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I shall return to my own forces
We are ready, Sir!
Preparing the batteries
Two correspondents for the papers
We must make haste before the Enemy arrives!
In January of 1865, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman [1820-1891] with his Military Division of the Mississippi entered into South Carolina from Savanah. He had cut a swath of destruction 60-miles wide through Georgia and had intended to continue to do so on his way to the Carolina state capital of Columbia.
He was hampered in his efforts by Augusta native son Confederate General
Joseph "Fightin'Joe" Wheeler [1836-1908] whose Cavalry engaged “the enemy” all along the way.
It would not be the last time Wheeler and Kilpatrick face each other in Battle.
Aiken remembers this battle with a re-enactment every February.
As he confidently approached Aiken the women stood on their porches waving their handkerchiefs and welcoming them in.
Something was amiss, thought Kill Cav, as this was the last type of greeting he expected from the women of South Carolina.
He was right. He was walking into a "blind switch" type of trap [blocked at both sides and closed at the top] set by Wheeler.
In the heart of Aiken center, as troops from both sides rushed into fierce hand-to-hand combat, the Battle of Aiken began on February 11, 1865. It would last two days before Kill Cav retreated northward to rejoin Sherman in his march towards Columbia.
Fightin' Joe had saved Aiken, the mills, and the gunpowder works although railroad service through Aiken would not return for another three years.
At Big Bethel in Hampton Roads, VA Captain
Kilpatrick was the first Union officer to be wounded
in battle - "in the but-tocks, Sir." - and would engage
in many conflicts such as Bull Run, Chancellorsville,
the Peninsular Campaign, Northern Virginia, and Gettysburg earning promotion upon promotion for his bold and fearless attitude. He showed "a great impatience and eagerness for orders" which endeared him to his superiors. He was aggressive, fearless, ambitious and blustery and his men had a dislike for him due to his disregard for life and losses.
He earned the nickname of "Kill Cavalry" Kilpatrick..."Kill Cav" for short.
As Sherman headed north, Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick [1836-1881]
branched off and aimed for Aiken with the intent of gleefully destroying the
cotton mills in Graniteville and the Augusta gunpowder works.
Fightin' Joe matched his steps northward.
Kilpatrick, from New Jersey, had been a member of West Point class of 1861
while Wheeler was in 1859. They had both joined their respective armies as
2nd Lieutenants at the outbreak of hostilities.
The Battle of Aiken, South Carolina...
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March to the Review
Present the Colors, Gentlemen
Reform the line here, boys.
Just barely repulsed
A Gentleman and his Lady
Makin' sure "our Boys" are okay
The Music Men
A long time no see!
Makin' a Grand Entrance
A trio of fine Belles
The Battle of Aiken
February 21, 2015
The Belles of the Battlefield...
The Day is done.
The Gallant Charge.
Form the Line, boys!.
The Union answers back.
The Confederate volley.
The first shot.
I see we are ready.
The final inspection