Discussion Was A. P. Stewart's Division ever referred to as the "Little Giants Division"?

Luke Freet

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A friend of mine on discord who seems rather passionate about A. P. Stewart mentioned in passing that his division was referred to as the "Little Giant" Division. I asked him for more information on this, and he said he heard it in this Chickamauga Tour catalogue,
https://www.nps.gov/chch/upload/2011-Chickamauga-Anniversary-Booklet-9-7-revisions.pdf
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Is this some nonsense made up by a tour guide trying to spruce up his description? Or was Stewart's Division actually called the "Little Giant" division?
In my brief research (using google search), I came across an inscription referring to the 2nd and 11th Mississippi at Gettysburg as "Little giants". Is that a common term used at the time?
 

dgfred

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Well... they were a giant (numbers) division in a way. 'Light' Division was always interesting too.
 

James N.

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I distinctly remember that name from Glenn Tucker's Chickamauga but don't have it at hand nor do I remember any details, including whether it was in reference to Stewart's or another unit.
 

Luke Freet

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I gotten an update from my friend. He looked at Sam Davis Elliott's bio on Stewart, this is what he found about it:
"By this time Stewart's command may have gained the name of "the Little Giant Division". There is no explanation in any wartime or postwar writings as to how the division gained this epithet or if it was commonly known as such. A veteran of the division, Dr. W. J. McMurray, wrote an article published in Confederate Veteran in 1894 on the need for a monument to Stewart at the place on the field where “the Little Giant Division” fought. Historian Glenn Tucker dedicates a substantial part of one chapter in his book on Chickamauga to the efforts of the “the Little Giant Division” but does not explain the origin of the name. It is certainly possible that the nickname indicated an esprit this relatively new organization developed under Stewart’s command.” (Elliott, Soldier of Tennessee : General Alexander P. Stewart and the Civil War in the West, 120-121).
 

Luke Freet

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Well... they were a giant (numbers) division in a way. 'Light' Division was always interesting too.
From what I can tell, his division wasn't very large for a division in the AoT. I beleive he only had 3 brigades; there's Bate's Brigade of Alabamans, Georgians, and Tennesseans, and rather understrength; John C. Brown's Tennessee Brigade; and Bushrod JOhnson's Tennessee Brigade. At some point Johnson is swapped for Henry Clayton's Alabama Brigade.
Looking at David Powell's strength returns for Chickamauga, he gives the following numbers for the brigades:
Bate - 1211 men
Brown - 1340 men
Clayton - 1446 men
Division total - 3997 men
(Bushrod Johnson/Fulton - 874)
It may be a case where, though many units were technically understrength, it fought well above its weight in combat. So maybe your onto something in reference to the "Light" Division, though in the reverse way.
 

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