View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Sat Mar 14th, 2009 05:59 pm
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
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The Battle of Allatoona Pass on October 5th 1864 is often referred to as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with 30% casualties in less than four hours... a little less than five casualties per minute.

No less than three women in the uniform of a soldier were found among the Confederate casualties. One was identified as a member of the 29th NC, another of the Missouri Brigade and the third woman was never identified in any way being buried beside her comrades.

Lt Colonel James Redfield was killed while fighting from a chair... he had been wounded twice in the leg before propping himself on a chair so he could continue the battle beside his men. The third wound was fatal.

Ten Confederate 12 Pound Napoleons & two 3" Ordnance Rifles expended their complete ordnance load (minus canister) which was approx one Cannon Ball, Bolt or shell impacting on the US position every minute for eight hours. At a range of approx 1500 yards they managed to do no appreciable damage to the largest US entrenchment, the Star Fort, and had little if any real effect upon the battle.

In contrast the six guns of the 12th Wisconsin Battery expended all of their ammunition and resorted to firing bags of brass buttons packed in sawdust at the enemy infantry. One Napoleon of the battery was double shotted with canister at every discharge, the repeated heavy recoil required the replacement of both wheels, the axle and severely damaged the stock rail. This particular gun was pulled from Rowetts Redoubt, the scene of the heaviest fighting, when it expended its initial ammunition load. It was manhandled a distance of approx 250 yards, uphill, under fire into the Star Fort where it would be resupplied and continue its deadly work in earnest until it fully expended its ammunition.

It has been estimated that roughly 600,000 rounds were fired. A rate of fire that equaled a little more than a thousand rounds per minute for the duration of the battle.

At one point a force of approx one hundred men made a charge, with the intent of setting fire to some warehouses. They suffered a casualty rate of approx 60% from a single volley delivered from a range of greater than three hundred yards. They made no further attempt. Such accurate shooting was not well known in the Civil War and it was delivered by Union troops.

With tidbits like these is it any wonder that the men involved thought it the hardest fight of the war... and men who had been at places like Shiloh, Iuka, Corinth, Vicksburg campaign, Mission Ridge and the Atlanta campaign had something to measure it against.


All things that could be used to good cinematic impact and would translate well into an interesting movie. Anyone of the three CS women in uniform could be the fictional romance apparently needed in most Hollyweird projects. Ample opportunity for tension as the badly outnumbered garrison prepares for the fight they knew was coming in the morning and the sudden and very welcome midnight arrival of reins that changed the odds from 5-1 to 3-2. The battle itself was IMO one of the most intense of the war, it took three days for Gettysburg to reach the 30% casualty rate and Allatoona just four hours w/ the majority of the casualties happening in about 20-30 minutes. The opportunity to show the ugly humor of war w/ the bags of brass buttons used for cannister and Col Redfield killed while fighting from a chair. As well as the brutal carnage. Add to that the interesting stories of many of the principal actors of the battle: French, Corse, Tourlette etc.

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