Chickamauga Battlefield

In August 1863, the Army of the Cumberland, under the Union General Rosecrans, was poised to take the important Confederate railroad center of Chattanooga TN, which was defended by the Army of Tennessee under the Confederate General Bragg. In a deft move, Rosecrans swung his army through the Tennessee mountains and cut off the city’s supply lines, forcing Bragg to abandon it. Bragg made immediate plans to take it back by seizing the Union supply route at Lafeyette Road at Chickamauga. On September 19 and 20, the two armies met. The Confederates won and forced the Union troops to withdraw from the battlefield.  But it was the last major Confederate victory in the Civil War. The Union troops still held Chattanooga, General Ulysses Grant arrived with reinforcements and captured the entire area. And in 1864, General Sherman used Chattanooga as the jumping-off point for his march to Atlanta.

Here are some photos from a visit to the Chickamauga Battlefield.

The Chickamauga Battlefield Visitors Center

Breckenridge’s assault. Confederate forces under former Vice President John Breckenridge attacked the Union forces here.

The Confederates reached the Union lines, but were pushed back, and turned their attack to the south.

The line of monuments marks the positions of Union regiments along Battleline Road on the morning of the second day of the battle

Troops on both sides protected themselves with temporary breastworks of fallen logs

16th US Infantry

Most of the fighting took place in thick forest, with visibility less than 20 yards

Unsure where his own troops were, General Rosecrans moved a few of his units, and unknowingly created a gap in his lines here

Here at the Brotherton House, the Confederates broke through the gap in Rosecrans’s lines

A short distance away, at Viniard Field, both sides fought over Lafayette Road for several hours, but neither side could advance

Here, the “Lightning Brigade” of Union cavalry, armed with new Spencer repeating rifles, held off the Confederate charge

Wilder Tower, built after the war in honor of the Lightning Brigade’s commander

Confederate forces charged across this field directly at the right flank of the Union Army and Rosecrans’s headquarters. The Federal lines broke and were forced to retreat.

As the rest of the Union Army withdrew, several regiments fought a rearguard action at Snodgrass Hill

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