Should Decatur Honor a Union Soldier?Decatur Metro | July 21, 2010
Dave got to this one before me, but at Monday’s Decatur City Commission meeting, Chris Billingsley spoke out in favor of the city doing something in 4 years on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Decatur to honor the Union Soldier, John W. Sprague, who won the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 22, 1864.
During his comments to the commission, Billingsley stated that roughly 500 men died in battle along what is now North McDonough Street that day.
Here’s Sprague’s write up from the Army’s Medal of Honor website…
Rank and organization: Colonel, 63d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Decatur, Ga., 22 July 1862. Entered service at: Sandusky, Ohio Born: 4 April 1817, White Creek, N.Y. Date of issue: 18 January 1894. Citation: With a small command defeated an overwhelming force of the enemy and saved the trains of the corps.
During the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, Sprague was in command of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps. During the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, at a subaction near Decatur, Georgia, he masterfully conducted a delaying action under heavy enemy fire and received praise from his superiors. With only a small command, he defeated an overwhelming Confederate force and saved the entire ordnance and supply trains of the XV, XVI, XVII, and XX corps.
According to Wikipedia, not 8 days later Sprague was promoted to to the rank of brigadier general.