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Chickamauga (1863)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Date(s):   19 Sep 1863 - 20 Sep 1863
 
Location:   Catoosa & Walker Counties, Georgia, US
 
Outcome:   Confederate Victory
 
Principal   Commanders:   Confederate: Braxton Bragg
Confederate: John B. Hood
Confederate: John Pegram
Confederate: Leonidas Polk
Union: William S. Rosecrans
 
Description:   Following the battle of Stones River (Dec. 31-Jan. 2, 1863), in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee retreated to Tullahoma. Though General William S. Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland was slow in their pursuit, the Federal army managed to push the Confederates out of Middle Tennessee during the Tullahoma campaign (June 23-30). When Bragg learned of Rosecrans' plan to cross the Tennessee River, he ordered his forces to concentrate around the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Chattanooga, a town of approximately 2500, was strategically desirable for both the Union and Confederacy. Though it lay nestled along the Tennessee River in the midst of a series of mountain ridges which were part of the Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga stayed connected to the outside world major rail lines to Memphis, Nashville, Richmond and Atlanta. Several other factors made Chattanooga important. For the Confederacy, the fertile land southeast of Nashville provided large quantities of food and animals. The caves that were found in the mountains themselves provided significant amounts of niter, an ingredient in gunpowder. In addition, the mines in nearby Ducktown produced 90 percent of the Confederacy's copper, needed for percussion caps and artillery projectiles. Added to Chattanooga's physical location, along with its multiple mountain ranges, as a gateway to Alabama and Georgia, it was essential that it remain in Confederate control.

This theater of operations was critical for the Union as well; not only to keep the items that Chattanooga supplied away from their enemy, but because Lincoln believed there were thousands of loyal Unionists in eastern Tennessee and northern Georgia that were being held against their will. Washington had made their objectives clear in a telegram to Rosecrans in early October of 1862, Halleck stating: "First, to drive the enemy from Kentucky and Middle Tennessee; second, to take and hold East Tennessee, cutting the line of railroad at Chattanooga, Cleveland, or Athens, so as to destroy the connection of the valley of Virginia with Georgia and other Southern States."

Amidst a storm of public criticism, Bragg's army struggled over the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau and established defensive positions around Chattanooga in early July. Though a lack of confidence from Bragg's officers continued to dampen morale, the Army of Tennessee was nonetheless ready to defend their line at the Tennessee River. Bragg proceeded to deploy Leonidas Polk's corps in the vicinity of Chattanooga, with one brigade left on the north bank of the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, Alabama. Hardee's Corps was sent northwest of the city to guard against Federal approaches between Chattanooga and Knoxville. By the end of July, Bragg's army contained approximately 52,000 officers and men.

In an attempt to unify the efforts in East Tennessee, Maj. Gen. Simon Buckner's Department of East Tennessee was merged with Bragg's Department of Tennessee on July 25. This added an additional 17,800 troops to Bragg's command. However, it also expanded Bragg's concern northward to the Knoxville area. Like Hardee, Buckner shared his distrust in Bragg's ability, stemming from Bragg's invasion of Kentucky. On July 14, Hardee was transferred to Mississippi at his own request. The surly Lt. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill, who had served with Bragg in Mexico, was Hardee's replacement.

For six weeks following the Tullahoma operations, the Union Army of the Cumberland encamped at the foot of the Cumberland Plateau. Rosecrans sent Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's division to occupy Stevenson and Bridgeport, Alabama. Though Bragg had destroyed the 2,700-foot span bridge at Bridgeport, the tunnel was virtually undamaged. While Rosecrans awaited the rebuilding of the railroad between Murfreesboro and Cowan, Tennessee, he reevaluated his army.

The Army of the Cumberland had Maj. Gen. George Thomas' XIV Corps (27,000); Maj. Gen. Alexander McCook's XX Corps (17,000); Maj. Gen. Thomas Crittenden's XXI Corps (17,000); Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger's Reserve Corps (20,000), and Maj. Gen. David Stanley's 12,000 cavalrymen.

Rosecrans' plan was to cross the Cumberland Plateau into the valley of the Tennessee River and accumulate supplies before crossing the river. His advance on Chattanooga was to coincide with Burnside's advance to occupy Knoxville, Tennessee. Due to the width of the river, Rosecrans planned to distract Bragg's attention from the army crossing downstream by feints above Chattanooga. Once across the Tennessee, Crittenden would threaten Chattanooga from the west, Thomas from the southeast over Lookout Mountain, while McCook and Stanley would thrust further southeast towards Atlanta.

On August 16, 1863, Rosecrans ordered the Army of the Cumberland into motion. When the army reached the Tennessee River downstream from Chattanooga, Rosecrans implemented his deceptive plan. The following week, the Federal army crossed the Tennessee at Caperton's Ferry, Shellmound, Battle Creek and Bridgeport. By September 4, virtually all of Rosecrans' army, except for those guarding the railroads, had safely crossed the river. To contest their crossing was a handful of cavalrymen who either fled or were captured. Two days later, Burnside occupied Knoxville and Kingston.

When asked to take the offensive in early August, Bragg contended his tenuous logistical situation precluded that he advance into or beyond the mountains. However, if the Federal army should try to pass through those barriers, he felt the time would be right for a counterstroke. Believing that the mountains and the Tennessee River shielded his front, Bragg withdrew his brigade at Bridgeport. Instead, he relied on his cavalry, commanded by Forrest on the right and Wheeler on the left, to guard his flanks.

On September 1, Bragg learned of the Federal crossing at Bridgeport-Stevenson. Surprised, expecting a crossing much further upstream, Bragg began to prepare for evacuation. Both of his corps commanders, Polk and Hill, convinced Bragg to wait for further information. On September 7 that information arrived: Federal units of McCook's corps began crossing Lookout Mountain, so Bragg began the evacuation.

On September 8, Hill's and Polk's corps took the direct road south toward LaFayette, Georgia. Traveling parallel to the east of Hill and Polk was Buckner's command and a small Reserve Corps under Maj. Gen. William Walker. Forrest's cavalrymen acted as rearguard, while Wheeler attempted to slow the Federal advance. The next day, Hill took position on Pigeon Mountain, a spur of Lookout, and Polk faced northward toward Chattanooga. The remainder of Bragg's army continued on to LaFayette.

Rosecrans was ecstatic when he learned of Bragg's evacuation. On the morning of September 9 he telegraphed Halleck: "Chattanooga is ours without a struggle and East Tennessee is free." So confident was Rosecrans that Bragg was in panicked flight that he immediately planned a pursuit. Thomas, always one to be cautious, warned Rosecrans that he should at least consolidate his three corps at Chattanooga before giving chase. But Rosecrans was full of optimism and brushed Thomas' suggestion aside.

In fact, Bragg's retreat had been orderly, and he still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Well-briefed Confederate officers informed the local civilians that Bragg would not stop short of Atlanta, while Confederate soldiers were deliberately sent as deserters to the Federal lines with the same information. Rosecrans fell for the ruse, though his men began to run into unexpected pockets of Confederate opposition.

On September 9, Bragg watched as Thomas' 20,000 men marched into McLemore's Cove. Where Missionary Ridge and Pigeon Mountain converged at the south end of the cove, there was a cul-de-sac. The Confederates were blocking the passes leading eastward, and began filling up the broad northern mouth of the valley with 23,000 men. Bragg was laying the trap, which he ordered to be sprung on the morning of the 10th.

Hindman's division (Polk's corps) was to attack Thomas' isolated division, but Hindman hesitated when he reached his objective. Cleburne's division of D. H. Hill's corps was supposed to support Hindman, and Hindman wanted to wait until Cleburne arrived. But in fact, Cleburne did not advance. Bragg's orders to Hill took five hours in reaching him, and when Hill ignored them when they arrived. By the time Bragg could correct the situation by sending one of Buckner's divisions, Buckner and Hindman squandered the evening of the 10th in a war council and Bragg's opportunity was lost.

Bragg attempted to gain an advantage one more time, when Crittenden had pushed Wood's division on ahead, leaving it isolated at Lee and Gordon's Mill. This time, Bragg ordered Polk to attack the isolated Federal division. After spending the morning of the 12th marching in the wrong direction, Polk decided to suspend the attack when he did reach his objective.

Rosecrans now saw the perilous situation of his army, and began to pull in his forces. He ordered Thomas to Pond Spring, some five miles from Crittenden, and McCook, who was 30 miles to the south at Alpine, to move northward. But the Federal commander had new worries to plague him now. He got word that Bragg was being reinforced.

In fact, when Bragg had earlier called for reinforcements, two divisions from Mississippi (Breckinridge and W. H. T. Walker) provided him with 8,500 more troops. Bragg now reorganized his forces into four corps of two divisions each under Polk, D. H. Hill, Buckner and Walker. To bolster his forces even further, six brigades of Longstreet's corps (Army of Northern Virginia) were scheduled to arrive on September 18. Three of these brigades, under General John Bell Hood's command, would arrive on the morning of the 18th. Longstreet, along with two more brigades, would arrive on the evening of the 19th. Due to the roundabout route from Virginia to Georgia, the sixth brigade (E. P. Alexander's artillery) would not arrive in time for the battle.

Bragg ordered a dawn attack on the Federal north flank, to take place on the 18th. His plan was to turn Crittenden's left and then attack him frontally, driving the Federal corps into McLemore's Cove. This would also cut Rosecrans' line of retreat to Chattanooga. But before the Confederates could attack, they had to get across the Chickamauga Creek. This took the better part of the day, due to the Federal cavalry of Minty's and Wilder's brigades. By nightfall of the 18th, only 9,000 of Bragg's army had managed to cross the creek successfully. Though they continued to cross during the night, only three-quarters of the army had reached the west bank of Chickamauga Creek.

Rosecrans was more prepared for an attack than Bragg thought, as the Union left was three and one-half miles further north than Bragg thought. While Bragg's army waded the cold waters of the Chickamauga, Rosecrans had ordered Thomas to march his corps behind Crittenden to the north. By dawn, Brannon's and Baird's divisions were in place, while Reynold's and Negley's were still on the march northward.

Despite Bragg's efforts to be the aggressor, the opening shots of the battle were actually fired by Federal troops. Unaware that Bragg's army had now crossed the creek, Thomas had ordered an attack on what he thought to be a lone Confederate unit at Reed's Bridge. At approximately 8 a.m., John T. Croxton's men encountered Forrest's dismounted Confederate cavalry and the Battle of Chickamauga was opened.

Croxton was driving Forrest back toward the creek when a division of Walker's corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. States Rights Gist, joined in the fray, sweeping the Federal brigade before it. Thomas called up Baird's division to steady the Federal line. Walker countered by bringing up Brig. Gen. St. John Liddell's division, and again the Confederates drove the Federals back. Liddell's men managed to capture five of the six guns of Lt. George Van Pelt's 1st Michigan Battery.

The battle grew in intensity and see-sawed back and forth down the line, as each side committed more troops to the fight. Chickamauga (the native Indian name meaning "River of Blood") lived up to its reputation that day, as the bodies of the dead began to pile up in the thick woods along the bank of the creek. At one point, an attack lead by A. P. Stewart's division threatened to cut the Dry Valley road, the route between Rosecrans' field headquarters and Chattanooga.

Bragg, caught off-guard by the beginning of the battle, was committing his troops in piecemeal fashion. Some were still awaiting orders for the full-scale assault to take place. One of these Confederate commanders, John Bell Hood, was growing impatient as he listened to the sounds of battle all around him. Shortly after 4 p.m., he gave up waiting and ordered two divisions, Evander Law's and Bushrod Johnson's, to attack against the Federal right.

Hood's attack struck the division of Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, which inadvertently had both of its flanks unprotected. With blood-curdling yells, Hood's men attacked, rolling up the Federal line from left to right. Col. Hans Chritian Heg's was the last Federal brigade to collapse, only doing so after suffering 696 casualties, including Heg himself. But soon, Hood's flank was being threatened by Wood's division, who had rushed into the gap on Davis' right.

By late afternoon, every Federal division but Steeman's division of Granger's Reserve Corps, which was guarding the approaches to Chattanooga near Rossville, had been engaged. Of the Confederates, only Hindman and Breckinridge failed to get into the fight. During the evening, when it was thought that the fighting had stopped, Cleburne's division suddenly descended on Thomas' men and hand-to-hand fighting broke out. Cleburne did not stop pushing until he had gained another mile of ground and it was too dark to distinguish friend from foe.

That evening, as Rosecrans held council at the Widow Glenn's house, it was confirmed that Longstreet's men had indeed reached Bragg's army, swinging the numerical odds to Bragg's favor. With the arrival of Longstreet, Bragg now had 67,000 men to Rosecrans' 57,000. It was a somber group of officers that discussed the next day's plan, Sheridan recalling, "It struck me that much depression prevailed." However, a battle plan was devised and all came to an agreement to take a defensive stance the next day; Thomas would stay where he was, while McCook would close up on his left. Crittenden would stand by in reserve.

Bragg was busy working over his options too, and decided he would once more reorganize the army. Longstreet was supposedly nearby, but had not yet made it to Bragg's headquarters. Therefore, the army would now consist of two wings; the right, consisting of Polk's, Hill's and Walker's corps, was to be commanded by Polk; the left, including Hood's, Buckner's and Longstreet's arriving force, would be led by General Longstreet. Much like the mood that prevailed at Federal Headquarters, Hood noted that he found little enthusiasm among Bragg's officers.

Longstreet's journey had been a long one. Arriving at Ringgold depot at 2 p.m., he'd waited another two hours for his horse and staff, from another train. Bragg had not thought to have anyone meet Longstreet at the station. For most of the evening, Longstreet and two of his aides wandered through the Georgia forest and were almost captured before they reached Bragg's headquarters at 11 p.m.. Bragg and Longstreet proceeded to talk for a good hour but the battle plan would remain the same as it had been that morning.

Polk, who was to lead off the attack, notified two of his division commanders, Breckinridge and Cleburne, but failed to notify the corps commander, D. H. Hill, of the new plans. When Hill heard about the changes on the morning of the 20th, he notified Polk that he could not be ready until his men had their breakfast.

As the morning slipped away, and all was quiet on the battlefield, a furious Bragg sent a staff officer to find out what the delay was. The officer returned to report that he had found Polk reading a newspaper and awaiting his breakfast. Fuming, Bragg personally intervened and the battle started at 9:45 a.m..

Breckinridge's three brigades led the assault on the Federal left, driving around Thomas' flank and running into Negley's regiments. During this attack, Confederate Brig. Gen. Benjamin Hardin Helm, a brother-in-law of Mary Lincoln, was mortally wounded while leading his Kentuckians in a charge. For a short time, Breckinridge seized the road to Chattanooga, but could not hold onto it.

Thomas called for the other two brigades of Negley's divisions to come up, but Wood, Negley's replacement in McCook's line, had failed to march his men forward from their position in reserve. When Rosecrans confronted Wood, he lost his temper, shouting, "You have disobeyed my specific orders! By your damnable negligence you are endangering the safety of the entire army, and, by God, I will not tolerate it! Move your division at once, as I have instructed, or the consequences will not be pleasant for yourself!" Though it had been a public dressing down, Wood said nothing and moved his division into position, freeing up Negley's brigades.

The next Confederates attack was Cleburne's division. As Cleburne's men rushed ahead they ran into a formidable line of Federal breastworks. A volley of musketry and canister staggered the Confederate line, killing Cleburne's brigade commander, General James Deshler. As Cleburne's attack lost momentum, Polk committed Walker's and Cheatham's divisions. They too were thrown back with heavy losses.

Rosecrans was now receiving messages from Thomas for reinforcements, and began stripping units from his right. At about 10:30, Thomas received a report from one of his staff officers, Captain Sanford Kellogg, of a considerable gap in the Federal center, reportedly between Wood's and Reynolds' division. Thomas notified Rosecrans, who sent Wood an urgent message to close up on Reynolds as fast as possible.

Though Wood knew there was no gap (Brannan's division linked Wood and Reynolds) Wood was not about to get another dressing down for not obeying orders. He pulled his division out of line, marched behind Brannan, and began to close up on Reynolds.

Rosecrans ordered Davis forward from the reserve to replace Wood at around 11:30 a.m.. At the same time two of Sheridan's brigades, to Wood's right, went north to support Thomas. Now two Federal divisions and part of a third were moving sideways, leaving a quarter-mile gap in the center. It was then that Longstreet decided to throw three of his divisions at the Federal center.

Hood's and Johnson's divisions marched abreast of each other, with Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw's directly behind them. As the gray line surged forward, a deadly fire from the Federal breastworks swept their ranks. Although Johnson's men came under heavy artillery fire, Brig. Gen. Evander McNair's brigade eventually swarmed over the two batteries, capturing them.

Just as Johnson's men paused in a clearing near the Dyer farm, Hood rode up, his left arm still in a sling from his Gettysburg wound, and ordered Johnson: "Go ahead and keep ahead of everything." With a rush, the Confederates went through the woods and over the Federal breastworks. Suddenly a Federal brigade counterattacked, wounding Hood in the upper thigh. As he toppled from his horse, members of his old Texas brigade lowered him gently to the ground. Hood was carried to the rear where his right leg was amputated just below the hip.

To Hood's left, Hindman's division was also pushing forward. Within minutes the first Federal line, Jefferson Davis's division, was fleeing in panic. They tumbled into Sheridan's division, sending his men to the rear in disorder. The only portion of McCook's men fighting were Brig. Gen. William Lytle's brigade. Watching the battle from a hill just north of the Glenn house, Lytle told his officers the brigade "would die in their tracks, with their harness on." As Hindman's division attacked on the front and both flanks, Lytle rode forward, shouting "All right, men, we can die but once. This is the time and the place. Let us charge." His futile attack earned Lytle a bullet in the spine. Yet he rode on until three more bullets knocked him down. With their commander mortally wounded, his men joined the stampede to the rear.

As the Federal lines broke and melted rearward, the sound of the battle intensified around Rosecrans' headquarters. Despite the fact that it appeared the whole right of the Federal line was in rout, Rosecrans remained calm, stating to his staff, "If you care to live any longer, get away from here."

Since the Federals had been fighting with their backs to Missionary Ridge, the only avenue of escape for the fleeing troops was McFarland's Gap. The gap was a narrow opening leading through the ridge to the west. Into this gap, the better part of five Federal divisions poured, along with animals and vehicles, until the mass completely blocked the mouth of the gap.

Rosecrans tried to reach Sheridan for help but was held back by a storm of musketry and canister. Reaching the mouth of the gap, Rosecrans and his chief of staff, Brig. Gen. James A. Garfield, tried a side road back toward the left wing and Thomas. The way was blocked by Confederates, and they pushed on through the gap and another five miles toward Rossville. Here, after speaking to some soldiers from Negley's division, who declared the entire army was in rout, it was decided that Rosecrans would continue on to Chattanooga, while Garfield would attempt to find Thomas and report back the situation. Severely shaken, Rosecrans had to be helped off of his horse by aides, when he reached Chattanooga at 4 p.m.. Once inside his headquarters, he sat slumped in his chair, his head in his hands, the picture of despair.

Shortly after Rosecrans' arrival in Chattanooga, Charles Dana arrived from the battlefield. Dana proceeded to send a telegram to Washington stating, "My report today is of deplorable importance," and "Chickamauga is as fatal a day in our history as Bull Run."

On the battlefield, Longstreet was jubilant. However, the battle was far from over for George Thomas. As a result of repeated calls for reinforcements, Thomas now had almost half of the army at hand, with units from all three corps. The right of his line, held by Brannan's and Wood's division, faced south on part of a rise known as Snodgrass Hill, along a ridge quickly dubbed Horseshoe Ridge. Thomas' main line faced east and was held by Baird's, Johnson's, Reynolds' and Maj. Gen. John Palmer's divisions. To the rear of their position lay the roads leading west to McFarland's Gap, and north to Rossville.

Thomas, not completely aware of what had occurred on the Federal right, was concerned about Sheridan's division, which he had called for earlier. At around 2 p.m., a dust cloud could be seen in the distance. As a hopeful Thomas peered through his field glasses at the cloud, shots rang out. It was not Sheridan but in fact Kershaw's Confederates, some who were wearing brand new blue uniforms. When they hit the slope at a dead run, Hazen's brigade sprang to their feet and emptied a volley into their ranks. Kershaw's troops struck again and again, but finally had to stop to catch their breath. By now, the slope was covered with the dead and wounded, but not one Confederate had managed to reach the crest of the hill.

Next to attack were Bushrod Johnson's and Thomas Hindman's divisions, flailing at Thomas' right and rear. Thomas' situation began to look bleak, with not only was his escape route threatened but his men running out of ammunition. For a short time, the Federals were driven from the crest, and the Confederate flag waved above it. But Beatty rallied his brigade and the crest was retaken.

Some three miles north of the fighting, at McAffee's Church, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his Reserve Corps were standing guard over the Rossville Road. Granger, who could hear the rumble of the battle and see the dust rising in the distance, became impatient. Turning to his chief of staff, Maj. Joseph S. Fullerton, he said: "They are concentrating over there. That's where we ought to be." Taking it on his own initiative, Granger declared: "I am going to Thomas, orders or no orders!" Leaving a brigade to guard the road, Granger then marched towards the sound of battle with the remainder of his corps: a single division under General Steedman.

On Snodgrass Hill, Thomas once again saw a cloud of dust in the distance. With Hindman, Johnson and Kershaw continuing their attack, Thomas was so jumpy that he couldn't hold his field glasses steady enough to see what was causing the dust. When someone said they had seen a Union flag, Thomas gave expression to great relief.

General James B. Steedman galloped into action at the head of his division. Steedman's horse was shot from under him, but he continued to lead on foot, waving the flag of the 115th Illinois. His troops now extended the line on Brannan's right, where Hindman threatened the flank. Within ten minutes, Steedman checked the Confederate attack but suffered 20 percent casualties, including six regimental commanders.

By late afternoon, Thomas had fought virtually every brigade in Bragg's army, and Longstreet was redoubling his efforts. The division of Brig. Gen. William Preston's, Longstreet's single remaining division, was committed to the attack. One of the last, and most fiercest charges, was made by a newly enlisted brigade led by Brig. Gen. Archibald Gracie Jr.. Gracie's troops managed to claw their way within feet of the Federal breastworks before they were forced to fall back.

When Garfield arrived around 4 p.m., Thomas learned of what had happened to the rest of Rosecrans' army. Though ordered to withdraw immediately, Thomas refused to do so until nightfall. Garfield then sent word to Chattanooga that Thomas was still fighting and "standing like a rock." This message, reprinted in newspapers around the country, earned Thomas the sobriquet of "Rock of Chickamauga."

As darkness fell on the battlefield, the Confederate attacks continued, while Thomas arranged for his withdrawal. Each division was to withdraw in sequence, starting with the southernmost, and march towards McFarland's Gap. As Reynolds' division was withdrawing, St. John Liddell's Confederates launched a furious attack, endangering the entire Federal position. Thomas turned to John Turchin's brigade for help, and Liddell's troops were forced back, with 200 of them taken prisoner.

In the end, only three Federal regiments remained on Snodgrass Hill: the 21st and 89th Ohio and the 22nd Michigan. Still fighting off attacks, and running low on ammunition, Granger ordered them to fix bayonets and attack. Eventually surrounded and overwhelmed by Preston's Confederates, 322 were killed and wounded and 563 captured, as the last of the Federal line melted away in the darkness.

In the darkness, Bragg's troops began firing on each other from opposite sides of the salient. When Longstreet realized the Federals had vanished, it produced a long and sustained yell from the Confederates. The sound reached Thomas' men as they retreated towards the gap. "It was the ugliest sound that any mortal ever heard, " wrote Lt. Ambrose Bierce of William Hazen's brigade. But the Confederates were only too happy to find the enemy had retreated.

Bragg was awakened by Polk, who reported that the Federal army was in flight and could be destroyed before Rosecrans could rebuild his defenses. But Bragg was unconvinced of any victory. One of his soldiers, who had been captured by the Federals and escaped, verified that the Federal army was indeed in complete disarray, but Bragg responded stubbornly, "Do you know what a retreat looks like?" he asked the soldier. The soldier then replied, "I ought to, General; I've been with you during your whole campaign."

Bragg's cavalry officer, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was in disbelief when he heard there would be no pursuit. Confronting Bragg on the evening of the 21st, he urged the commander to advance northward arguing, "We can get all the supplies our army needs in Chattanooga." But Bragg only saw that he had suffered over 18,000 in killed, wounded and captured; among these nine brigade and two division commanders. In addition, it was estimated that he had lost one third of his artillery horses.

By September 22, Rosecrans' army was safely within their defenses at Chattanooga, and Bragg had moved up to the outskirts of the town. Having let the victory hour of the Confederate army slip past, Bragg now came up with another plan: he would starve the Federal army into submission. Bragg would later state, "We held him at our mercy, and his destruction was only a question of time."

*Casualty Numbers:

Union - 58,222 Effectives, 1,657 Killed, 9,756 Wounded, 4,757 Missing, Total Federal Losses: 16,170

Confederates - 66,326 Effectives, 2,312 Killed, 14,674 Wounded, 1,468 Mission, Total Confederate Losses: 18,454


Content provided by:
Alethea Sayers

Selected sources:
American Battlefield Protection Program, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Service.



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