Friday, August 3, 2012

Two Forgotten Alabama Battles of the Civil War

Reenactors fire a salute commemorating Battle of Fairview
I've just added new pages to the main site on the Battle of Fairview and the Battle of Newton, two all but forgotten Civil War actions that took place in the Wiregrass region of South Alabama.
These two battles were unique in that both were fought by citizens to defend or avenge their communities against outlaw raider gangs, not by soldiers of the Union and Confederacy lining up to fight each other.

Battle Branch, Site of the Battle of Fairview, Alabama
The Battle of Fairview took place on September 2, 1864, in Coffee County, Alabama. A band of outlaws called Ward's Raiders and led by Jim Ward had burned the courthouse in the county seat of Elba the previous spring, trying to destroy the conscription or draft records there. The records were saved, so on the night of September 1 the raiders came back and set fire to buildings all around the square as well as the bridge over the Pea River. Local citizens took up arms and gave chase, cornering the raiders at Battle Branch in the Fairview Community. To learn more about the Battle of Fairview, please visit

Battle of Newton Monument in Newton, Alabama
The Battle of Newton took place in nearby Dale County, Alabama, on March 14, 1865. Joseph Sanders was a lieutenant in the 1st Florida Cavalry (U.S.) but exceeded his orders and led a mixed band of U.S. cavalrymen and outlaw guerrillas against the Dale County seat of Newton. His target, as had been the case with the Battle of Fairview, was the courthouse and its conscription or draft records. And just as had been the case in Elba, the citizens of Newton took up arms. The battle evolved differently because at Newton, the citizens were waiting when Sanders and his men rode into town. To learn more about the Battle of Newton, please visit

Sketoe's Hole Memorial
If you are interested in the Civil War in the Wiregrass, you might also enjoy reading the story of Ghost of Sketoe's Hole. The legend revolves around the hanging of a man in Dale County, Alabama, during the closing months of the war and the "hole that will not stay filled." To learn more, please visit

You can also read about many other Alabama battles and forts by visiting

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