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In Their Own Words

September 25, 1863

Journal Entry on Sons at Chickamauga

John Banks of Columbus had seven sons fight for the Confederacy. Two of these - Eugene and Willis - were involved in the Battle of Chickamauga five days earlier, as their father recorded in his journal on this day:

“Just gotten telegram from Willis who was in the battle near Ringgold, saying that William Mitchell, a lieutenant, was killed. Willis was wounded, flesh wound; and that Eugene Banks, his lieutenant, has escaped unhurt. I have sent son Kelly after Willis and at this writing have not heard from him. Willis was taken from the field. His telegram is dated at Adairsville.

“This battle has lasted several days and been most fatal. Our killed and wounded estimated at 10 to 12,000. The enemy’s loss thought to be larger than ours. We certainly made a victory. The enemy commanded by Rosecrans. Bragg commanded our army. Many have fallen from Columbus and the neighborhood. The fighting still continues about Charleston. Nothing decisive from there yet, she still holds out and thus far has escaped the enemy. Elbert [another son] is still in Mississippi.

“Cotton not so high as it has been 35 to 45c.”

Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), p. 29.