Remembering Chickamauga 150 years later
This past summer before the great flood (which I wrote about here) we went on vacation. Our trip was to visit one of my daughters and son-in-law in central Florida. It’s quite a drive from Ohio so we figured it would be best to break it up into a couple days. When I checked out a map an eight hour drive put us somewhere in northern Georgia.
I couldn’t believe it when I realized we’d be very near the Chickamauga Battlefield. I had to stop there! I’ve done some research on this battle since so many soldiers from my area fought there.
My husband’s a good guy and it didn’t take much to sell him on it. My daughter was a slightly different story. I had to remind my 13 year old we were heading to Disney World and one day humoring her mother wouldn’t kill her.
So off went heading south to Florida with a stop in Georgia along the way.
A little background on the Battle of Chickamauga. In September 1863, the Army of the Cumberland led by Union Maj. William Rosecrans moved through Tennessee. Union forces took the city of Chattanooga considered the gateway to the south and gained control of the rail lines there. On the defense was Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg leading the Army of Tennessee. Bragg with his men camped just 25 miles south of Chattanooga would attempt to position his troops between the Union army and the city. Both armies would clash near a small creek in Georgia called Chickamauga.
On September 19 and 20, 1863 these two armies fought in the bloodiest battle of the war second only to Gettysburg. Union forces numbered nearly 65,000 men and the Confederate army bolstered with reinforcements topped 66,000 men. The brutal fighting lasted two days many times resulting in hand to hand combat.
When the battle was over it was a Confederate victory. Rosecrans and the Federal troops had retreated into Chattanooga while Bragg and the Confederates occupied the surrounding area controlling the best roads and rail lines. A total of 34, 624 casualties resulted from this deadly fight. 16,170 were Union soldiers and 18,454 were Confederates.
As you can see by the dates the battle was fought 150 years ago last week. So this post is dedicated to all who fought and the many who died there. Little known and not often remembered the Battle of Chickamauga is an important piece to our Civil War history.