Soldiers of Kilpatrick’s Raid honored

Nash Farm Battlefield Museum Curator Bill Dodd completes preparations for a memorial service scheduled for Saturday at Nash Farm Battlefield Park.

Nash Farm Battlefield Museum Curator Bill Dodd completes preparations for a memorial service scheduled for Saturday at Nash Farm Battlefield Park.

Flags wave by the hundreds over the rolling pasture of the historic battlefield site, marking an anniversary for what has been deemed one of the most dramatic cavalry charges of America’s Civil War.

Civil War buffs will congregate Saturday on the grounds of Nash Farm Battlefield Park, in Hampton, to commemorate the battle forged by confederate troops against Gen. Judson Kilpatrick and his forces nearly 150 years ago.

The Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield is hosting a memorial service for the 147th Anniversary of Kilpatrick’s Raid, part of the Battle of Lovejoy Station.

“I think it’s a great way to commemorate a part of Henry County’s history,” said Mark Pollard, the county’s Civil War historian. “I think it’s a great way to educate our children on the causalities of war. It’s a solemn remembrance of all those who fell at the Battle of Lovejoy Station [in Clayton County], at Nash Farm and at Walnut Creek [also in Henry County].”

The 10 a.m., memorial service will take place at the park, located at 4361 Jonesboro Road, in Hampton, where Bill Dodd is curator of the Nash Farm Battlefield Museum.

Dodd said he has spent the past week helping plant about 420 flags into the ground at Nash Farm Battlefield Park to symbolize the short-lived battle that occurred there on Aug. 20, 1864.

The curator said the flags — (136) confederate flags and (286) 34-star American flags — represented those killed in the battle on a day that ended with a “100-year rain.”

Dodd said the fight reportedly broke out around 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, 1864, and lasted 27 minutes. It was one of several combative events, during Kilpatrick’s Raid, Aug. 19, through Aug. 22, 1864.

Dodd noted that Kilpatrick was a brigadier general placed in command of the Federal Cavalry Forces to break up railroad lines south of Atlanta. The general and 4,500 Federal horsemen headed south through East Point, Fairburn, Jonesboro and Lovejoy, taking up rails along the way. Not known to them on Aug. 20, 1864, was that Confederates would be waiting, prepared to funnel the Federal Cavalry Forces back north through the Hampton, McDonough, and Peachstone Shoals territory.

David Evans is scheduled to speak about Kilpatrick’s charge through the Southern Crescent region, during Saturday’s service. Evans is an historian and the author of “Sherman’s Horsemen: Union Cavalry Operations in the Atlanta Campaign,” which acknowledges Kilpatrick’s Raid.

Officials also have planned to dedicate two new libraries Saturday at Nash Farm Battlefield Museum. They include a children’s library and a research and genealogical library.

The museum is open every Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m. The museum entrance can be accessed at 100 Babbs Mill Road, just off of Jonesboro Road in Hampton. To learn more, visit www.henrycountybattlefield.com.