18th Georgia Volunteer Infantry
|18th Georgia Volunteer Infantry|
Georgia State flag prior to 1879
|Active||April 22, 1861–April 9, 1865|
|Country||Confederate States of America|
|Branch||Confederate States Army|
|Engagements||American Civil War|
|Brig. Gen. William T. Wofford|
The 18th Georgia Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Originally brigaded with the three Texas regiments of John Bell Hood's Texas Brigade, it was transferred to Thomas R.R. Cobb's Georgia Brigade after the Battle of Antietam in late 1862. After General Cobb was mortally wounded at Battle of Fredericksburg, the original colonel of the 18th Georgia, William T. Wofford, became Brigadier General of the Georgia Brigade.
The regiment was organized at Camp Brown, Cobb County, Georgia, on April 22, 1861, under a special act of the Georgia legislature and was originally designated First Regiment, Fourth Brigade, State Troops under the following officers: Colonel William T. Wofford of Cass County; Lieutenant Colonel Solon Z. Ruff of the Georgia Military Institute, Cobb County; Major Jefferson Johnson, Floyd County; Adjutant John C. Griffin, Cobb County. Transferring to Camp MacDonald at Big Shanty (Kennesaw), the regiment drilled for two months after which the "Fourth Brigade" was broken up and sent north on August 2, 1861.
The 18th Georgia was composed of ten companies, mostly from central counties in Georgia.
- Company A: Cobb County — "Acworth Infantry"
- Company B: Newton County — "Newton Rifles"
- Company C: Jackson County — "Jackson County Volunteers"
- Company D: Dougherty County — "Davis Invincibles"
- Company E: Gordon County — "Stephens Infantry"
- Company F: Bartow County — "Davis Guards"
- Company G: Bartow County — "Lewis Volunteers"
- Company H: Bartow County — "Rowland Highlanders"
- Company I: Dooly County — "Dooly Light Infantry"
- Company K: Bartow County — "Rowland Infantry"
Initial deployment and service
The 18th Georgia briefly guarded prisoners in Richmond captured at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) and served garrison duty for two weeks in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In November they were sent north to the area of Dumfries, Virginia, along the Potomac River where they were attached to the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas regiments to form a "full" brigade.
For the next year they would be an integral member of the Texas Brigade as it fought from the Peninsula Campaign to Antietam. The regiment was first engaged at the Battle of Eltham's Landing and the Battle of Seven Pines. It served conspicuously during the Seven Days Battle where, along with their Texas compatriots, they broke the line at the Battle of Gaines' Mill, effectively ending McClellan's campaign, and resulting in casualties of 37 killed and 106 wounded.
Two months later, the regiment distinguished itself again at the Second Battle of Bull Run where members captured two stands of colors (those of the 24th and 10th New York Infantry regiments), and where, along with the Texas Brigade, they spearheaded Longstreet's assault on Pope's left, nearly wiping out the 5th New York Zouaves and captured a battery of four guns. Casualties were 37 dead and 87 wounded. Three weeks later, the 18th fought at the Battle of Antietam losing 14 killed and 30 wounded.
Under orders of the Confederate States War Department, the 18th Georgia Infantry was transferred from the Texas Brigade to the Georgia Brigade and went into camp at Fredericksburg, Virginia. In the ensuing Battle of Fredericksburg, the regiment fought behind the stone wall on Marye's Heights sustaining losses of 14 killed and 30 wounded while inflicting heavy casualties upon the enemy.
- Folsom, James Madison, Heroes and Martyrs of Georgia: Georgia's Record in the Revolution of 1861 Burke, Boykin & Company, 1864; Reprinted by Butternut and Blue, 1995, ISBN 0-935523-49-9
- Polley, J. B., Hood's Texas Brigade: Its Marches, Its Battles, Its Achievements, Morningside Bookshop, 1988, ISBN 978-0-89029-037-8.
- Simpson, Harold B., Hood's Texas Brigade: Lee's Grenadier Guard, Texas Press, 1970, ISBN 1-56013-009-1.
- Folsom, pgs 12-13