Wednesday, September 30, 2020

1940-1941: The Year of Three Adjutants General of Georgia

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard

Left to right: Brig. Gen. John Stoddard, Brig. Gen. Marion Williamson and Brig. Gen. Sion Hawkins. Georgia National Guard Archives.
In the four-month period from September 1940 to January 1941, The Georgia National Guard had three Adjutants General. This brief retrospective looks at the service of the three adjutants general whose terms are among the shortest in Georgia history.

Crest of the 264th CAB. Ga. National Guard
Major Marion Williamson of Atlanta assumed the office of Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard Sept. 30, 1940 replacing Brig. Gen. John Stoddard who resigned to take command of the 214th Coast Artillery Regiment which had been called into federal service. Stoddard, a Navy veteran of World War I founded the Washington Georgia-based Battery B, 264th Coast Artillery Battalion in 1930.[1] In October,1939, the battalion was redesignated the 214th CAB. Stoddard, with his long association with the Statesboro-based unit was offered command necessitating a replacement by Georgia Governor Ed Rivers.[2] Stoddard would command the 1-214th CAB in the Pacific Theater. After the war he served as editor of the Washington Ga. News Reporter.[3]

Collar Disc of Co. H 122nd Inf.
Ga. National Guard Archives

Williamson was born June 23, 1902 in Athens, Ga. He enlisted as a private in Atlanta’s Company H, 122nd Infantry Regiment in February 1924 and was commissioned a second lieutenant the following month. Williamson received a law degree from Emory University in 1928 and practiced law in Atlanta while continuing to serve with the 122nd. He practiced law for ten years begore entering state employment with the Georgia Department of Labor in 1938. On July 1, 1939, the 122nd was reorganized and redesignated the 179th Field Artillery Regiment. Williamson, then in command of Company H, became commander of Battery D.[4]

Williamson’s term as Adjutant General ended January 14, 1941 when Governor Eugene Talmadge assumed office and selected Lt. Col. Sion B. Hawkins to succeed him. Williamson remained in the Army and served through World War II in the Mediterranean Theater of the war. Returning home, he assumed the office of Director of the Ga. Department of Labor, an office he held until 1967. He died June 30, 1989 at age 89[5] and is buried in Marietta National Cemetery.

Crest of the 122nd Inf. Regt.
Ga. National Guard Archives
Hawkins, a 53-year-old resident of Americus, Ga. enlisted in the Georgia National Guard in 1904 at the age of 17. He worked his way through enlisted ranks and joined the U.S. Army in 1917.  He served in World War I as a lieutenant with the 82nd Division’s 321st Machine Gun Battalion and fought during the St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne offensives.[6] On the eve of his selection to serve as Georgia’s Adjutant General, Hawkins served as executive officer of the 122nd Infantry. Hawkins served as Georgia’s Adjutant General until January 12, 1943 when Governor Ellis Arnall replaced him with Brig. Gen. Clark Howell.


[1]  Pictorial Review of the National Guard of the State of Georgia, 1939, 4.

[2] “Rivers Confers with Stoddard Over Draft Plans.” Atlanta Constitution. Sept. 20, 1940, 1.

[3] “J.E. Stoddard Dies; Editor, Guard Chief.” Atlanta Constitution. April 19, 1958, 1.

[4] The National Guard Register. 1939, 304.

[5] “Mr. Marion Williamson, Georgia Labor Official, WWII Draft Director” Atlanta Constitution, July 5, 1989, 48.

[6] “Mild Mannered Bachelor Given Military Post.” Atlanta Constitution. January 5, 1941, 2.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Sept. 29, 2015: Battery C, 1-118th’s First Firing of the M777

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Ga. Army National Guard


Battery C, 1-118th FAR conducts the first live fire mission of its M777 155 mm howitzers at Fort Stewart
Sept. 29, 2015. Photo by Capt. William Carraway

Battery C, 1st Battalion 118th Field Artillery Regiment fired the first round from its newly assigned M777 howitzers during a live fire event at Fort Stewart Ga. on the misty morning of Sept. 29, 2015.

Just four days prior to the firing, Lt. Col. David Allen, commander of the 1-118th FAR presided over an activation ceremony for Battery C during which the battery’s guidon was entrusted to Capt. Jared Smith, battery commander. During the ceremony, rain began to fall. In five days, the Red Legs would answer Mother Nature’s rain with artillery thunder.

Battery C, 1-118th FAR following an activation ceremony at Fort Stewart, Ga. Sept. 24, 2015. Photo by Capt. William Carraway


The 1-118 FA contains elements of the oldest and youngest units of the Georgia Guard. With a heritage harkening back to the Chatham Artillery and campaign streamers from the American Revolution and the War of 1812, the 118th FA is steeped in history. While Battery C is the most recent unit, to join the venerable battalion, it too has a history dating back nearly 175 years.

Soldiers of the 118th FAR conduct rifle PT at Camp Wheeler near Macon, Ga. February 21, 1918. Georgia National Guard Archives.
Battery C traces its lineage to the Irish Jasper Greens, an antebellum militia unit formed in Savannah in 1842. In 1846, as part of the 1st Georgia Volunteer Regiment, the Jaspers were called into federal service for the Mexican War. The unit was again called to serve during the American Civil War where it participated in the defense of Savannah and Atlanta. As the 1st Georgia Volunteers, the 118th mustered into federal service for the Spanish American War in Griffin, Ga. May 11, 1898, although they did not see combat. In 1916, when the Georgia Guard was mobilized for Mexican border service, the 1st Georgia served near El Paso, Texas. Returning from border service, the unit was activated in 1917 for service in World War I and was designated for the first time as Battery C, 118th FA Sept. 23, 1917. Following the war, the unit served in the Georgia National Guard until activating for World War II service in 1940. Battery C, and the 118th FA were inactivated at the end of World War II but were reactivated in 1946 with the creation of the 48th Infantry Division.[2] Battery C was part of the 1990 activation of the 48th Brigade in support of Operation Desert Shield; however, the brigade did not ultimately deploy overseas.

Elements of the 118th FA have mobilized three times to Iraq and Afghanistan during the Global War on Terror. In 2005, the battalion mobilized with the 48th Infantry Brigade to Iraq. Battery C was consolidated with Battery B in 2008[3] following the reorganization of the battalion. The inactivation was short lived, and on July 28, 2015, Battery C was reorganized and reactivated in Savannah.

Lieutenant Colonel David Allen, commander of the 1-118th FAR and Capt. Jared Smith, commander of Battery C, 1-118th FAR observe
M777 firing at Fort Stewart, Ga. Sept. 29, 2015. Photo by Capt. William Carraway

Thunder and Steel Rain

Throughout its history, Battery C has manned numerous artillery pieces. From its early colonial-era bronze six-pound cannons to the towed 105 M101 artillery pieces of World War II, none were as lethal as the M777 155 mm towed howitzer. The M777 is truly massive. At 10.5 meters in length, the howitzer is longer than the LMTV used to tow it into position and the barrel alone is as long as a Cadillac Escalade. Capable of hurling 100-pound projectile 25 miles using a precision digital-control firing system, the M777 allows Battery C to reach out three times farther than units fielding the 105 mm howitzer. The M777 replaces the M198 in the Army Inventory. A key advantage of the newer weapon system is its weight. At 9,800 pounds, the M777 is three tons lighter than the M198 and can be lifted by a CH-47 helicopter. The M777 can also be brought into service three times faster than the M198. Using the precision-guided Excalibur munition, the M777 can drop rounds within 10 meters of a target from a range of 25 miles.

M777s at sunset at Fort Stewart. Photo by Capt. William Carraway

From six-pound bronze guns to today’s GPS guided artillery, Company C, and the rest of the 1st Battalion 118th FA are a living monument to the history of field artillery in the United States, even predating the nation’s history. This historic unit is not done making history yet.

[1] “Lineage and Honors of the 118th Field Artillery Regiment.” Center for Military History.

[2] Allotment of National Guard Ground Force Units to the State of Georgia, 11 July 1946, 1.

[3] OA 112-08, May 21, 2008.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

108th Cavalry Commander and Veteran of Two World Wars: Brig. Gen. Theodore Goulsby

Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Ga. Army National Guard

Left: The Georgia National Guard Cavalry Squadron on the Mexican Border in 1916. Photo by 1st Lt. Vivian Roberts, courtesy of Ms. Toni Maxwell.
Left: Uniform belonging to Capt. Joseph Slicer, commander of Company C, 108th Cavalry, who preceded Capt. Theodore Goulsby.
Photo by Maj. William Carraway

Georgia Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Theodore Goulsby died Sept. 22, 1970. A veteran of World War I and World War II, Goulsby served more than 38 years in the Georgia National Guard.

Goulsby was born September 13, 1892 in Fulton County, Ga., the oldest child of Wyatt, a railroad conductor and Angie Goulsby. Theodore went to work as a chauffeur at age 18 for an Atlanta-based streetcar company. The following year he enlisted in the Georgia National Guard’s Company E, 5th Georgia Infantry Regiment.[1] In June 1916, Sgt. Goulsby transferred to Troop L, 1st Squadron of Cavalry and was mobilized to the Mexican border with the squadron July 16.[2] Returning from the border expedition, Goulsby remained on active duty and deployed to France in 1918. He returned from Europe as first sergeant of the Company B, 106th Military Police.[3]

Maj. Theodore Goulsby,
commander, 108th Cavalry Regiment
in 1939. Ga.Guard Archives.
Upon his return to Atlanta, Goulsby was commissioned a second lieutenant and was a driving force behind reorganizing the Governor’s Horse Guard as Troop C, 108th Cavalry Regiment in June 1921. In 1928, Goulsby was promoted to captain and assumed command of Troop C. By 1939, Maj. Goulsby had risen to command the 108th Cavalry. The following year, the 108th was redesignated the 101st Sep. Coast Artillery Battalion, Antiaircraft with Col. Joseph Fraser as commanding officer and Goulsby as executive officer.[4]

After training with the 101st at Camp Stewart in 1941, Goulsby was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and served in the Pacific Theater of the War. In 1946 he was assigned as the executive officer of international prosecution in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Tokyo headquarters where he was responsible for trying Japanese war criminals including Premier Hideki Tojo.[5] He remained on active duty through March 1950 when he left the active army with the rank of colonel and swiftly rejoined the Georgia National Guard. Goulsby served as the public information officer for the adjutant general. He retired September 30, 1952[6] but remained with the Georgia National Guard serving as the budget and fiscal officer in the officer of the comptroller until 1954.[7]


The formal retirement of Brig. Gen. Theodore Goulsby was celebrated October 16, 1952 at a supper given by the officers of State Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment Army and Air sections. General Goulsby was presented with a silver platter engraved with the boar’s head insignia in recognition of his 38 years of service. In the group are (standing left to right) Major Ross Jergerson, Col. Leland O’Callaghan, 2nd Lt. Thomas G. Holly, Col. James Grizzard, Brig. Gen. Goulsby, Maj. Paul Castleberry, Lt. Col. Joel B. Paris III and Lt. Col. Homer Flynn. (Bottom left to right) Maj. Earl Bodron, Lt. Col. B. M. Davey, Maj. Donald Mees, Maj. Harold Kluber and CWO Joseph C. Strange. Paris would serve as Georgia's Adjutant General from 1971-1975. Mees served as commander of the Ga. ARNG from 1973-1975. Flynn commanded the Ga. ANG from 1955-1957 and 1959-1963. Grizzard served as commander, Ga. ANG from 1957-1959. Georgia Guard Archives.

Goulsby was laid to rest in Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, Sept. 24, 1970. 

[1] “Lt. Col. Theodore Goulsby Oldest Active Guardsman.” Georgia Guard Magazine, December 1951, 7.

[2] Muster Roll of Troop L Cavalry, Ga. N.G. 2nd Sqdn called into service 16 July 1916.

[3] Georgia, World War I Service Cards, Sgt. Theodore Goulsby, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

[4] Henderson, Lindsey Come What Will, a Military History of the 101st AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion. United States Occupied Berlin, Germany 1966, 109.

[5] Sedgwick, James Burnham. “The Trial within: Negotiating Justice at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1946-1948.” Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+. T, University of British Columbia, 2012. Accessed September 22, 2020.

[6] Georgia Guardsman Magazine, September 1952, inside cover.

[7]Gen. Goulsby Dies; Retired Guard Leader.” Atlanta Constitution Sept. 24, 1970, 34.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Battle of Chickamauga: Desperate Struggle in Georgia

 By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Georgia Army National Guard


A 1998 reenactment of the Battle of Chickamauga depicts the Confederate assault on Snodgrass Hill. Photo by William Carraway

Final Positions

On the evening of Sept. 18,1863, Federal commander, Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans, sent Maj. Gen. George Thomas, commander of the 14th Corps, north along the Lafayette Road. His intent was to extend his defensive line and maintain the Federal army’s line of retreat north to Chattanooga. By the morning of September 19, Thomas’s men had taken up position in the fields of the Kelly Farm.[1] Having received a report from Federal Col. Daniel McCook about an isolated rebel brigade trapped on the west side of the river, Thomas dispatched the Third Division of Maj. Gen. John Brannon to advance and develop the situation. Brannon, a career Army Soldier and Mexican American War Veteran dispatched the order to get the men on the move. Quickly downing coffee and half-cooked breakfast, Brannon’s men began moving east with Col. John Croxton’s Brigade moving to the Brotherton Road and Col. Ferdinand Van Derveer orienting on Reed’s Bridge Road.  

Opening actions on Sept. 19, 1863. Map by Hal Jespersen,

The Confederate troops McCook had encountered were cavalrymen of the 1st Georgia, who had thrown up skirmish lines south of Jay’s Mill, approximately ½ mile west of Reed’s Bridge. Having already received orders to withdraw, McCook left the field to the Georgians before reporting his findings to Thomas. Thus, by the time Thomas’s brigades moved east in search of the isolated Confederate brigade the Georgians were prepared in skirmish order across Reed’s Bridge Road ready to receive Van Derveer’s skirmishers. Moving east through the woods just one quarter mile south of the 1st Georgia, Croxton’s skirmish line comprised of the 10th Indiana encountered cavalry forces of Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Dispatching couriers to inform Brannon of contact to his front, Croxton began maneuvering his infantry regiments into line, a difficult process in wooded terrain. Forrest, meanwhile, ordered his cavalry to dismount and hold the ground while infantry support was summoned.

Receiving one of Forrest’s messages Maj. Gen. William T. Walker, commanding the Confederate reserve corps ordered fellow Georgian, Col. Claudius Wilson to make haste with his brigade to the sound of contact. Walker, like Brannon, was a career Army Soldier and Mexican War Veteran, and like Brannon, he would soon have two brigades heading to the vicinity of Jay’s Mill as the Texas Brigade of Brig. Gen. Matthew Ector fell in behind Wilson.

The Confederate cavalry held long enough for Wilson to deploy his regiments to threaten Croxton. Wilson’s regiments, the 25th, 29th and 30th Georgia with the 1st Georgia Battalion Sharpshooters and 4th Louisiana Sharpshooters pressed Croxton’s line which bent, but did not break.[2] Over the next two and a half hours, brigades would be sucked into the growing fight at Jay’s Mill.

Confusion and Reinforcement

The action alarmed both Rosecrans and his Confederate adversary, General Braxton Bragg. Bragg’s battle plan called for 25,000 men to assault Federal lines along the Lafayette Road, well south of Jay’s Mill. The unexpected presence of Thomas to the north threatened Bragg’s right flank. Rosecrans, meanwhile, had ordered Thomas into defensive positions, only to have his subordinate engage a division with an enemy of unknown strength.

Before launching his Lafayette Road offensive, Bragg determined to secure his flank in the vicinity of Jay’s Mill. He dispatched his reserve corps and five brigades of Maj. Gen. Ben Cheatham’s Division. Rosecrans meanwhile shifted divisions from the 20th and 21st Corps north to bolster Thomas. Both the Federal and Confederate commanders were dispatching units without regard to the chain of command, a breakdown in command and control that would be further exacerbated by the terrain and lack of visibility.

Actions on the afternoon of Sept. 19, 1863. Map by Hal Jespersen,

The Fighting Moves South

Cheatham’s 7,000 Confederates slammed into the Federal divisions shortly after noon, in the vicinity of the Brock farm.[3] After committing Cheatham, Bragg dispatched a third division under command of Maj. Gen. A. P. Stewart and ordered him to move to the sound of the guns.[4] Stewart arrived south of Cheatham’s lines shortly before 2:00 p.m. in time to stabilize the faltering Confederate line. Moving with Stewart were the 4th Georgia Sharpshooters and the 37th Georgia Infantry.[5] The Georgians were able to dislodge the stubborn Federal defenders of Maj. Gen. Van Cleve’s Division from their positions on the Lafayette Road. Having taken a significant amount of ground, Stewart had insufficient men to maintain his position and was forced to withdraw east of the Lafayette Road.[6]

Georgians Enter the Ditch of Death 

Brig. Gen. Hans Christian Heg. NPS

Intent on finding the enemy flank, Rosecrans met with the improbably named Brig. Gen. Jefferson Davis, and directed him to move his division across the Viniard Field, well south of the engaged forces. Expecting to find the Confederate left flank, Davis instead encountered the main body of Bragg’s waiting assault force-25,000 strong. In the next two and a half hours the most savage combat of the battle would swirl about the Viniard Field until the Federal line collapsed at 4:30 p.m. and the Northerners were sent streaming back across the Lafayette Road. Attempting to rally his 3rd Brigade, Norwegian-born Col. Hans Christian Heg rode along the front line of his men admonishing them by personal example of courage. As he wheeled his horse about, Heg was struck by a bullet which pierced his abdomen. He reeled from the wound but kept to the saddle and remained with his men.[7]

Pursuing the fleeing Federal troops, the Georgians of Brig. Gen. Henry Benning poured volley after volley into the backs of the retreating Federal Soldiers. Sgt. W.R. Houghton of the 2nd Georgia recalled the action:

“We stood there… shooting them down… It was horrible slaughter.”[8] The slaughter would soon be visited upon Benning’s men as they advanced into the field of fire of the brigade of Col. John Wilder, whose men were armed with seven shot repeating rifles. Benning’s Georgians were cut to pieces. Of 1,200 Georgians 490 became casualties. The Federals had also suffered. Among the fallen was Heg who would die of the effects of his wound at a field hospital the next morning.[9]

Monument to the 2nd Georgia Infantry at Chickamauga. Photo by Maj. William Carraway

A Restless Night

By 6:00 p.m., fighting had mostly ended in the Viniard Field where 15 brigades had contended. After nearly 12 hours of continuous combat the fighting was concluded, except for a rare night assault initiated by the division of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne across the Winfrey Field. The men of both armies settled in for a restless night. Despite temperatures that plunged below freezing, Soldiers of both armies were forbidden from starting campfires due to the proximity of enemy forces.

With the arrival of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet on the field, Bragg reorganized his army into two wings. Longstreet was given command of the left wing while Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk commanded the right. Bragg’s battle plan remained unchanged: attack and drive the Federal army south, away from its line of retreat to Chattanooga.

On the opposite side of the Lafayette Road, Rosecrans, having gone without sleep, surveyed his lines with the intent of supporting Thomas’ lines to the north. Rosecrans would agree to reinforce Thomas – a decision that would have fateful consequences on the second day of the battle.

Monument to Col. Peyton Colquitt at Chickamauga.
Photo by Maj. William Carraway
Action Resumes, The Federal North in Peril

Although Bragg had intended to attack at dawn, the Confederate assault did not get underway until 9:30 a.m. when the corps of Lt. Gen. D.H. Hill struck Thomas. Though bloodily repulsed on part of their lines, two brigades of Hill’s Corps succeeded in turning Thomas’s left flank. The Confederates drove south down the Lafayette Road into the Kelly Field and threatened the entire Federal position. Rosecrans, sensing the threat, shifted forces from the south and by 11:30, Hill was forced back, but not before Brig. Gen. James Deshler, a brigade commander in the division of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne, was killed, struck in the chest by an artillery shell.[10] Moving in support of Hill, Col. Peyton Colquitt, commanding Gist’s Brigade of Georgian’s and South Carolinians was mortally wounded. Colquitt, had formerly commanded the 46th Georgia Infantry Regiment.[11]

Federal Disaster

Lt. Gen. Longstreet's Assault. Map by Hal Jespersen, 

Hill’s success worried Rosecrans, who began shifting additional forces north. In the course of redeployment, the Federal exposed a division-wide gap in their line. Just as the gap opened, Longstreet launched an assault into the gap. The divisions of Davis and Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan were crushed by 12,000 surging Confederates. 

Brig. Gen. W. H Lytle
Commanding Sheridan’s 1st Brigade was Brig. Gen. William Lytle, an Ohioan, Lytle had been a celebrated poet before the war and was popular in the north and south. Pressed by a brigade of Alabamians, Lytle was mounted and directing the movement of his troops when he was struck in the back by a musket ball. He remained in the saddle continuing to issue orders until he was struck in the head spattering blood on a staff officer’s uniform. Lytle’s men attempted to bear him away from the conflict, but he asked to be left on the field where he expired.[12] Surging forward, Confederate Soldiers recognized Lytle and formed a guard around his body. News spread among the gray ranks. Presently, Confederate Brig. Gen. Patton Anderson, overwhelmed with grief, stood before Lytle. Anderson and Lytle had been good friends before the American Civil War. They parted amicably in Charleston in 1860 promising that nothing would interfere with their friendship. Weeping, Anderson removed Lytle’s wedding ring and secured a lock of his hair to send home to his widow.[13]

With defeat swiftly degenerating into a rout, Rosecrans, his chief of staff and future president, James Garfield, and three corps commanders were driven from the field. One third of the Federal army ceased to exist as a fighting force. If not for the determined stand of Maj. Gen. Thomas’s men on Snodgrass Hill, the entire Federal army might have been destroyed in detail. Thomas held just long enough to preserve the Federal army before withdrawing to Rossville to the North. Nevertheless, hundreds of Federal Soldiers were captured by onrushing Confederates.

Maj. Gen. George Thomas' desperate stand. Map by Hal Jespersen, 


On the morning of September 21, Confederates awoke to find that the Federal army had slipped away. Rosecrans would reestablish his base at Chattanooga but his tenure as army commander was drawing to a close. In just over a week Rosecrans would be replaced by a hard fighting western general named Ulysses Grant.

Although he was technically the victor, Bragg had failed in his objective of destroying Rosecrans. He would continue to bicker with his subordinate commanders until November when he would challenge the Federal army for control of Chattanooga.

More than 34,000 of the 125,000 Soldiers engaged at Chickamauga became casualties. But D.H. Hill remembering the battle years later observed that true casualty of Chickamauga was hope.

“It seems to me that the √©lan of the Southern Soldier was never seen after Chickamauga; the brilliant dash which had distinguished him was gone forever. He fought stoutly to the last, but after Chickamauga, with the sullenness of despair, and without the enthusiasm of hope. That ‘barren victory’ sealed the fate of the Southern Confederacy.”[14]


[1] Powell, David A., and David A. Friedrichs. The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22 - September 23, 1863. New York: Savas Beatie, 2009. 48

[2] Powell, 53.

[3] Powell, 68.

[4] Cozzens, Peter. This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996, 169.

[5] Powell, 79.

[6] Powell, 84.

[7] Cozzens, 223.

[8] Powell, David. Chickamauga Campaign- a Mad Irregular Battle. Savas Beatie, 2016, 19.

[9] Cozzens, 289.

[10] Powell, 163.

[11] Powell, 164.

[12] Cozzens, 386-388.

[13] Cozzens, 389.

[14] Johnson, Robert Underwood, and Clarence Clough Buel. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Vol. 3. Century Company, 1888.

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