American Civil War Monuments
Wilder’s “Lightning Brigade” Monument
Dedicated September 20, 1903
Chickamauga National Military Park
Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore
Col. John T. Wilder and his Lightning Brigade were near the site of Widow Glenn’s house when rebel forces broke through the Union line near the Brotherton Cabin during the battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 20, 1862. Five regiments from Illinois and Indiana armed with 7 shot repeating Spencer carbines laid down a barrage into the advancing Confederates under the command of Arthur Manigault forcing the rebels to retreat. The effect of Wilder’s action is still debated. Some say it slowed the Rebel army long enough for Maj. Gen. George Thomas, the Rock of Chickamauga, to form his line. Others say it was only one action in a chain of events including the wounding of Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood that slowed the Confederate onslaught. The Wilder Brigade went into the battle with 2,283 men of whom 12 were killed, 92 wounded and 18 missing. Their percentage lost totaled 05%.