Funny, those lyrics MyDBear posted mention Lookout Mountain. My G-G-Grandfather, William Emra Thornton from Michigan, fought at Lookout Mountain, during the "Battle Above the Clouds". Apparently it was so foggy that he and a few others "snuck up" (quite by accident, I assume) on about 20 rebel soldiers and took them hostage without incident. I have a commendation he received.
His unit, the 21st Michigan Infantry Volunteers then went and fought at Chickamauga and were on the Union right when General Longstreets men smashed headlong into the union lines and broke them almost immediately. Union General Lytle fell in this encounter. The battle there raged so heavily and the killing was so horrific that the 21st Michigan was later commended for their orderly retreat - ie, one of the few units which did not break and run. Their orderly retreat and slowing of the Confederate advance is actually credited with saving the whole of the Union army that day.
He had also fought previously at Perryville and at Stones River where he was shot in the wrist and had his hearing permanently damaged by being too close to a union cannon. He was captured and spent some time in a Confederate prison before being exchanged. He had been written off as AWOL before reappearing.
After Chickamauga the 21st was assigned to stay in Chattanooga and build supply houses. Meanwhile, his brother Charles who was in the 10th Michigan Infantry Volunteers, continued south with Sherman. He fought at all the skirmishes and battles including Resaca and Kennesaw Mountain. Somehow he survived all this brutality, and the seige of Atlanta, and as I said before was killed the 1st September, the 2nd and last day of fighting at Jonesboro, the last battle for Atlanta.
After his death my G-G-Grandfather wrote letters of which I have copies, requesting leave so that he could go tend to his grieving mother, a widow, who had now lost one of her two sons and would surely need help. He was granted the leave and therefore missed Sherman's march, and the grand review in Washington.
I've been to Jonesboro, Kennesaw, Resaca, Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain among others. Resaca is a beautiful and respectful little battlefield with a neat confederate cemetery. Jonesboro's cemetery is also very nice, laid out like the Stars and Bars with walking paths for the bars and trees for the stars.
Chickamauga, especially, hit me very hard. Standing near the 21st Michigan marker, seeing the lay of the land and imagining what both sides must have gone through is a very hallowed, almost spiritual moment. The blood, the heat, the screams, the smoke, the smells, and no fresh water for 2 days. Notherners fighting for the Union and somewhat resentful of the abolitionists for pushing things into a bloody war against their own kin, and southerners in a desperate defense of their homeland and their right to secede from the Union which they should, in a perfect world, have been granted.
The fact that the two sides ever really reconciled, and I can go to the South and talk with Southerners whose ancestors fought against mine - is a miracle.
I do have many kin in West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas and so on, but as I say, cousins and not direct kin. Many of them fought and some of them fell for the South. My side of the family moved through Ohio/Michigan, others took the road south.
I'm sure many of our Southern readers will recognize many of the names and battlefields I've mentioned. Some of you may even have kin who fought against mine in some of these battles.
stilldrinkin.com, realmccoymoonshinestills.com, and rkhelp.com are rip-off artists. Beware before you buy.