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Before Chickamauga—in the rush of events Rarely does the camera afford such a perfectly contemporaneous record of the march of events so momentous. This photograph shows the hotel at Stevenson, Alabama, during the Union advance that ended in Chickamauga. Sentinels are parading the street in front of the hotel, several horses are tied to the hotel posts, and the officers evidently have gone into the hotel headquarters. General Alexander McDowell McCook, commanding the old Twentieth Army Corps, took possession of the hotel as temporary headquarters on the movement of the Army of the Cumberland from Tullahoma. On August 29, 1863, between Stevenson and Caperton's Ferry, on the Tennessee River, McCook gathered his boats and pontoons, hidden under the dense foliage of overhanging trees, and when ready for his crossing suddenly launched them into and across the river. Thence the troops marched over Sand Mountain and at length into Lookout Valley. During the movements the army was in extreme peril, for McCook was at one time three days march from Thomas, so that Bragg might have annihilated the divisions in detail. Finally the scattered corps were concentrated along Chickamauga Creek, where the bloody struggle of September 19th and 20th was so bravely fought.


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