Historic Markers Across Georgia

Stephen's Gap

Marker ID: CHT 19
Location: Harold Stevens Rd at Fricks Gap Rd
County: Walker
Coordinates: N 34° 47.054    W 085° 24.798
  34.78423333    -85.4133
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMAHAV
Stephen's Gap Marker  


Jesse Stephens was a farmer living at the base of the mountain. Although the Federal records usually misspelled his name as Stevens, the name of the gap and road are derived from him. The 1860 Federal Census shows him as a 54 year old Georgia native. He lived with his 52 year-old wife Amy, a native of South Carolina, a 22 year-old daughter, and four sons, ages 20, 18, 16, and 14. He owned two enslaved Africans; a 60 year-old female and a four year-old boy. The road that came off the mountain at his farm was one of the major routes used by the Federal Army in crossing Lookout Mountain. General James Negley, commanding the lead Division in Thomas' 14th Army Corps was the first up the mountain. "We have driven the [Confederate] pickets from Stevens' Gap," Negley reported, "after some skirmishing. There were about 100 rebels in sight at Stevens's Gap. We have removed the obstructions, but the road will require repairs. "

General Negley brought his division down through Stephens' Gap. This movement was observed by Confederate cavalry who informed General Braxton Bragg that the Federals were off the mountain and moving toward Davis' Crossroads, adding that they would be vulnerable to a surprise Confederate attack. While the Confederates were not able to coordinate attacks that would have destroyed Negley's Division, he was forced back to the base of the mountain in action on September 10-11.

"From the skirmishing at Davis's Crossroads on September 11, 1863," Surgeon F. H. Gross later reported, "Surgeons S. Marks and R. G. Bogue of the Baird's and Negley's Divisions of the 14th Corps respectively, set up a field hospital first at the Widow Davis house and then moved it to Bailey's Crossroads and then to the Stephens House at Stephens Gap. There were 27 wounded to be cared for. Two of these eventually died. On September 16, 22 of the remaining wounded were, along with some sick, sent to Chattanooga. Those of the wounded [who] were too badly injured to make the trip ¨. were left with a medical officer at the Stephens House." Surgeon Marks added that all the wounded from Baird's Division "but one was sent to Chattanooga. The one remaining injured man, too badly injured to be moved was left with a surgeon and two nurses of Negley's Division at the Stephens House."

The surgeon from Negley's Division, G. Bogue, stated that: "The sick had been cared for while in the area of Stephens Gap in the division ambulance park which was in a grove of trees. Two wounded men had died while at the Stephens House. Two of the division's wounded were too badly injured to move. They were left at the Stephens House along with one of Baird's Division, a nurse from each division, Assistant Surgeon H. S. Griswold, 11th Michigan, and food, medicines, and dressings for four or five days. They were subsequently captured when the Federals abandoned Stephens Gap on September 20."

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail - Stephens Gap #19


Stephen's Gap


This marker is part of the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail, Army of the Cumberland #19 - Stephen's Gap

For more information on the Battle of Chickamauga:
Civil War Historic Markers Across Georgia - Battle of Chickamauga
Wikipedia - Battle of Chickamauga