“The heroism of the men in the Eleventh Battalion Georgia Light Artillery is a story that needs to be told.”
—Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States
“Unique photographs and thorough individual war service record briefs make this book valuable as a research tool for personal, school, and public libraries alike.”
—Ben C. Sewell III, executive director, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Beginning with Georgia’s decision to secede from the union, author James L. Speicher chronicles the history of the little-known battalion that bravely fought for the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865. With more than eight hundred members serving at various points during the Civil War, most men in the unit, many of whom died on the battlefield, were from Sumter County, Georgia. Speicher details the horrific conditions they faced during their clashes, including the battle at Dranesville, which resulted in the most bloodshed experienced by the unit. Diary entries and personal letters, provided by descendants of the soldiers, illustrate daily life during the war.
Rather than analyze the underlying causes of the war, the author focuses on the men who endured it, the men of the Sumter Flying Artillery. Speicher’s scope includes Allen Sherrod Cutts, the battery’s first commander and most prominent member. This remarkable man received personal congratulations from Gen. Robert E. Lee for leading his battalion to safety during the deadly battle of South Mountain in 1862.
Highlights include pictures of the men before they left for battle, portraits of the Confederates in uniform, and images of the unit’s flag. Appendixes provide a full roster listing each member’s name, rank, and enlistment date, along with a section detailing the organization of the unit and the specific cannon used by the Sumter Battalion. With maps illustrating the position of the battery during specific battles, such as Gettysburg, and information on each officer, this book is an asset to genealogists and students of the Civil War.