Benjamin H. Helm Memorial Shell Monument - Chickamauga National Military Park
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 34° 56.019 W 085° 15.168
16S E 659572 N 3867078
Quick Description: This pyramid of cannon balls marks where Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Helm was mortally wounded at about 10:00 am on September 20, 1863. Located in the woods, east of Alexander Bridge Road.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 9/18/2011 10:34:26 AM
Waymark Code: WMCKR4
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
This pyramid of cannon balls marks where Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Helm was mortally wounded at about 10:00 am on September 20, 1863 during the Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863.

Benjamin Hardin Helm (June 2, 1831 – September 21, 1863[1]) was a Kentucky politician, attorney, Confederate brigadier general, and a brother-in-law of Abraham Lincoln. He was also the son of Kentucky Governor John L. Helm.
Source: Wikipedia - Benjamin Hardin Helm


Benjamin H. Helm
Brig. Gen. C.S.A.

Breckinridge’s Division
Mortally Wounded here
About 10 A.M. Sept. 20th, 1863

Kentucky in the American Civil War was a border state and officially neutral at the beginning of the war. Units from Kentucky served in both the Union and Confederate Armies. A marker to the 15th Kentucky Infantry Regiment (US Vols) is located on the oppestit side of Alexander Bridge Rd.

From the marker located across the road at tour stop #2.

The second day begins
Morning brought repeated attacks on the Union breastworks here

By the morning of September 20, 1863, Gen. Braxton Bragg had organized his Confederate army into two wings -- Longstreet on the left and Polk´s here on the right. Bragg ordered Polk to attack at dawn. However, the attack was delayed, in the Federals used the first critical hours of daylight to strengthen their log breastworks.

Finally, at 9:30 a.m. Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge´s Confederate Division struck the Union breastworks at this point. Other Confederate units joined them as the attack spread southward along the line of monuments behind you. The pressure of these attacks forced Union commander Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans to move men from his center to stop the attack here on his left.

About noon the futile and costly Confederate charges ended, not be resumed until late afternoon. The federals stood firm behind their log wall, awaiting the outcome of the fighting still raging south of here.

From the NRHP nomination form:

  Structure Number: MT-486(see note)
  LCS ID: 003268

Historical Significance:

  National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
  National Register Date:

  National Historic Landmark?: No
  Significance Level:

Short Significance Description:

Monument contributes to national significance of park under NR Criterion A because it represents the national movement among veterans & federal government to commemorate Civil War battlefields. This was the first U.S. national military park.

Short Physical Description

14'10" per side at base and 10' high, the monument consists of a pyramid of cannonballs set in cement & painted black, resting on a triangular molded limestone base. Attached to pyramid is a painted metal plaque identifying the site.

Long Physical Description

Monument located within the Chickamauga Battlefield northwest of Alexander Bridge Road near Tour Stop #2, map site #30.

Structural Component(s)


Construction Period:
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer Occupation
Betts, E. E.

My Sources
1. NRHP Narrative
2. Wikipedia - Battle of Chickamauga
3. The Civil War Home - The Chickamauga Campaign - Confederate Order of Battle
4. Wikipedia - Benjamin Hardin Helm

Trailhead Graphics, Inc. has produced a map of the Chickamauga Battlefield showing the locations of all of the monuments and the markers on the battlefield. Each location on the map has a number associated with it that cross-references to an index on the back of the map that has the name of the marker (called the Chick-Chatt NMP monument numbering system). This number corresponds to the structure Number listed on the NPS List of Classified Structures that is normally prefixed with the letters MT for the Chickamauga Battlefield.

Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Link to page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): [Web Link]

The Benjamin H. Helm Memorial Shell Monument is located in the woods at the intersection of two hiking/horse trails. One trail starts on Reeds Bridge Road, the other starts on Alexander Bridge Road near tour stop 2. The closest parking is on Alexander Bridge Road (N 34 56.009 W 85 15.294).

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Other (Please explain in the Private Message field)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Lat34North visited Benjamin H. Helm Memorial Shell Monument - Chickamauga National Military Park 2/23/2011 Lat34North visited it