Tomorrow morning, Tom Lawrence and I will record our 200th episode of Sesquicentennial Stories for WAKM radio, and here it is…
NARRATOR: Early Autumn, 1863. Spotswood Hatcher of the 45th Tennessee Infantry Regiment was serving in north Georgia, when he sat down to write a difficult letter to his beloved spouse Mary Ann, who was back on their farm southeast of Franklin.
MALE VOICE (dejected): “My dear wife…We had a major engagement with the enemy on the 19th and 20th of September…In the battle, we lost brother R.L. Pollard, which was very distressing to me. He was shot through the neck just below the ears, which killed him immediately…what can I say to comfort his wife?”
NARRATOR: Hatcher was referring to the battle of Chickamauga, which proved extremely costly to the families of Williamson County. At least sixteen soldiers from this area were killed in action, and some 58 were wounded, many severely. Overall, the combined number of Americans killed or wounded at Chickamauga was a staggering 28,400, making it the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War, standing only behind Gettysburg.