnston was entrenched north and west of Resaca, Georgia with its left on the Oostanaula River and the right extending to the Conasauga. They had just beaten back multiple assaults by the Union Army of the Cumberland and Army of the Tennessee commanded by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas and Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson the previous day.

On the morning of May 15, Lt. Gen. John B. Hood instructed his division commander Maj. Gen. Carter Stevenson to position a battery so as to bear on enemy artillery "annoying General Hindman's line." Stevenson ordered Capt. Maximilian Van Den Corput's "Cherokee Battery" of four Napoleons to be places some 20 yards in front of his entrenched infantry. Soldiers constructed an earthen lunette for the guns, but before they could connect it to their main line with rifle pits, Federals attacked the center-right of the Confederate line. They were repulsed elsewhere, but here two Federal regiments of Brig. Gen. John Ward's brigade stormed up to the Rebel earthworks. Future U.S. President Col. Benjamin Harrison led one of them, the 70th Indiana.

By then Van Den Corput's infantry supports had run away, and "with a wild yell," Harrison reported, his troop "entered the embrasure, striking down and bayoneting the rebel gunners, many of whom defiantly stood by their guns til struck down." Some men of Col. Adolphus Buschbeck's brigade also ran in through the embrasures in the entrenchments and over the battery's guns. Soldiers of the 33rd New Jersey planted their colors on the counterscarp of the ditch.

The Northerners received heavy fire from Stevenson's troops and had to withdraw back down the slope, leaving the battery unmanned. Neither side could sortie forward to reclaim Van Den Corput's battery. By 3 p.m. both sides resorted to heavy skirmishing and artillery dueling while the Confederate cannon sat in no-man's land. "Come on - take those guns!" yelled the Southerners. "Come on and take 'em yourselves!" came the Northerners' reply. After dark Brig. Gen. John Geary ordered troops to sneak forward, quietly dig through the earthwork, and with ropes drag the four guns back into Union lines. The mission was successful. The Cherokee battery was the only artillery lost by Johnston's army during the Georgia Campaign.

http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/resaca/resaca-history-articles/van-den-corputs-battery.html

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Men from Geary's division dig through earthworks to drag Van Den Corput's guns back to Federal lines. (Library of Congress)

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This was the scene of heavy fighting during the struggle for control of Van Den Corput's guns. The battery position was left of this image, on land saved by the Civil War Trust in 2011. (Douglas Ullman, Jr.)

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Good post. Thanks, Aug351.
 

Buckeye Bill

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Here is the link to an article on Col. Benjamin Harrison and the 70th Indiana at Resaca, which includes Col. Harrison's official battle report:
http://ironbrigader.com/2014/04/14/...-70th-indiana-infantry-battle-resaca-georgia/
There seems to be a lot of individuals which really don't pay attention to the life of our country's 23rd POTUS. Harrison was born in the Village of North Bend, Ohio. His grandfather (William Henry Harrison - 9th POTUS) is also buried in North Bend.

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Chattahooch33

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Awesome stuff.

After the war Van Den Corput was an esteemed architect in Atlanta and even designed the Union Station that was the replacement to the Car Shed that was destroyed by the Federals.
Maximilien Van Den Corput is buried in an unknown grave in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.
 
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#8
The Cherokee Artillery was a fairly interesting unit. The were raised in the town of Rome Georgia and were originally commanded by Captain Marcellus Augustus Stovall. Stovall was promoted to Colonel of the 4th Brigade Georgia State Artillery and then later Lt. Col. of the 3rd Battalion Georgia Infantry, the Cherokee Artillery was Company A, 3rd Battalion Georgia Infantry but usually worked on a detached basis. Once Marcellus A. Stovall was promoted to Colonel, command of the Artillery Company passed to James Yeiser. Yeiser and Stovall did not get along all that well because Stovall had beaten Yesier out for command of the Company early on and once Yeiser actually marched his artillery company out of the 3rd Batt'n Ga Infantry's camp and refused to serve under Stovall. Only a direct order from Richmond made him return.

Yeiser would eventually resign his commission as Captain of the Company to take charge of a Salt Peter Factory near Rome. Command then passed to Max Van Den Corput. Marcellus Augustus Stovall was of course promoted to Brigadier General in the Spring of 1863.
 
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#11
James Yeiser I believe was from Rome, Ga and there might be a phot at the Carnegie Library there.
Thanks, I'll look into that. I think I have tried contacting them before but didn't get a response. I just saw in my notes that apparently James Yeiser was promoted to Major and was given his own Artillery Battalion prior to his resignation to work at the Saltpeter Factory. I think he commanded the Artillery Battalion attached to Stevenson's Division...but don't quote me on that.
 
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#15
Nice thread. I enjoyed the pictures and map too. I still marvel at how physically close these encounters where for each side....close enough for what we might call "trash talk" today (i.e. "come on and take 'em yourselves")
 
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#18
This scrapbook you have is just absurd and contains so much history. Please consider taking pictures of all the pages. I would absolutely love to see it in its entirety.
i have high resolution photos of every page. The reason i haven't posted many here is because: all of them post to google images whenever i posted anywhere in this forum. :frown:
 
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#19
Yes I think they were at Vicksburg plus if you go up on Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga TN you will find them listed on one of the markers. Next they were at Resaca...next at Kennesaw and Atlanta..now my question is did they go with Hood back to Tennessee but what happened to them afterwards. Did they finally give it up with Johnston in NC. Several years ago I was looking for my grand parents graves in Phoenix City, Ala at a very old cemetery over looking Columbus, GA when I can across a very old grave head stone. The writing on the head stone said this soldier had fought with Max Van Corput's Cherokee Battery.
 



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