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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

August 27, 1863

Report on Shelling During Prayer Service

The Richmond Times Dispatch printed another report on the shelling of Chattanooga, this during a prayer service.

The shelling of Chattanooga. –A correspondent of the Atlanta Appeal, writing of the shelling of Chattanooga, Tenn., by the Yankees on Fast day, says: Yesterday being Fast day, we were all assembled at the various churches for Divine worship, at Chattanooga. I attended the services of the Rev. Dr. Falmer. The preliminary services were not concluded, when the congregation was startled by several discharges of artillery, in rapid succession. The congregation immediately dispersed, and we received intelligence that the enemy was occupying the heights beyond the river, overlooking the town. Upon making an effort to reach my quarters, on a height near the river - the old quarters of Gen. Johnston–with a lady, we were met by an officer and turned back, saying that a shell had exploded, killing one man and wounding another. The shelling now became more rapid. Soon our guns were in position, and responded energetically. Shells exploded among the hospital buildings, and very near Lieutenant-General Polk’s quarters. It partially subsided from 1 o’clock, but the firing was still heard at 5, when the train left. Having a lady under my protection, I was compelled to leave.–There were the usual evidences of surprise - men and women, officers and soldiers, and wagons, running hither and thither in apparently the wildest confusion. All the sick were sent from the hospitals on the train last evening, and the commissary and quartermaster’s stores were being run over in great haste. The general opinion was that it was a demonstration to feel our position or to operate as a diversion. I heard the killed and wounded, chiefly wounded, summed up at ten or twelve, among them a woman killed, and a woman and little girl wounded severely, perhaps fatally.