The Civil War Record
Robert Emmett Lawhon
Co. F 23rd Georgia Infantry
Robert Emmett Lawhon was born in La Fayette, Chambere County, Alabama, September 27th
1840, and came to Georgia in 1846. The family settled near Powder Springs Ga.
On the 30th of August 1861, R E Lawhon enlisted in the Army of the Confederate States,
23rd Georgia Regiment, Company F, at Kennesaw, Ga. , under Capt. Benjamin F King, after which his movements were as follows:
Battle of Seven Pines, Saturday & Sunday, May 31st &
June 1st 1862
Seven Days Fight around Richmond, ended on the July
4th , from here 2nd Battle of Manassas
From Manassas to Battle of South Mountain in
Maryland, September 14th 1862. Fought all that day Sunday
Then Antietam where he was made 1st Lieut.;
From Antietam to Bunkers Hill, where he stayed until
December 1st, 1862
Then Fredericksburg ;
Sent to Kinston NC
Then to the coast of Wilmington NC;
Then to Charleston, SC, from whence he went to Morris
Island where he was wounded
(See Mr. Penn Mitchell, also Mr. Fred Collins, who may have R E Lawhon’s sword)
The Seven Day’s Battles around Richmond, embraced the battles of Mechanicsville,
Gaines Mill (Cold Harbor), Savage’s Station, Frazier’s Farm and Malvern Hill
R E Lawhon was made 1st Lieut. after the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam). His comrades
called him “The Little Lieutenant”.
He was wounded on Morris Island, August 30 1863. Capt. Mitchell being sick at the time,
R E Lawhon was acting as Captain. His left leg was shattered by a shell during the bombardment. This leg had to be amputated
and calf of the right was terribly torn that it would not heal for years and finally broke out again and caused his death
After being wounded, he was sent to the hospital in Charleston, SC, He lay wounded for
a couple of hours before receiving any attention whatever. Finally when he and the other wounded were being carried across
the water to the hospital, in an old wooden boat, those in charge of the boat, forgot the password and were fired upon from
the landing by their own men. The was sunk and R E Lawhon would have drown but not for the heroic efforts of his friend Mr.
Tom Rutherford (still living in Cobb County, Ga.) who rescued him and swam ashore, almost losing his own life in the attempt
to save his life long friend. In their frantic efforts to gain the shore, Mr. Rutherford repeatedly said to his friend that
if he (RE Lawhon) went down to a watery grave, he would go with him.
R E Lawhon lay in the hospital at Charleston nine weeks after which he was sent home,
seven miles before Acworth, Ga. When able to get about again he worked in the Post office at Marietta, Ga. with William Fergus
Groves and continued to work there until his leg got so inflamed and painful that he decided to go to the Guyton Hospital,
Savannah, Ga. for treatment, He went just ahead of Sherman’s Army.
To keep from being captured (?) he left the hospital, although his leg was in dreadful
condition. He just escaped having gangrene. Leaving the Guyton Hospital and traveling ahead of Sherman’s Army, he went
to Staunton, Va. At Staunton he met a young man who was suffering from Consumption.
They became good friends and the young man gave R E Lawhon a letter of introduction to
his father who was at the head of his department in the Confederate Treasury at Richmond.
When he arrived at Richmond this letter was presented and he was given a clerkship in
the Treasury Dept. He remained here until Richmond fell. (Some of his children, especially D C Lawhon, have part of the paper
money paid him there as his last salary from the Confederate Government.)
All night long before Grant’s Army came into Richmond, R E Lawhon, with the others
employed in the Treasury, was helping pack papers and books into freight cars to be sent farther south to a place of safety.
All they could not pack were piled in the street and burned.
When he started early the next morning, to the place where he had a room, the sun was
just rising. As he was going down the street he heard a shout. Turning, he looked back in time to see the stars and stripes
going up over the Capitol.
He then went around to the hospital and went to bed. The nurse and doctor hid his crutches,
and told him to pretend he was a very sick man. This was not hard to do as his leg was still very painful. The Yankees took
the hospital but the sick and wounded were very well treated.
R E Lawhon was wounded only one other time. At Malvern Hill, Va., a spent grape shot caused
quite a sore place but could hardly be called more then a bruise. It was after this Battle that a wagon load of legs and arms
passed by. The rain had poored all night long and they had been washed clean of blood and dirt and were bleached perfectly
From Richmond, he came home to Acworth, Ga., in 1865, from whence he went to Marietta,
and from Marietta to Atlanta, Ga., where he accepted a position with the Kennesaw Mills. He was with them for about fifteen
(Mention here R E Lawhon’s connection with the Young Men’s Library Assn. of
Atlanta. See Mr. Darwin Jones of Atlanta)
At this time his leg became so terribly inflamed that it was necessary to get a position
with Mr. A Y Leake, a groceryman in Marietta, Ga., moving to Marietta on November 9th 1887, and here he lived until his death
in June 1909, in the same house he moved into when coming from Atlanta.