Welcome to the Home of the Madison Chapter,  UDC

The United Daughters of the Confederacy is the outgrowth of many local memorial, monument, and Confederate home associations and auxiliaries to camps of United Confederate Veterans that were organized after the War Between the States. It is the oldest patriotic organization in our country because of its connection with two statewide organizations that came into existence as early as 1890 — the Daughters of the Confederacy (DOC) in Missouri and the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Confederate Soldiers Home in Tennessee.

For soldiers hearing the snap and whine of bullets whizzing by, a skirmish can feel like a major battle.  But more often than not, the epic fights get most of the attention from historians, while smaller engagements are often overlooked. The American Civil War provides many examples.  Even a causal student of that war likely will be able to name battles like Gettysburg, Shiloh and Antietam. But chances are good that even a Civil War expert will draw a blank if asked about the Battle of Jack’s Shop.

The battle, named for a blacksmith’s shop near Rochelle in Madison County, is one of those bloody affairs that often get relegated to footnotes, if that. But for the Union and Confederate soldiers who slugged it out on Sept. 21-22, 1863, it was war most murderous.  The largest and deadliest battle in Madison County’s history opened on Sept. 21, 1863. That day Union troops under the command of Maj. Gen. John Buford Jr. and Maj. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick approached the town of Madison.

The large force of Yankees consisted of two divisions that together numbered more than 7,000 men. Their aim was to strike the flank of a large force of Confederates in the area.  There were some Confederate troops in Madison, but they were vastly outnumbered and had to retreat. The following morning, Confederate Maj. Gen. John Ewel Brown “Jeb” Stuart and 3,000 of his cavalrymen set out to stop the Union advance.

Buford and his men arrived at Jack’s Shop around midmorning. As troops assembled around the handful of dwellings, a small patrol was sent out ahead of the main force.  The sound of gunfire soon erupted when the patrol encountered the advance point element of Stuart’s cavalry. The aggressive Rebels charged, but dismounted Union cavalry opened up on them from a tree line, and the charge quickly turned into a retreat.

The fighting escalated as the main bodies of both forces arrived on the battlefield. The men in gray were carrying the day, but that rapidly changed when Union artillery was brought into action.  Stuart also had artillery, and that helped him and his men from being overrun when Union troops were moving in on them from three directions. The Confederates managed to escape from the near encirclement, but they suffered heavy losses.  Both sides claimed victory, but the price was high. Later estimates placed the percentage of men killed or wounded for each of the opposing forces at between 12 to 15 percent.

One of the foremost experts on the Battle of Jack’s Shop is local historian Harold Woodward Jr. He will be leading tours to the battlefield on Saturday as part of a daylong commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the clash.  The free event will be from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will be held at Madison County High School off U.S. 29 North and nearby Hoover Ridge Park. The Franklin Tour Bus that will take groups on the narrated tour will accept passengers on a first-come, first-served basis at 8:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Gods and Generals Movie Trailer

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