Belleview House
The home of Sen. Benjamin
Harvey Hill, Belleview is a
major landmark in LaGrange.
The Nancy Harts drilled in a
grove belonging to Sen. Hill.
The Nancy Harts - Female Confederates in LaGrange, Georgia - The Nancy Harts of LaGrange, Georgia - The Nancy Harts of LaGrange, Georgia
Home of a Nancy Hart
Built during the 1830s, this beautiful old home in
Lagrange was once the residence of Mrs. Peter
Heard, a lieutenant in the Nancy Harts.
All Female Confederate Company
As Wilson's Raid through Alabama and
Georgia pushed east for the Chattahoochee
River, a large column of Union troops swept
north to strike
Fort Tyler at West Point and the
Georgia city of LaGrange. In LaGrange they
encountered something totally unexpected,
the Nancy Harts.

It is a little known fact that the women of the
South often offered to take up arms in the
defense of their homes and families and
sometimes did so. In LaGrange they took
their willingness to serve an extra step and
formed an all female militia company.

Named the Nancy Harts after a Georgia
heroine of the American Revolution, the
women of LaGrange participated in regular
drills and target practice.

An account of the formation of the company
appeared Atlanta's
Southern Confederacy
newspaper on June 1, 1861:

We are informed that the ladies of LaGrange,
to the number of about forty organized
themselves on Saturday last, into a military
corps for the purpose of drilling and target
practice. They elected Dr. A.C. Ware as their
Captain; and, we believe, resolved to meet
every Saturday.

Using whatever arms they could obtain, the
Nancy Harts drilled twice weekly. Although
their initial efforts were as clumsy as those of
other militia organizations, over time they
developed military cohesiveness. Their target
practice improved and they also learned
basic infantry tactics.

For almost four years LaGrange's all female
militia continued to drill. Despite some
alarms during Sherman's campaign on
Atlanta, the city remained peaceful and the
Nancy Harts were spared their baptism of fire.
The situation changed on the morning of
April 16, 1865, when Brigadier General
Robert H. Tyler telegraphed from nearby
West Point that he was facing attack by an
overwhelming force of Union cavalry. All of
the wounded able to walk left the hospitals in
LaGrange and marched to join the fight. Fort
Tyler fell later that day in the
Battle of West
Point and by the next morning the people of
LaGrange knew that the Federals were
moving in their direction.

As Colonel Oscar H. LaGrange approached
the city with thousands of men, the 40
members of the Nancy Harts formed ranks
on the grounds of the home of Lieutenant
Mary Heard. Despite the pleas of regular
soldiers and others that they go home and
lock their doors, 1st Lieutenant Mrs. Nannia
Morgan marched her company out to meet
Colonel LaGrange and his oncoming
As they met the Union force on the West
Point road, Morgan formed her women into a
line of battle. Colonel LaGrange did not
mention the incident in his official report, but
members of the Nancy Harts later recalled
that a captured Confederate major intervened
to prevent bloodshed. Bringing LaGrange
forward, he introduced him to Captain Nancy

LaGrange complimented the women on their
gallantry and agreed to spare their homes
and families if they would return home. The
woman agreed.

The Union troops did do considerable
damage to the tannery, railroad and other
facilities in LaGrange, but the colonel kept
his agreement with the Nancy Harts and
spared the private residences of the city. To
show their appreciation, the female soldiers
hosted him for dinner that evening.

From LaGrange the Union troops continued
on to Macon, where the met the rest of
Wilson's command and learned that the war
was officially over. The women of the Nancy
Harts returned home to live out their lives.

Belleview, the home of Senator Benjamin
Harvey Hill, is now a museum in LaGrange.
The all female Confederate company drilled
in a grove on its original grounds. The Heard
home on Church Street was the home of Mrs.
Peter Heard, 2nd lieutenant of the Nancy
The Road up College Hill
The Union troops approached
LaGrange via this road. It was
also the scene of their almost
battle with the Nancy Harts.
LaGrange, Georgia
A magnificent fountain and
square greet visitors to
downtown LaGrange, home
of the Nancy Harts.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Officers of the Nancy Harts

Dr. A.C. Ware, Captain
Mrs. Nannia Morgan, 1st Lt.
Mrs. Peter A. Heard, 2nd Lt.
Miss Aley Smith, 3rd Lt.
Miss Andelle Bull, 1st Sgt.
Miss Augusta Hill, 2nd Sgt.
Miss M.E. Colquitt, 3rd Sgt.
Miss Pack Beall, 1st Corp.
Miss Lelia Pullen, 2nd Corp.
Miss Sallie Bull, 3rd Corp.
Miss Ella Key, Treasurer

Source: Atlanta Southern
, June 1, 1861, p. 2.
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