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Chapter 7:

  • Campaign in Middle Tennessee
  • -- Bragg Retires to Chattanooga -- battle of Chickamauga— part of Tennesseeans in the great victory— oppression of the people.

After a delay of six months, General Rosecrans placed his army in motion in June, 1863. His equipments and appointments were as thorough and complete as the unlimited resources of his government could make them; his force was ample, his supplies abundant; but his experience at Murfreesboro had made him and his corps commanders timid and hesitating in their advance.

General Bragg determined to offer battle in front of Shelbyville, and ordered Lieutenant-General Polk to move his army corps to Guy's gap on the Murfreesboro road, and assail the enemy before Liberty gap; but learning that the left of Major-General Stewart's division, stationed between Fairfield and Hoover's gap, had been turned, he decided to withdraw the army of Tennessee to Tullahoma.

This flank attack was made by the Federal corps commanded by Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas, and was met by Bushrod Johnson's, Clayton's and Bate's brigades, of Stewart's division, and Liddell's and Wood's brigades, of Cleburne's division, Hardee's corps. General Bragg, under date of July 3d, referred to these engagements as ‘a series of skirmishes,’ but they were continuous from the 24th to the 27th of June, and Johnson's brigade sustained a loss of 36, and Bate's a loss of 145, killed and wounded, out of 650 engaged. Among the killed was the gallant Maj. Fred Claybrooke, Twentieth [91] Tennessee, greatly distinguished at Murfreesboro. Among the wounded reported were Capt. J. A. Pettigrew and Adjt. James W. Thomas, of the Twentieth, and Maj. Thomas Kennedy Porter, acting chief of artillery on the staff of Major-General Stewart.

On the morning of the 27th the troops named retired under orders to Tullahoma, where General Bragg concentrated the army of Tennessee, taking position and determining to risk a battle; but the enemy pressed back his troops on the Manchester and Hillsboro road, and his communications with his base were temporarily destroyed. His health was very poor, and his corps commanders believing, as stated by General Hardee in a published letter, that he was not able ‘to take command in the field,’ advised him to retire. Acting upon this advice, the army abandoned Tullahoma, and on the 30th of June began the retreat, reaching Chattanooga on the 7th of July. Not a gun, or stores of any kind, was lost, and Polk's corps, largely composed of Middle and West Tennessee troops, was 400 stronger than when it retired from Shelbyville.

After resting at Chattanooga during the months of July and August, General Bragg, having received reinforcements of two small divisions from Mississippi, increasing the strength of the army, exclusive of cavalry, to 35,000, determined to attack the advancing enemy whenever an opportunity was offered. Without ability to garrison Chattanooga, the place was abandoned on the 7th and 8th of September, and the army took position from Lee & Gordon's mills to Lafayette in Georgia. Rosecrans immediately occupied the town and pushed forward in pursuit of Bragg, assuming that he was in retreat on Rome, but on the 10th discovered that the Confederate army was being concentrated about Lafayette. The Federal army was then at Gordon's mill, Bailey's cross-roads, at the foot of Stevens' gap, and at Alpine, a distance of 40 miles from flank to flank. General Bragg, who [92] had so far conducted his campaign with great skill, made prompt dispositions to crush McCook's corps, and failing in that, to assail Crittenden's corps; but disappointed in his reasonable expectations, he began a concentration of his army that culminated in the great battle of Chickamauga.

For this greatest battle of the West, more Tennessee organizations were united on the field than ever before. The flower of the State were there, resolved upon victory and the redemption of their homes.

General Cheatham's division was now composed of his four Tennessee brigades, commanded by Brig.-Gens. Preston Smith, George Maney, Marcus J. Wright and Otho F. Strahl, the Georgia and Mississippi brigade of John K. Jackson, and the artillery battalion of Maj. Melancthon Smith.

Smith's brigade included the Eleventh regiment, Col. George W. Gordon; Twelfth and Forty-seventh, Col. William M. Watkins; Thirteenth and One Hundred and Fifty-fourth, Col. A. J. Vaughan; Twenty-ninth, Col. Horace Rice, and Maj. J. W. Dawson's battalion of sharpshooters.

In Maney's brigade were the First and Twenty-seventh, Col. Hume R. Feild; Fourth (Confederate), Col. James A. McMurry; Sixth and Ninth, Col. George C. Porter, battalion of sharpshooters, Maj. Frank Maney.

General Strahl had the old brigade of A. P. Stewart, the Fourth and Fifth regiments, Col. Jonathan J. Lamb; Nineteenth, Col. Francis M. Walker; Twenty-fourth, Col. John A. Wilson; Thirty-first, Col. Egbert E. Tansil; Thirty-third, Col. Warner P. Jones.

The brigade of General Wright, formerly Donelson's, comprised the Eighth regiment, Col. John H. Anderson; Sixteenth, Col. D. M. Donnell; Twenty-eighth, Col. Sidney S. Stanton; Thirty-eighth and Maj. T. B. Murray's battalion, Col. John C. Carter; Fifty-first and Fifty-second, Lieut.-Col. John G. Hall. [93]

Maj. Melancthon Smith's battalion was composed of Capt. W. W. Carnes' Tennessee battery, Scogins' Georgia battery, Capt. W. L. Scott's Tennessee battery, and Smith's and Stanford's Mississippi batteries.

The divisions of Breckinridge and Cleburne were under the corps command of Lieut.-Gen. D. H. Hill, and with Cleburne, in Gen. Lucius E. Polk's brigade, were the Third and Fifth (Confederate) Tennessee, Col. J. A. Smith; Second, Col. William D. Robison; Thirty-fifth, Col. B. J. Hill; Forty-eighth, Col. George H. Nixon, constituting four-fifths of the brigade. Capt. John W. Mebane's battery was a part of Graves' battalion, Breckinridge's division.

A. P. Stewart, promoted to major-general, commanded a division of Buckner's corps that was mainly composed of Tennesseeans. The Seventeenth, Lieut.-Col. Watt W. Floyd; Twenty-third, Col. R. H. Keeble; Twenty-fifth, Lieut.-Col. R. B. Snowden, and Forty-fourth, Lieut.-Col. John L. McEwen, Jr., constituted Bushrod R. Johnson's brigade of this division, under Col. John S. Fulton. The Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh, Col. R. C. Tyler, and Twentieth, Col. Thomas B. Smith, made up half of the brigade of Gen. William B. Bate. The Eighteenth, Col. Joseph B. Palmer; Twenty-sixth, Col. John M. Lillard; Thirty-second, Col. Edmund C. Cook; Forty-fifth, Col. Anderson Searcy, and Twenty-third battalion, Maj. Tazewell W. Newman, formed Gen. John C. Brown's brigade. Capt. J. W. Clark's cavalry company was escort to General Buckner.

William Preston's division of the same corps (Buckner's) included the Sixty-third regiment, Lieut.-Col. Abraham Fulkerson, in Gracie's brigade and the battery of Capt. Edmund D. Baxter was in the battalion of reserve artillery commanded by Maj. Samuel C. Williams.

Brig.-Gen. Bushrod Johnson commanded a provisional division, to which was assigned Gen. John Gregg's brigade, [94] the Third regiment, Col. Calvin H. Walker; Tenth, Col. William Grace; Thirtieth, Lieut.-Col. James J. Turner; Forty-first, Lieut.-Col. James D. Tillman; Fiftieth, Col. Cyrus A. Sugg; First battalion, Maj. Stephen H. Colms, and the Seventh Texas. General Johnson acted under orders from Lieut.-Gen. James Longstreet.

Brig.-Gen. Nathan B. Forrest was in command of a cavalry corps of two divisions, under Gens. Frank C. Armstrong and John Pegram.

In Armstrong's division were his brigade, under Col. James T. Wheeler, including the Eighteenth Tennessee battalion, Maj. Charles McDonald; and Forrest's brigade, under Col. George G. Dibrell, made up of the Fourth Tennessee regiment, Col. William S. McLemore; Eighth, Capt. Hamilton McGinnis; Ninth, Col, Jacob B. Biffle; Tenth, Col. Nicholas N, Cox; Eleventh, Col. Daniel W. Holman; Shaw's and C. P. Hamilton's battalions and R. D. Allison's squadron, consolidated, under Maj. Joseph Shaw, and the batteries of Capt. A. L. Huggins and John W. Morton, Jr.

In Pegram's division the Tennessee organizations were Col. E. W. Rucker's Tennessee legion and Capt. Gustave A. Huwald's battery, of Gen. H. B. Davidson's brigade; and the Second regiment, Col. H. M. Ashby, and Fifth, Col. G. W. McKenzie, of Col. John S. Scott's brigade.

Capt. J. C. Jackson's company was escort to General Forrest.

The Fourth cavalry, Lieut.-Col. Paul F. Anderson, and the battery of Capt. B. F. White, Jr., were with Harrison's brigade, Wharton's division, Wheeler's cavalry.

General Bragg assigned the right wing of the army to Lieutenant-General Polk, and the left wing to Lieut.-Gen. James Longstreet, who had arrived from Virginia with a part of his army corps On the night of September 17, 1863, the commanding general issued orders to his forces to cross the Chickamauga river, the movement [95] to begin at 6 o'clock on the following morning, by the extreme right, at Reed's bridge. The resistance offered by the enemy's cavalry, and the narrow country roads, delayed the advance until late in the afternoon. The movement forward was resumed at daylight on the 19th, and Buckner's corps and Cheatham's division crossed and formed. The division of Gen. W. H. T Walker had crossed at Byram's ford after night on the 18th.

A sharp engagement was opened on the 19th with Forrest's cavalry on the extreme right. Wilson's brigade of Walker's division reinforced Forrest, and soon thereafter Walker's entire division, with Liddell's, was ordered to attack the enemy. Forrest, judging the enemy too strong for Pegram's small division and Wilson's brigade, was reinforced by Ector's brigade, when the enemy was driven back and a second battery captured; but a largely superior force compelled Forrest to retire. Dibrell's brigade participated in the second advance, dismounted, and moved up in line with the veterans of Ector and Wilson.

Rosecrans concluded that his left, held by Thomas' corps, was the chief point of attack, and that Bragg was seeking to turn it and gain possession of the Lafayette road between him and Chattanooga. Johnson's division of McCook's corps was sent to the assistance of Thomas, whom Crittenden in the meantime had reinforced with Palmer's division.

Walker attacked this force with his own division and Liddell's, with extraordinary vigor, but was forced back for reformation. Cheatham with five brigades was ordered to support Walker, but on coming up in supporting distance, found that he had nothing in his front to support. Communicating the condition of the field to the commanding general, he was ordered to advance and attack the enemy. In his report it appears that his brigade commanders were notified that he had no support on his right or left. Moving forward he met the enemy advancing [96] on Walker's retiring troops. Jackson at once encountered the enemy, and soon the entire line was hotly engaged, with the result that the enemy was driven back three-quarters of a mile with heavy loss. Then taking shelter behind his breastworks, assisted by heavy reinforcements, he checked Cheatham's advance.

After an engagement of two hours duration, the brigades of Jackson and Smith were withdrawn. These two brigades had driven the enemy ‘furiously,’ says Gen. A. J. Vaughan, 600 or 800 yards before them. General Smith reported to the division commander that his ammunition was nearly exhausted, but that he could hold the position until his wants were supplied, or until Strahl could relieve him. No grander spectacle was ever witnessed than the withdrawal of Smith's and Jackson's brigades and the substitution of Maney and Strahl, and no more dangerous experiment was ever made within musket range of an enemy and under a concentrated fire of artillery and small-arms. The advancing and retiring brigades both moved with unbroken lines and with such precision and promptness that the enemy was not, seemingly, sensible of the change. Scogin's Georgia and Scott's Tennessee batteries were in the advance with Jackson and Smith, and were especially distinguished. Lieut. John H. Marsh, commanding Scott's battery, was dangerously wounded in the active performance of his duty.

Thomas' official report shows that he had present for duty 21,448 men of all arms, reinforced by two divisions stronger than Cheatham's. Soon Maney and Strahl were enveloped by overwhelming numbers in front and on both flanks, and after a struggle of unparalleled heroism were forced to fall back to their original position on the right and left of Turner's battery.

The enemy, flushed with his triumph, rushed upon Cheatham's line, coming within short range of the battery. Turner then opened upon the advancing lines with [97] grape, canister and shell. Cheatham and the officers of his staff were with Turner in what seemed the most critical moment of a soldier's life. The Federals, in numbers that made them look almost irresistible, were about to crush him, advancing with shouts of victory, when the division general said, ‘Now, Lieutenant,’ and the guns opened. The enemy hesitated, halted, doubled one regiment upon another, and then fled in wild disorder, leaving the field, as far as eye could reach, covered with dead and dying. The grass and dry leaves in front of the battery were soon in flames, and many of the Federal wounded were subjected to the torture of being roasted to death.

Turner had long commanded the battery as first lieutenant, and though deficient in expert knowledge, knew how to fight his guns. He passed over examining boards and was made captain for gallant conduct on the field of Chickamauga. Three pieces of Scogin's Georgia battery were engaged at the same time and rendered excellent service. But for this repulse, says General Cheatham, the enemy would have seized the crossing of the Chickamauga at Alexander's bridge and Hunt's ford, and rendered necessary new combinations and new dispositions for the battle of the next day.

During this engagement, Jackson's brigade took from the enemy three pieces of artillery and sent them to the rear. Wright's brigade occupied the left of the division line, made a brave fight for two hours and was constantly exposed to a flanking fire, which, growing in volume, finally forced it to retire. Carnes' artillery company, of this brigade, lost half its strength; the gallant Lieutenant Van Vleck was killed and most of the battery horses. The guns being abandoned on the field, the enemy undertook to remove them, but was driven off by Cheatham's division, and the guns remained between the contending lines until the subsequent advance of Stewart's division, when they were recovered by Captain Carnes. [98]

About 2 p. m. General Stewart advanced with three brigades—Brown's, Bate's and Clayton's. After an engagement of an hour, Clayton withdrew for ammunition, and his position was occupied by Brown with his veteran brigade of Tennesseeans, who advanced rapidly, driving the enemy for several hundred yards, routing his first line and forcing his second position; but Brown's right was threatened by a heavy force and he was ordered to retire. This brigade captured five pieces of artillery after killing the gunners and horses. General Stewart reported that they were sent to the rear, and that Brown's left regiment, the Twenty-sixth Tennessee, drove the enemy from another battery, but was unable to bring off the guns.

Brown's brigade was relieved by Bate's, who assailed the enemy with great impetuosity, forced him from one position after another, losing and recapturing one piece of artillery. Clayton's brigade coming to his support, the two drove the enemy for half a mile beyond the Chattanooga road, but observing threatening movements on their right and left, they were ordered by General Stewart to fall back leisurely to the east side of the road. In these charges the Fifteenth and Thirty-seventh captured four pieces of artillery, and the Fifty-eighth Alabama, of Bate's brigade, participated with Clayton's brigade in the capture of three others. In the assault on the second line of the enemy, Col. J. B. Palmer, Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, Major Joiner and Maj. T. W. Newman were wounded, and Col. John M. Lillard mortally wounded. General Brown said he felt deeply the loss of Colonel Palmer's services on the field, ‘for with him on the right, the gallant Cook in the center, and the brave Lillard on the left, I felt the utmost confidence in the unwavering steadiness of my line.’ In the death of Colonel Lillard, he said, the country lost one of her best men and bravest soldiers.

Bushrod Johnson's division, just organized, consisting [99] of his own Tennessee brigade under Col. John S. Fulton, Forty-fourth Tennessee, Gregg's Tennessee brigade, McNair's brigade, and Bledsoe's Missouri battery, was first to cross the Chickamauga at 3 p. m. of the 18th, and no other troops, says General Johnson, crossed at any point until he ‘had swept the west bank in front of their respective places of crossing.’ He was not seriously engaged until 2 p. m. of the 19th, when, his line being formed about 1,000 yards west of the road to Chattanooga from Lee & Gordon's mills, his skirmishers were driven in. Bledsoe's and Everett's batteries opened fire, and Culpeper's battery of three guns was brought into action on Gregg's left. The enemy advanced on Johnson's and Gregg's brigades, and were easily repulsed, except on Gregg's left. The Fiftieth here lost 2 killed and 45 wounded before it moved from its position. Johnson pushed his command forward with orders to attack whenever opportunity permitted. Robertson's brigade of Hood's division advanced on the right of the Fiftieth, and the enemy was driven back with loss.

About this time General Gregg ventured out too far in front of his brigade to reconnoiter the enemy's position, and endeavoring to return was shot through the neck and fell from his horse. While the enemy was taking his spurs, sword and other valuables from his person, Robertson's Texans dashed forward and gained possession of the general and his horse, and inflicted serious. punishment on the enemy. General Johnson, referring to the incident, declared that General Gregg was an able officer in command of a good brigade.

Johnson's brigade, under Colonel Fulton, after advancing 600 yards received a deadly fire of artillery and musketry for an hour, but forced the Federals to retire beyond the Chattanooga road, where they took cover in the woods to the left of a clearing, in which they posted their battery. The gallant Lieut.-Col. Robert B. Snowden, with the Twenty-fifth and part of the Twentythird, [100] watching his opportunity, wheeled to the right, gained the cover of the fence north of the clearing, fired two or three volleys at the battery, and then charged and captured it complete.

The Seventeenth, Third and Forty-first Tennessee, slightly in advance of the main line, encountered a force of the enemy moving by the flank toward the right of the Confederate army, which penetrated the left of the line of Johnson, filed off to the left and fired a volley into its rear, which caused Fulton to fall back, leaving 71 officers and men (including Major Davis of the Seventeenth) and the captured battery in the hands of the enemy. The enemy's column was then charged by the Third and Forty-first Tennessee and repulsed.

General Johnson reformed his division and bivouacked in line for the next day's battle. His loss was heavy. Among the killed was Lieut.-Col. Thomas W. Beaumont, Fiftieth Tennessee, a soldier of experience and eminence, beloved in Tennessee, a man of intellect and culture and practiced in all the graces of life. He died gloriously at the head of his regiment. The tribute of Colonel Napier, the historian of the Peninsular war, to the brave Colonel Ridge of the British army, who fell at the siege of Badajos can be extended to Colonel Beaumont: ‘No man died that day with more glory, yet many died, and there was much glory.’

Soon after sunset of the 19th, Cleburne's division, supported by Jackson's and Smith's brigades of Cheatham's division, was ordered to attack the enemy, and if possible drive back his left wing. The Federals were posted behind hastily-constructed breastworks, and received the attacking force with a heavy fire of artillery and small-arms. Brigadier-General Polk on the right pressed forward, pushing his artillery within 60 yards of the enemy's line, when the latter ceased firing and disappeared from Cleburne's front. The darkness was so intense that no attempt was made to advance, and the lines [101] were readjusted and the command bivouacked for the night with skirmishers a quarter of a mile in advance.

In this attack a part of Deshler's brigade fell back in some confusion on Smith's brigade, and when General Smith urged them forward, says Gen. A. J. Vaughan in his report, instead of going to the front they obliqued to the left. In the darkness it was not observed that Smith's two right regiments were uncovered, and at a halt in his immediate front, General Smith rode forward for an explanation of the delay, accosting a line in front, which proved to be that of the enemy. He was fired upon, and with his aide, Capt. Thomas H. King, was killed. At the same time Gen. A. J. Vaughan, then colonel of the Thirteenth, was fired upon under similar circumstances, and the shot intended for him killed the gallant Capt. John Donelson, acting assistant adjutantgen-eral. Colonel Vaughn ordered the Thirteenth to fire, and the slayer of Donelson paid the penalty with his own life. In his official report, General Cheatham said: ‘In this night attack Brig.-Gen. Preston Smith, of Tennessee, received a mortal wound, from which he died in fifty minutes. At the head of his noble brigade, of which he had been the commander as colonel and brigadier-general for two years and a half, he fell in the performance of what he himself with his expiring breath said was his duty. Active, energetic and brave, with a rare fitness for command, full of honorable ambition in harmony with the most elevated patriotism, the State of Tennessee will mourn his fall and do honor to his memory.’

Colonel Vaughan, commanding the brigade after Smith's fall, reported the capture of 300 prisoners and the colors of the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania regiment, sent back to the division commander by Capt. I. B. Carthel, Forty-seventh Tennessee. Under a misapprehension General Cleburne reported the capture of the colors by his own command.

During the battle of the day and night Cheatham lost [102] 1,900 men in killed and wounded, out of a total of 6,578. Among the killed was Col. J. A. McMurry of the Fourth Confederate. General Maney referred to him as ‘a gentleman of the noblest qualities and an officer of fine abilities and great gallantry.’ Lieut.-Col. Robert N. Lewis and Maj. Oliver A. Bradshaw, of the same regiment, both officers of great merit, were in quick succession severely wounded, when the command devolved upon Capt. Joseph Bostick. In Turner's battery, Lieutenant Smith was severely wounded and Lieutenant Ingram killed. Both shared with Turner the glory won here and at Perryville and Murfreesboro.

The First and Twenty-seventh, on the right of Maney, held their position for two hours, as Colonel Feild reported, ‘battling with as many of the enemy as could be brought to bear upon us. We occupied the position after our ammunition was completely exhausted, and then did not retire until the left wing of the brigade had been driven from the field by a movement of the enemy upon its left flank. We brought from the field a gun of one of our batteries (supposed to be Forrest's) that had been abandoned by all but two of its men.’ The First and Twenty-seventh lost 89 killed and wounded, and the Fourth lost 54. Among the dead was Lieut. Thomas B. Fitzwilliams, named by Captain Bostick as ‘the modest gentleman, gallant officer, and true soldier.’

The Twenty-fourth battalion of sharpshooters, Maj. Frank Maney, already reduced to a skeleton by the casualties of war, went into action on the left of the Fourth Confederate with 39 guns, and only 17 could answer the next roll-call.

Col. George C. Porter, Sixth and Ninth, occupied the left of Maney, a position General Maney said was ‘most exposed, and the chances of the day demanded of this veteran command a bloody sacrifice.’ Porter was ordered by the division general, through an officer of his staff, to hold his position at all hazards; that help would [103] surely come to his left. He did not care for odds against his front, but the enfilading attack on his left caused him soon to lose 180 men killed and wounded, out of a total present of 335. Help never came, and this broken and brave command withdrew in order to avoid capture. Lieut. T. F. Ragland was mortally hurt, Maj. J. A. Wilder, Capt. P. N. Conner, Capts. E. C. Harbert, J. L. Hall, Lieuts. J. B. Boyd, William M. Ingram, J. M. Withers, J. B. Stanley, N. McMullen, R. J. Dew and H. W. Head were wounded, many of them severely.

Vaughn's brigade sustained heavy losses. Maj. J. W. Dawson, One Hundred and Fifty-fourth, was seriously wounded while on duty with the skirmish line; Captain Kaneke of the same regiment was killed; Captain Cummings, Twelfth, was seriously injured.

In the list of killed in Wright's brigade were Captain Parks, Sixteenth; Lieutenants Harvey, Murray's battalion, Wade and Color-bearer Bland, Fifty-first and Fifty-second regiments, and Captain Whaley and Lieutenant Craig, Twenty-eighth. Among the wounded were Cols. John H. Anderson, Eighth; D. M. Donnell, Sixteenth; Maj. Thomas G. Randle, Captains Puryear, Cullum and Pond, and Lieutenants Cunningham, Leonard, Fiynt and Shaw, Eighth; Lieutenants Potter, Owen, Fisher and Worthington, Sixteenth; Captain McDonald and Lieutenants Apple, Danley and Taylor, Twenty-eighth; Adjutant Caruthers, Lieutenants Banks and Ridout, Thirty-eighth; and Captain Burton, Lieutenants Billings, Chester, White, Haynie, Tilman, Fifty-first and Fifty-second.

During the battle of the 19th the Twenty-sixth Tennessee wavered for a moment (as reported by General Cheatham), and seemed to be in the act of falling back, when the intrepid Col. S. S. Stanton seized the colors of his regiment and, rushing to the front, called his men to follow him. Inspired by this heroic example, the regiment reformed on the colors and at once recovered the lost [104] ground. While the flag was in the hands of Colonel Stanton it was pierced thirty times by the enemy's balls.

Strahl's brigade under its accomplished commander could always be trusted to perform the measure of its duty. It was hardly engaged before the horses of all the field officers of the three right regiments were killed, and Maj. C. W. Heiskell, of the Nineteenth, a very gallant officer, was severely wounded. Stanford's battery advanced with this brigade and was actively engaged. The Fourth and Fifth had Lieut. W. H. Neffer killed. Capt. W. W. Lackay, of the Nineteenth, referred to by Colonel Walker as ‘a gallant officer, brave soldier, a generous and courteous gentleman,’ was killed; Captain Frazier and Sergeant Thompson were desperately wounded.

General Bragg issued orders to attack the enemy at day dawn on the 20th, General Polk to assail on the right, and the attack to be taken up in succession rapidly to the left. Orders were sent at 11:30 on the night of the 19th by General Polk to Lieutenant-General Hill and Major-Generals Cheatham and Walker. Hill could not be found, and at daylight orders were sent to Generals Breckinridge and Cleburne of Hill's corps to advance with their divisions at once. The order was received in the presence of General Hill, who, Breckinridge reports, ordered a delay of the movement, and notified General Polk that his troops were getting their rations and could not move for an hour or more. He had also delayed his attack in consequence of a misapprehension on his part as to the relation between his line and that of General Cheatham. The reasons for delay were unsatisfactory to the commanding general, who in time relieved Generals Polk and Hill from their commands.

At 10 a. m. the attack was made by Cleburne and Breckinridge, Cheatham by order of General Bragg being held in reserve. The attack was taken up by Stewart, whose division was on the right of the left wing, and [105] soon the whole army was engaged. General Bragg, in his official report, says ‘the attack on the left met with less resistance, much of the enemy's strength having been transferred to our right’

In the first advance of Cleburne, Wood's brigade lost 500 men killed and wounded in a few minutes, and the brigade was withdrawn. L. E. Polk's left had in turn been driven back, and his entire brigade was ordered to retire. Breckinridge, after a fierce combat at close quarters, routed the first line of the enemy, but found it impossible to break the second, and retired to his original position. Finally, another advance was ordered and Breckinridge dashed over the enemy's breastworks in his front, though the enemy made a stubborn resistance. In this assault he had the co-operation of Jackson's, Maney's and Wright's brigades of Cheatham's division.

Cleburne's attack was upon the point from which he had been repulsed In the forenoon. Lucius E. Polk's brigade, mainly Tennesseeans charged and carried the northwestern angle of the enemy's breastworks, taking in succession three lines. The enemy fled precipitately and was pursued to the Chattanooga and Lafayette road. In his official report General Cleburne said of General Polk: ‘It is due to him and to the country which wishes to appreciate its faithful servants, to say that to the intrepidity and stern determination of purpose of himself and men I was principally indebted for the success of the charge on Sunday evening, which drove the enemy from his breastworks and gave us the battle.’ During this advance Lieut. W. B. Richmond, aide-de-camp to Lieutenant-General Polk, was killed; an active and efficient officer, invaluable to his chief.

Major-General Stewart attacked with Brown's brigade of Tennesseeans, advancing with Wood's brigade. Clayton was moved up, and Bate placed in line with him. The front line, says General Stewart, met ‘the most terrific fire it has ever been my fortune to witness.’ Wood [106] broke in confusion, exposing Brown to an enfilading fire. The latter advanced still further, when his two right regiments gave way in disorder, but with his center and left, followed by Clayton and Bate, he pressed on, passing the cornfield in front of the burnt house, and beyond the Chattanooga road, driving the enemy within his intrenchments and passing over a battery of four guns. New batteries with infantry supports opening upon Stewart's front and flank, he retired and reformed on the ground first occupied. In this charge Generals Brown and Clayton were wounded by grapeshot, and General Bate had two horses shot under him. At 5 p. m. of that day the division again advanced, Col. Edmund C. Cook commanding Brown's brigade, and with a yell and at double-quick, dashed on the breastworks with a routed enemy flying in front.

The field officers of the Eighteenth were wounded, and the regiment was commanded in the battle of the 20th by Capt. Gid. H. Lowe. Maj. R. F. Saffell, commanding the Twenty-sixth after the fall of Colonel Lillard, reported a loss of 98 killed and wounded, out of 229 present for duty. The Thirty-second sustained a loss of 82. Colonel Cook reported that Private J. W. Ellis, after marching with his company for six weeks barefooted, went into battle in this condition, and was always with the front until he fell severely wounded. Private Mayfield, simultaneously shocked by a shell and wounded in the thigh by a minie ball, was placed on a litter and carried some distance toward the rear, when recovering consciousness he sprang from the litter and cried out, ‘This will not do for me,’ rejoined his company and gallantly performed a soldier's duty. Capt. W. P. Simpson, who succeeded to the command of the Twenty-third battalion after Major Newman was wounded, reported a loss of 43 killed and wounded.

Bate's brigade went into the fight with muskets in the hands of one-third of the men, but after the first charge, [107] says General Bate, every man was supplied with an Enfield rifle and ammunition by the enemy in his retreat. Every field officer in the brigade except three was wounded, and in the two days battle the brigade lost 607 killed and wounded, out of a total of 1,188. Col. R. C. Tyler, Fifteenth; Lieut.-Col. R. Dudley Frayser, Thirtyseventh; Col. Thomas B. Smith, Twentieth, were wounded; Capt. C. G. Jarnigan, Thirty-seventh, and Lieut. John B Kent, Fifteenth, were killed; Lieuts. J. C. Grayson and J. P. Acuff, Thirty-seventh, were mortally wounded. Capt. W. C. Yancey, of General Bate's staff, was severely wounded in the action of the 20th, and the color-bearer of the Thirty-seventh, a brave lad whose name was not reported, was killed in the final charge of his regiment.

Bushrod Johnson's command was formed at 7 a. m. of the 20th, but it was 10 o'clock when his skirmishers fell back under the advance of the enemy. Johnson opened with artillery and musketry and repulsed the attack, and an hour later a general advance was made by the Confederate army. The enemy in Johnson's front was posted along the road leading from Chattanooga to Lee & Gordon's mills, behind the fence at Brotherton's house, also occupying two lines of breastworks in Johnson's front, and to the left of it in the woods next to Brotherton's farm. Johnson advanced and engaged the enemy, fighting over 600 yards through the woods under a heavy fire of all arms, and finally crossing the road, his command passed on both sides of Brotherton's house. Though Johnson suffered heavy losses, his charge was irresistible, and the enemy fled or was killed or captured at the fences and outhouses.

Johnson advanced his whole line, Gregg's brigade under the gallant Col. Cyrus A. Sugg, Fiftieth, in rear, supported by Brig.-Gen. E. M. Law, then commanding Hood's division, in a third line. The scene now presented, said General Johnson, was unspeakably grand— [108] the rush of our heavy columns sweeping out from the shadow of the forest into the open fields; the glitter of arms; the retreat of the foe; the shouts of our men; the dust, the smoke; the noise of arms of whistling balls and grapeshot and bursting shells, made a battle scene of unsurpassed grandeur. Here General Hood gave his final order, ‘Go ahead and keep ahead of everything.’ The order was obeyed. Gregg's brigade, under Sugg, captured nine pieces of artillery. Four 3-inch rifle pieces were taken from the First Missouri Federal artillery, and turned over to Bledsoe's First Missouri Confederate artillery of that brigade. Pushing forward, the crest of the ridge was occupied and a damaging fire was delivered on the retreating, masses, but the enemy reformed and returned to the attack, and without support on his right, Johnson was forced to fall back. At this point, Lieut.-Col. James D. Tillman, Forty-first Tennessee, was severely wounded. The troops rallied in line at the batteries, again repulsed the enemy and held the hill, and when the final charge was made, General Johnson reports, ‘with a shout we drove the enemy far down the northern slope to the bottom of the deep hollow beyond. We had completely flanked and passed to the rear of his position and thus aided in carrying the heights south of Snodgrass' house.’ Colonel Fulton, commanding. Johnson's brigade, was greatly distinguished. Of Colonel Sugg, General Johnson said: ‘I feel especially indebted for his gallant, able and efficient services in commanding Gregg's brigade. He is a good and meritorious officer.’ Johnson's brigade lost 299 killed and wounded. Gregg's brigade lost 585 killed and wounded; of these 109 men were killed on the field.

Lieut.--Col. John L. McEwen, Jr., Forty-fourth; Lieut.-Col. Horace Ready and Maj. J. G. Lowe, Twenty-third; Lieut.-Col. Watt W. Floyd and Maj. Samuel Davis, Seventeenth, were wounded. Lieutenant Scruggs, Seventeenth, was wounded and captured on the 19th and [109] recaptured by his own regiment on the 20th. Colonel Floyd relates that in passing the Vidito house, he learned from Mr. Vidito, who was on the outlook, that the four ladies of his family “were lying in a little hole under the kitchen floor, concealed from the enemy, where they had been for two days. As we passed tile house he discovered who we were and exclaimed, ‘The Confederates have the field! ’ whereupon the ladies threw off the planks that covered them, rushed out of the house and came bounding toward us with shouts of joy, as women never shouted before.”

The Seventeenth sustained heavy losses, the Twenty-third lost 103 killed and wounded, and every member of the field and staff was wounded. Lieuts. Nash L. Kuhn and D. M. Molloy, Twenty-fifth, were killed. Adjt. A. R. Greigg of the same regiment recaptured the colors of the Tenth South Carolina.

The Sixty-third Tennessee, Col. A. Fulkerson, of Gracie's brigade, went into action between 4 and 5 o'clock p. m. of the, 20th, supporting Kershaw's brigade. The regiment was on the right of the brigade, and although in battle for the first time, exhibited the steadiness and valor of veterans, and was among the most conspicuous participants in the action fought and won by Preston's division of Buckner's corps, on the heights near ‘Snodgrass’ house. Out of an aggregate of 404, it lost in killed and wounded 202. General Gracie said in his report of the battle, ‘Lieut.-Col. A. Fulkerson, Sixty-third Tennessee, commanded the regiment and led it into action. To him it owes its discipline and efficiency. Colonel Fulkerson was severely wounded, making with the one received at Shiloh (as major of the Nineteenth) the second during the war. He is deserving of a much higher position.’ Others wounded were Capts. W. N. Wilkinson, William H. Fulkerson, Lieuts. Henry Fugate, S. W. Jones, H. J. Barker, W. P. Rhea, James J. Aerec, A. H. Bullock, George H. Neill, J. H. McClure and Layne. [110] Capt. James T. Gillespie and Lieut. Shelby M. Deaderick were killed and buried on the field made famous by the prowess of their regiment.

According to Maj. Thomas Kennedy Porter, Buckner's chief of artillery, the artillery of the corps was seldom used, the ground over which the battle was fought being so thickly wooded that the officers could not see more than 300 yards to the front, and could not ascertain what damage was inflicted. When Preston's division became hotly engaged and the enemy sent a large force to strengthen the line in his front, three batteries were then posted about 1,000 yards from the Chattanooga road, where the enemy was crossing, which did great execution, silenced the enemy's guns, cut off his reinforcements, and enabled Preston to capture between 500 and 600 prisoners.

In this day's battle, Forrest's cavalry was active and vigilant. Armstrong's division and Dibrell's brigade fought on foot and were always up with the infantry, for which General Forrest commended them with ‘pride and pleasure.’ Morton's and Freeman's Tennessee batteries rendered valiant service in resisting the advance of Gordon Granger's column. Forrest's men were without rations, his horses were without water and had only a partial ration for two days, but no complaint was made.

The army of Tennessee bivouacked within the enemy's intrenchments or upon the heights it had so gallantly won.

On the morning of the 20th of September, General Rosecrans reported present for duty, 67,877 officers and men. In his revised statement of casualties he reported a loss of 16, 170 killed, wounded and captured, of which 1,657 were killed on the field, 9,756 were wounded, and 4,757 were captured by the Confederates. He had 9,913 serviceable horses and 246 pieces of field artillery. Capt. Horace Porter, his chief of ordnance, reports the loss of 36 pieces of artillery, the same number of artillery carriages, [111] and 22 caissons and limbers, with 8,008 rifled muskets, 5,834 sets of infantry accouterments, 150,280 rounds of infantry ammunition, and a large lot of sabers, carbines and pistols.

At the close of the day, Mr. C. A. Dana, the distinguished editor, then assistant secretary of war, reported to his chief that ‘Chickamauga is as fatal a name in our history as Bull Run.’ The field was abandoned by the commanding general and two of his corps commanders, Crittenden and McCook. Thomas held the Federal left until his line of works was assaulted and carried by the brigade of Brigadier-General Polk, and until Bushrod Johnson flanked and passed to the rear of Gordon Granger; about that time Kelly's brigade of Preston's division had captured two entire regiments of Granger's, when the enemy fled precipitately.

In his official report, Lieutenant-General Longstreet, commanding the left wing of the Confederate army, noted the capture by his command of 40 pieces of artillery, over 3,000 prisoners, 10 regimental standards, 17,645 small-arms, and 393,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition collected on the ‘field.’ General Bragg reported the capture of 8,000 prisoners and 51 pieces of artillery. Capt. O. T. Gibbes, ordnance officer, army of Tennessee, reported that 66 pieces of captured artillery were received by him at Ringgold, Ga. Gen. U. S. Grant, in a letter to Gen. W. T. Sherman, dated September 30, 1863, says ‘our loss was 54 pieces of artillery.’

It was not until 2 p. m. of the 21st that an advance of the army was made. Cheatham, leading it on the right, bivouacked for the night at the ‘Mission House,’ and moving early on the morning of the 22d, reached Missionary Ridge at 10 a. m. He reported that finding the enemy on the crest of the ridge in force, his position was assailed and carried by Maney's and Vaughan's brigades after a spirited engagement of a few minutes. “The position was found to be one of much natural strength, [112] increased by breastworks made of stone and fallen timber, but the enemy, now demoralized by a succession of disasters, made but a feeble resistance, and fled in great haste.”

Chickamauga was a great victory for the Confederate army, and yet a great disappointment to Tennesseeans. When the barren victory at Murfreesboro was won, and the State was abandoned, temporarily as it was believed, the criticism of the tactics of the commanding general was guarded and respectful; but when Cheatham's division was halted on the crest of Missionary Ridge, hope ceased to be ‘an anchor of the soul.’

No Tennesseean complained of the burthens put upon his people by a state of war, but official robbery and oppression, insults to the old men and to their mothers, their wives and daughters, taxed the endurance of brave men to the utmost. The rule of the Federal authorities in Tennessee was worse than an iron one. Mr. Dana, under date of September 8, 1863, in a dispatch to E. M. Stanton, secretary of war, said Andrew Johnson, military governor of the State, ‘complains of the tardiness of Rosecrans, and these long months of precious time wasted. He has fallen under bad influence, and especially under that of his chief of detectives, a man named Truesdall. This man is deep in all kinds of plunder, and has kept the army inactive to enable his accomplices and himself to become rich by jobs and contracts,’ and he could have added, by the wholesale robbery of the people.

The expulsion of non-combatants from their homes; the appropriation of private property not needed by the army; the indignities offered to people of both sexes; the grasping, domineering, oppressive temper and practices of a class of which Truesdall was a representative, have no parallel in modern history. But in spite of the surrender of the State, and of the unnamed acts of violence and cruelty, the soldiers of Tennessee were steadfast to their colors to the end.

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