Isaac Peterson Collier, “Nothing But My Duty”


If you are following the informational rail that fronts the exhibits in the museum at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, you see will a special display concerning the heroism of Sergeant Isaac Peterson Collier (see post The Sons of Charles Vines Collier, Sr. and Rebecca Owen Collier, dated September 14, 2015).  His courageous act during the Battle for Kennesaw Mountain was witnessed by his commander, General John King Jackson, who was on horseback nearby and who offered a battlefield commission to Collier.  The offer of promotion was eloquently and selflessly declined by Collier.  The event and Collier’s response were reported in local newspapers at the time (in particular the Macon Telegraph) who were no doubt looking for good and encouraging news as Sherman’s forces bore down on Atlanta.  Years after the War, Collier’s actions continued to be celebrated as reflecting the courage, honor, humbleness, and dedication of the Southern soldier.   The incident at the Battle for Kennesaw Mountian was immortalized in an engraving (see above) by renowned artist William L. Sheppard.   In 1887, the story was included in Reverend John William Jones’ Christ in the Camp.



And in 1895, the engraving appeared in Story of the Confederate States, by Joseph T. Derry.



And an eye witness recalled the event in a 1924 edition of the Confederate Veteran.



While conducting research for the Confederate Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia, historian Chris Davis came upon the story of Sergeant Isaac Peterson Collier.   In 1996, Davis made application for Isaac Peterson Collier to receive the Sons of Confederate Veterans Medal of Honor.  The Medal of Honor Committee’s vote was a 3-3 tie.  The letter of denial, for some unknown reason, recommended re-applying at a later date.

IPC file_1996_letter


In 1999, SCV Historian Larry Blair, with strong support from the Kennesaw Battlefield SCV Camp, took up the cause of Isaac Peterson Collier.



The application was filed June 12, 1999.

IPC application_1999


In November 1999, the SCV Medal of Honor Committee, with a unanimous vote, denied the application.

IPC application_Nov_11_1999_denial
IPC application_Nov_11_1999_denial_response


Obviously disappointed in the denial for the SCV medal, Blair continued to pursue the honor he felt Collier deserved by working for a spot in the new museum at Kennesaw Battlefield National Park.



Thank you, Mr. Blair for your efforts!





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