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Civil War monument would honor Wis. men
ALLATOONA, Ga. - A Chicago native has been gathering funds to erect a monument commemorating Wisconsin men who fought in the Civil War.

The proposed monument will be made of red granite from Wausau formed in the shape of Wisconsin, Raymond Wozniak said in a letter to the Green County Historical Society. Wozniak, who resides in Georgia, is a Civil War reenactor who has taken it upon himself to raise funds to build this and other monuments at Allatoona Pass in Georgia. There are nine other monuments set in the shape of a horseshoe at the site of the historic battle.

The battle took place on Oct. 5, 1864 near a railroad that supplied Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman after he had taken Atlanta. Confederate Lt. Gen. John B. Hood was attempting to stifle these supply lines by attacking Federal supply bases like Allatoona, which housed more than one million rations, mostly pork, salt and tack. A small contingency of troops, including the 18th Wisconsin Infantry and troops from Illinois and Minnesota, were stationed at Allatoona Pass to guard the supply lines. Company B of the 18th Wisconsin Infantry was comprised of mostly Green County men led by county native Capt. Charles H. Jackson, but just how many men were in the company could not be precisely found.

Tom Howe, a former teacher of history in the Monona Grove School District, said there could have been as many as 44 Green County men in the company, but he said it was likely fewer, since the sick and wounded men would be counted on the roster but not necessarily fighting.

Allatoona Pass is a small dip in the Allatoona Mountain range where the Western and Atlantic railroad traveled through. The Federal men stationed there were vastly outnumbered by the Confederate army sent by Hood. Sherman knew of Hood's plan to destroy the supply line at the pass and sent along fake reports that he had a large contigency of Union troops on the way. This message was received by the Confederate general leading the attack on Allatoona, and he backed off of the pass.

There is a myth that Sherman told the men to "hold the fort," which inspired a hymn of the same name, but Sherman denied ever saying that phrase.

Howe said he and his wife stumbled upon the historic battlefield while on vacation in Georgia last year. He specializes in history on the Civil War. After visiting the pass, he looked into the battle and found it to be extremly bloody but short. There were about 700 Union casualties and almost 900 Confederate casualties. Howe said that of the 161 men in the 18th Wisconsin Infantry, 98 were killed, captured or wounded. He could not find how many of those men were from Green County. Howe attributed the Union victory both to the fact that Sherman duped the Confederates and that Union troops were using Henry repeating rifles rather than ball and muskets like the Southern troops.

Howe works in many facets of mentoring new and old teachers for the Dane County New Teacher Project and the New Teacher Center. He said he is glad that Civil War stories are still being shared and honored.

"It's not just the drums and bugle history, as I like to call it, but the stories that help define the meaning of this country," he said.

The monument would cost $10,000 and is $2,800 shy of this goal. Howe said he hopes it brings more recognition to the shaping force the Civil War had on this country.