Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Battle for Decatur 4 - The Federal Right, October 27-28, 1864

Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of Lafayette Street Northwest and Railroad Street, Decatur, Alabama
County: Morgan
Coordinates: N 34° 36.822    W 086° 59.137
  34.6137    -86.98561666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


“An Affair Most Important to Us” - The Federal Right, October 27-28, 1864
“A Hard Nut To Crack”
— The Battle for Decatur —

As Hood's Army of Tennessee encircled Decatur, sharpshooters advanced upon the Union defenses. Colonel Doolittle's men responded with heavy artillery and musket fire. During the early afternoon of October 27, the Confederates approached the Federal breastworks (to your front). At 2:00 p.m. Lieutenant Alexander Wilson of the 73rd Indiana Infantry organized 50 men from his regiment to attack these skirmishers. Wilson encountered"stubborn resistance,” but by nightfall the Federal forward line remained"very nearly on its old ground.” A dense fog crept over Decatur that night, and a force of Hood's skirmishers advanced from the woods to your front, digging in near to the Union lines. When the mist burned off, the Union commanders found"It was absolutely necessary to dislodge the enemy from this position, as they covered every gun in our principal fort [Fort No. 1] and would soon render it impossible to work them…” according to General Granger.

Captain W. C. Moore of the 18th Michigan Infantry formed a force from his regiment, and soldiers from the 102nd Ohio Infantry, 13th Wisconsin Infantry, 68th Indiana Infantry, and 73rd Indiana. Moore launched his assault at 11:00 a.m. The Confederates were, in part, from Govan's Brigade of Cleburne's Division, Cheatham's Corps. Captain Mumford Dixon, 3rd Confederate Infantry:"In position on the west of Decatur…Sent out 9 men as skirmishers last night. The enemy made a sortie out of their works, and captured 4 of my men and about 40 more from the Brigade.” Granger noted:"[Captain Moore] returned to the fort, having cleared this line of the enemy's works, captured 120 men, including 5 commissioned officers; killed or wounded a very large number, with only a loss of 3 men, slightly wounded. This affair, though of short duration, was in its result most important to us.”

Erected by City of Decatur. (Marker Number 4.)

End of The Battle for Decatur 4 - The Federal Right, October 27-28, 1864