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Below is a battle report written by Private Andy Noblit about the
events of the Mt. Zion event that was held on November 2-4, 2001. The great
pictures below were also taken by Andy Noblit.

madavansug.jpg (25196 bytes) Mark Waddell, David Blacklidge, and Andy Noblit in Ranks
    Friday November 2, 1864 Giles Co TN. After a long and arduous
retreat from the devastating battle at Franklin, TN where many of our
bravest gave their all for the great southern cause, our boys were
digging in again to hold off another potent Yankee charge. We were told
we must stop the Yankee s here or The Army Of Tennessee would be trapped
trying to cross the river. When General Hood asked for volunteers to
reinforce the rear guard the men of the 27th Alabama were some of the
first to fall in. We all knew that the odds were stacked against us, but
hell, that aint never stopped us before. I guess, about the only thing we
weren t short on was grit . These boys were sure enough battle hardened
and had spilled their blood all over Dixie in some of the toughest
battles of the war. And I can tell you that I m damn proud to have served
with them. As we bedded down Friday night we all knew that when the sun
came up the enemy would be trying to break our lines and get at General
Hood, I don t think anyone got more than a couple hours of sleep.
mtzioncamp.jpg (21509 bytes) 27th Alabama Camp at Mt. Zion
    Saturday November 3, 1864. Early in the morning The Major sent out
some scouts and they found the Yankee s less than a mile away heading in
our direction. The only thing between us was a line of trees at the Mt
Zion Church of Christ. Because we were so outnumbered The Major decided
to advance our lines into the woods and use them as cover, no doubt this
maneuver saved many of our boys because their artillery would not be as
effective. But, that did not stop them from firing their cannons into the
tree line and making toothpicks out of the trees and killing many in our
front lines. The Yankee s were like angry ants coming out of a mound,
they were everywhere! Regiment after regiment poured into the trees and
just like at Chickamauga we held our ground with a fierce determination!
We where inflecting tremendous casualties, but they just keep sending in
reinforcements a never-ending sea of blue. How could they afford to loose
so many men, and keep coming?

      As night fell, word came that General Hood had not yet completed
crossing the river, and we were to hold our ground at all cost! The
battle had raged all day and now our pickets battled them through the
night, but the Yankee s could not advance! With no break in the battle we
were forced to leave the dead and wounded on the battlefield. No words
can describe the agonizing sounds of the dieing and many a brave solder
passed onto Glory that night without so much as a drink of water. I guess
Sherman was right about one thing, War Is All Hell . We were running
desperately low on ammunition so we spent most of the night rounding up
ammo from the dead.

bjksug.jpg (40697 bytes) Sgt. Bobby Joe Killen in camp on Sugar Creek

      Sunday November 4, 1864 I hardly dared to check our lines. As I
looked to my left and right I saw a solid line of gray with bayonets
glistening in the morning sun, our boys were ready for a fight! Well, so
were the Yankee s and they didn t waste any time trying to get at General
Hood again. Because we were outnumbered more than 3-1 they sent a note to
The Major asking for our surrender. The Major just scoffed and said,
outnumbered 3-1, hell, you Yank's had better go get some more blue bellies
to make this a fair fight!

      The 27th Alabama had orders to hold their ground at any cost, and
hold we did! In the first hours of the battle the gallant men of the 27th
not only held their ground, they advanced over 300 yards and was about to
turn the Yankee s left flank. Then, just like in the day before the
Yankee reinforcements started showing up and their flank held. I saw one
Yankee run off yelling, I saw the elephant, I saw the elephant. As many
of their new recruits often did when they first saw battle. I said, yeah,
you come back across that battle field again and we ll show you the whole
damn zoo next time! We had not seen new recruits in years and I was
amazed that the Yankee s could send green solders into battle, in this
the 4th year of the war.

      The Major said General Hood only needed a few more hours, and then
we could retreat. It was at this time the Yankee s threw everything they
had at us, desperately trying to break our lines. We fell back and formed
a new line in a sunken road, and the Yankee s keep coming. Their charges
were as gallant as any I have ever seen, we were dropping them as fast as
we could load, but they keep coming, advancing, always advancing. Now, so
many of our boys were getting hit that I wondered if we were going to be
able to hold out long enough? I have never seen a braver bunch, we
withstood wave after wave but not one man broke and ran. The Major now
ordered the remaining men of the 27th to fall back once more and rally on
the colors. I had started out in the middle of the line, now I was the
last man standing on the left flank. My Mississippi rifle was red hot
from the constant firing and still the Yankees came, but much slower
than they would have liked to. I watched all of our boys fall, Col
Blacklidge was wounded lying close to our colors. I was wounded as I shot
my last round and laid just to the left of our flag as the Yankee s came
in and took our colors. Yes, they took our colors out right, but The Army
of Tennessee lived to fight another day, thanks to the bravery of the
gallant men of the 27th Alabama.

    Respectfully Yours, Private Andrew Noblit 27th Alabama Infantry CSA
davandysug.jpg (37275 bytes) David Blacklidge and Andy Noblit

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