The Bayonet

Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2014

Units recognized for Civil War role

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Two units based at Fort Benning were among those recognized June 27 for their role in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, a key engagement of the Civil War.

From June 27-July 2, 1864, Union and Confederate troops clashed at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, 25 miles north of downtown Atlanta, in one of the final battles in Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.

The 15th, 16th 18th and 19th Infantry Regiments of the Union Army that fought there were officially recognized for their service during a monument dedication ceremony on the 150th anniversary of the battle June 27 at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Today, the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, is part of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. The 19th Infantry Regiment is housed at Sand Hill and conducts one station unit training. The 11th Infantry Regiment, which operates Officer Candidate School and Infantry Officer Basic Leadership Course, can trace its lineage back to the 15th Infantry Regiment.

While many other monuments and markers commemorating the service of other units exist in the area, this is the first monument to honor the service of those in the Regular Army as opposed to the state-based regiments which are more often associated with Union forces.

"People need to know that during the Civil War, the Regular Army was part of the war, too," said Mike Horn, a member of the 15th Infantry Association board of directors who spearheaded efforts to create the monument. "A lot of people don't know that."

Soldiers and Family members from Fort Benning made the trip to Kennesaw to attend the event. Col. John Marr, chief of staff of Fort Benning and the Maneuver Center of Excellence, was the guest speaker.

"Like the Regulars of 1864, the men and women of today's 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th Infantry Regiments have committed themselves to a profession that is not the most popular or common choice," he said. "But those who serve know that it is a profession with rewards that run far deeper than a paycheck.

"And this is really what makes us part of a family and part of the proud lineage and history that includes the Regulars who fought here 150 years ago."

The monument will be moved to its permanent spot on the battlefield this fall, next to dug-in entrenchments from the battle that are still visible today.

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