Civil War Veteran Jacob Miller was shot in the forehead on Sept.19th 1863 at Brock Field at Chickamauga. He lived with an open bullet wound for many years, with the last pieces of lead dropping out 31 years after he was first shot. 1911.
Mark “Doc” Thrash - Born When James Monroe Was President And Died During The Time Of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Doc Thrash went with his master to the war as a servant, was captured back and forth several times, winding up in the hands of the Yankees which, luckily for him, entitles him to a pension, which he enjoyed in his later years. The coat that he is wearing in the picture was given to him General Grant.
Thrash arrived at Chickamauga, three days after the fierce battle and would live out the remaining 80 years of his life at the park. He would see it become a National Military Park. He would work for the National Park Service until age 101 (1893-1922) and be the oldest person on federal payroll and pension. During his life time, he would go from being a slave to a free man.
On The Battle of Chickamauga: “You could walk a mile on dead bodies and never put your foot on the ground.” -Mark Thrash
Claimed to have been born Dec 25, 1820 in Richmond, Virginia, six months after his parents had arrived as slaves from Africa. He was married 4 times, father of 29 children, 10 in his first family, 12 in his second, 7 in his third and none in his last marriage to Mary Arnold, 6 Mar 1897 in Walker County. An article in the History of Walker County, Georgia, published in 1932, page 130, says that he has one son now 88 years old.
This information was submitted by Margy Miles (See website below for contact info) who per the webpage would like to share and exchange information about Mark “Doc” Thrash with his descendants. Please contact her for more information.
Ambrose Bierce- Civil War Soldier And “Master Of The Macabre”
Bierce was the only major author to have actually been a front-line soldier in the Civil War
In 1913, he traveled to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, he disappeared without a trace.
He enlisted in the Union Army at nineteen. The Civil War cast a long shadow over his life and work, shaping him into the writer he would become, and spawning his fascination with the supernatural. Bierce evolved into a Master of the Macabre and though he became most widely known for his ghost stories, his war stories are considered by some critics to be the best writing on the Civil War.
He fought at Shiloh, Pickett’s Mill, Chickamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, Philippi, Girard Hill, Shiloh, Stones River, Corinth, Missionary Ridge. He resigned in 1865 after taking a bullet wound to the head. Causing him dizziness and black outs.
Two days spent at Shiloh made an indelible impression on Bierce. Many years later, for example, he would write a haunting autobiographical short story, “The Coup de Grace,” which describes wounded men being burned alive in brush fires and wild pigs eating the corpses. As horrific as it had been, Shiloh would not be the bloodiest battle that Bierce would experience.
Dead horses were everywhere; a few disabled caissons, or limbers, reclining on one elbow, as it were; ammunition wagons standing disconsolate behind four or six sprawling mules. Men? There were men enough; all dead apparently, except one, who lay near where I had halted my platoon to await the slower movement of the line — a Federal sergeant, variously hurt, who had been a fine giant in his time. He lay face upward, taking in his breath in convulsive, rattling snorts, and blowing it out in sputters of froth which crawled creamily down his cheeks, piling itself alongside his neck and ears. A bullet had clipped a groove in his skull, above the temple; from this the brain protruded in bosses, dropping off in flakes and strings. I had not previously known one could get on, even in this unsatisfactory fashion, with so little brain. One of my men whom I knew for a womanish fellow, asked if he should put his bayonet through him. Inexpressibly shocked by the cold-blooded proposal, I told him I thought not; it was unusual, and too many were looking. —from“What I Saw of Shiloh” (1862)
The Battle of Chickamauga ends the Chickamauga Campaign in Tennessee and Georgia. The Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Braxton Bragg engage the Union Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, aiming to force the Federals out of Chattanooga, which they occupy. After misinformation, a gap accidentally appears in the Union line and is exploited by Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet. A new defensive line is formed and after many costly assaults from Southern forces, the Union forces retire back to Chattanooga, leaving the Confederates to occupy the heights.The battle was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of war and had the second highest number of casualties after Gettysburg. (x) (x) (x)
It seems that every battlefield, whether significant or minor, seems to inhabit its share of Civil War ghosts. Experts of the supernatural say that people who die sudden, unexpected, violent deaths are the ones whose souls get caught in limbo. Common occurrances are the sounds of gunfire, men yelling and marching, and ghostly apparitions of soldiers roaming around.
Gettysburg is the most famous haunted battlefield. It is believed that this is because it lies on a lei line (mineral deposits under the soil that criss-cross). These places attract apparitions because the electrical current caused by the lei lines coaxes spirits like moths to a flame. Voted “America’s Most Haunted,” Devil’s Den on the battlefield is so charged with energy from ghosts that people have difficulty taking pictures. The spirits drain the charge from their batteries within minutes. Besides the battlefield, numerous structures in town are also rumored to be haunted.
Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi has plenty of supernatural inhabitants as well. It is no wonder, since the citizens and Confederate army were under siege for weeks, forced to live in caves along the riverbank and eat vermin, dogs, etc. in order to survive. The town is filled with old abandoned buildings, but it is rumored that many are not completely empty. Spirits have been seen wandering the streets at night, along with frequenting local establishments, including old antebellum homes that have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts.
The Battle of Chickamauga was the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War (Gettysburg being the first). Besides sightings of the usual soldier-ghosts, an entity that has come to be known as “Old Green Eyes,” and over the years, has been sighted by thousands of people. The creature sounds like something straight of a Grimm fairytale. With a hairy body, fang-like teeth, and glowing green eyes, it walks upright on two legs and wears a cloak. Besides Old Green Eyes, a woman in a wedding dress roams the area, as does a creepy soldier who stares at visitors until they leave.
A Surprise Casualty At Chickamauga, 1863-
“As the Confederates do not use women in war, this woman, wounded in battle, is returned to you.”
A woman who had served as a private soldier in the ranks was severely wounded and taken prisoner at Chickamauga
She fell in a charge made upon the Confederates; and as the troops immediately fell back she was left with the other wounded on the field, in the enemy’s lines. As she was dressed as the other soldiers were, her sex was not discovered till she was under a surgeon’s care in the hospital. She was wounded in the thigh. No bones were broken; but it was a deep, ugly flesh wound, as if torn by a fragment of a shell.
A day or two afterwards she was sent with a flag of truce into the Union lines.
The sum and substance of the official message sent with this woman was: “As the Confederates do not use women in war, this woman, wounded in battle, is returned to you.” There was great indignation in the regiment to which this woman belonged; and officers and men hastened to protest, that, although she had been with them for more than a year, not one in the regiment guessed that she was a woman. She stood the long, hard marches, did full duty on the picket-line and in camp, and had fought well in all the battles in which the regiment took part. She was in the hospital at Chattanooga for some time… .
Sketch-depicts a woman named Bridget Devens, who was known as “Michigan Bridget,” she carries the Union flag in the midst of fighting. (Not the unknown woman from Chickamauga)
The Women’s War,Wittenmyer, Annie, and Dr. L. P. Brockett-1862, 1863, ca 1864
The Internet is awash with accounts of Old Green Eyes, some of which say the ghost isn’t a soldier but a spirit known to the Cherokee Indians. The ghost even has its own facebook page. Link below.
The Chickamauga Battlefield, where in 1863, as the Civil War was approaching the end, 37,000 Confederate and Union soldiers lost their lives in a bloody battle along the banks of the Chickamauga Creek. Chickamauga is a native word meaning “river of blood.” Some say “Green Eyes” is the ghost of a soldier whose head was blown off in battle, and all that’s left is his glowing green eyes atop his body, and that he wanders the battlefield looking for his head. Others say that “Green Eyes” was haunting the Chickamauga Creek area long before the famous battle. Green Eyes is also a well known Native American legend that talks of a strange half man, half beast that walks upright on two legs, and has long stringy hair, huge jaws and fangs. One of the earliest ghost sightings shortly after the Civil War ended is documented in Susie Blaylock McDaniel’s book “The Official History of Catoosa County.”
How vast the clouds are, how vast as they troll and pass by. Splendid and once-removed, like lives, they never come back. Does anyone think of them? Everything’s golden from where I lie. Even the void. Beyond the void the clouds cross. Even the knowledge that everything’s fire, and nothing ever comes back.
Charles Wright, from “Waiting for Tu Fu,” Chickamauga (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995)
A member of Berdan’s Sharpshooters poses with his Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle. Although it proved to be a devastating weapon, it ironically doomed the 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry when the volume of fire it provided goaded the Confederates into sending an entire division to roll up their single regiment at the Battle of Chickamauga. Chain-fires were rare, but engendered distrust of the weapon and it was phased out by 1863. They were resold on the civilian and world market for 42 cents each, from the original price of 44 dollars.
Union General Jefferson Davis shared a name with the Confederate president, a circumstance that didn’t cause as much confusion as might be expected—with one notable exception….
During the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863, as darkness fell on Horseshoe Ridge, members of the 21st Ohio saw a swarm of men approaching but couldn’t tell if they were friend or foe. Most assumed they were Union reinforcements, but a few feared they were Confederates.
As the troops grew closer, one Union soldier called out, “What troops are you?” The collective reply was “Jeff Davis’s troops.” The Ohio soldiers relaxed, believing they meant the Union general. A few moments later, they were staring down the muzzles and bayonets of the 7th Florida. The Ohioans surrendered. The Confederates won the battle.