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Henry County Historical Markers

The Orphan Brigade

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: The Orphan Brigade
  • Location: Stockbridge Presbyterian Church on US 23, Stockbridge


  1. Activities in Atlanta indicating a new offensive by Gen. Sherman’s army (USA), which had occupied that area since Sept. 2nd, units of Gen. Wheeler’s cavalry corps (CSA) were posted on all roads to the south. On Nov. 15th, the advance of Osterhaus’ 15th Corps (USA), which had marched from White Hall (West End) via Rough and Ready that day, was halted near Stockbridge by Brig. Gen. Joseph H. Lewis’ “Orphan Brigade” (2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th Kentucky Mounted Infantry). Although greatly outnumbered, the Orphans delayed the enemy until flanked out of position, after which they retired in good order to Lovejoy Station. This was the first real resistance met by the Right Wing of Sherman’s army on its destructive March to the Sea.

These Kentucky regiments (CSA) were “orphans” because the secession movement had failed in Kentucky, leaving them with no “home state” in the Confederacy. The Orphan Brigade was first commanded by Maj. Gen John C. Breckinridge, formerly Vice President of the United States, later Secretary of War in the Confederate Cabinet. It served with great distinction through all four years of the War Between the States.