The Battle of Chickamauga was the culmination of weeks of fighting between Major General Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland and the rebel Army of the Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg. The Union forces had forced the Confederates steadily backwards before, on September 19, 1863, Bragg decided to make a stand near the West Chickamauga Creek. The battle raged for two long days. The Confederates slowly pushed the Union back before, on the second day, a fatal blunder by the Union command opened a gap in the center of their lines just as the Confederates under James Longstreet attacked. Half the Union army promptly fled the scene, along with their commanding general, William Rosecrans. Fortunately for the Union army another general by the name of George Thomas made a defiant stand at Snodgrass Hill which stemmed the Confederate tide preventing the Army of the Cumberland from total annihilation. Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest battles of the war with combined casualties numbering over 34,000 men.
Unfortunately, we didn't have much time to explore the area in detail so we made a quick loop along the auto tour route. Additionally, I didn't resurrect these photos until nearly two years after I took them. This combination means that making a linear story of the battle, like I am fond of doing in my other albums, was impossible. I've done my best to match my shots with reports from others and maps I carried home with me. I always welcome comments if you notice that something isn't quite right. Anyway, enough of me...please, enjoy the album!!
United States of America
Armies Engaged: Army of the Cumberland
Commanding Officer: Major General William Rosecrans
Casualties: 16,170 or 27.0% (1,657 killed, 9,756 wounded, 4,757 captured/missing)
Armies Engaged: Army of Tennessee
Commanding Officer: General Braxton Bragg
Casualties: 18,454 or 28.4% (2,312 killed, 14,674 wounded, 1,468 captured/missing)
Our tour began at the visitors center...
This 12-lb smoothbore Napoleon cannon was by far the most common cannon used during the Civil War. It could fire a 12.3 pound shell an average of 1,619 yards (0.9 miles)...
The visitor's center houses an impressive collection of firearms...
A lone cannon guarding the grounds outside the visitor's center...
McDonald Field - Located adjacent to the visitor's center this area marked the left flank of the Union Army on the second day of battle and saw intense action...
Slocum's Battery - I believe this to be a shot of the position of Slocum's Battery. According to my brochure, this Confederate battery fired some 562 rounds the morning of the 20th in an attempt to cut off the withdrawing Federals...
We started off on our whirlwind auto tour south along Battleline Road...
Battleline - Much of the Battle of Chickamauga was fought in thick woods like this stretch along Battleline Road. The opening moves of the second day occurred here with the Confederates assaulting the Union left flank. General Rosecrans was forced to send troops from his right to support with disastrous results later that day...
16th U.S. Infantry Monument - According to the inscription the unit lost 295 men of the 587 total that were engaged...a casualty rate exceeding 50%!!
Numerous trails criss-cross the battlefield but due to time restrictions we really couldn't explore them much at all...