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Batalla de Chickamauga

Batalla de Chickamauga


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El Ejército del Norte de Cumberland, unos 58.000 hombres, se dirigía hacia Chattanooga bajo el mando del general William Rosecrans a principios del otoño de 1863. El general Braxton Bragg, el comandante del sur, retiró sus fuerzas de la ciudad y marchó hacia el sur. Rosecrans razonó que los confederados se dirigían a Atlanta, pero malinterpretó gravemente la situación. Las fuerzas de Bragg recibieron refuerzos y lograron tender una trampa a sus oponentes en un encuentro a lo largo del arroyo Chickamauga, a unas 10 millas al sur de Chattanooga. Ni Rosecrans ni Bragg demostraron habilidades militares memorables en Chickamauga, sino una carga confederada liderada por elementos del Primer Cuerpo. del Ejército del Norte de Virginia bajo el mando del Teniente Thomas se haría conocido en "la Roca de Chickamauga", y Longstreet el "Toro de los Bosques" por sus respectivos papeles en la batalla.Las fuertes pérdidas en el sur impidieron que Bragg aprovechara su ventaja mientras los soldados de la Unión se dirigían al norte hacia Chattanooga. Las bajas de la Unión ascendieron a 16.000 y las de los confederados, 18.000. Tras esta decepción, el presidente Lincoln reemplazó a Rosecrans con U.S. Grant, que comandaría los ejércitos occidentales. Grant asignó a Thomas para mantener Chattanooga.


Esta pintura al óleo representa la carga del 15º de Infantería de Wisconsin y la muerte del Coronel Hans C. Heg en la Batalla de Chickamauga. Ver el documento fuente original: WHI 2538

Monumento a la 15a Infantería de Wisconsin en el Parque Militar Nacional de Chickamauga y Chattanooga. Ver el documento fuente original: WHI 91962

Fecha (s): 18 al 20 de septiembre de 1863

Ubicación: Chickamauga, Georgia (Google Map)

Campaña: Campaña Chickamauga (agosto-septiembre de 1863)

Resultado: victoria confederada

Resumen

La derrota en Chickamauga, Georgia, en el otoño de 1863 dejó a las tropas de la Unión atrapadas dentro de Chattanooga, Tennessee, y detuvo temporalmente el avance de la Unión hacia el corazón de la Confederación.

A principios de agosto de 1863, se ordenó a las fuerzas de la Unión que avanzaran hacia la parte superior del valle del río Tennessee y tomaran Chattanooga, Tennessee. Después de capturarlo a principios de septiembre, los generales de la Unión avanzaron más al sur. Se encontraron con su enemigo a 10 millas de la ciudad, al otro lado de la frontera estatal en Georgia. Durante tres días, 58.000 soldados de la Unión se enfrentaron a 66.000 confederados en la segunda batalla más sangrienta de la guerra (después de la Batalla de Gettysburg).

Las líneas opuestas tenían seis millas de largo. Gran parte de los enfrentamientos ocurrieron en bosques tan espesos que en ocasiones ninguno de los bandos conocía la ubicación precisa del otro. A veces, los comandantes no pudieron encontrar sus propias tropas. Las maniobras estratégicas fueron difíciles y los encuentros sorpresa fueron comunes. En el transcurso de tres días, la desinformación de los generales de la Unión combinada con el mal juicio permitió a los confederados hacerlos retroceder a Chattanooga.

Papel de Wisconsin

Los regimientos de Infantería de Wisconsin 1, 10, 15, 21 y 24 junto con la 1ra Caballería de Wisconsin, y las baterías de Artillería Ligera de Wisconsin 3, 5 y 8 participaron en algunos de los combates más feroces.

El capellán de la 1.ª Infantería de Wisconsin informó que el 80 por ciento de sus hombres fueron asesinados, heridos o hechos prisioneros. La 15ª Infantería de Wisconsin, compuesta casi en su totalidad por inmigrantes noruegos, fue liderada en el campo por el coronel Hans C. Heg, quien murió en acción. La 21ª Infantería de Wisconsin se encontró rodeada. El teniente coronel Harrison C. Hobart estaba entre los capturados y enviados a la prisión de Libby. Condujo a más de 100 prisioneros en un atrevido túnel de escape en febrero siguiente.

Enlaces para aprender más
Lea sobre las experiencias de las tropas de Wisconsin
Ver mapas de batalla
Ver imágenes relacionadas
Ver documentos originales

[Fuente: Informe sobre los campos de batalla de la guerra civil de la nación (Washington, 1993) Estabrook, C. Registros y bocetos de organizaciones militares (Madison, 1914) Love, W. Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion (Madison, 1866).


Campo de batalla de Chickamauga

Gran parte de la batalla de Chickamauga tuvo lugar en un terreno boscoso.

A finales del verano de 1863, el Ejército de la Unión de Cumberland bajo el mando del general William Rosecrans maniobró hacia el sur desde el centro de Tennessee con el objetivo de capturar la ciudad de Chattanooga, la puerta de entrada a la Confederación. A finales de septiembre, gran parte del Ejército de la Unión cruzó Lookout Mountain al sur de la ciudad y amenazó con aislar al Ejército Confederado de Tennessee, comandado por el general Braxton Bragg. Los confederados de Bragg se retiraron hacia LaFayette, Georgia. Luego, ambos ejércitos participaron en un juego del gato y el ratón entre las colinas y calas al sur de Chattanooga.

El 18 de septiembre de 1863, el ejército confederado intentó cruzar West Chickamauga Creek en varios puentes y vados. Estos cruces se opusieron, especialmente en Reed's Bridge y Alexander's Bridge, por la caballería de la Unión. Al día siguiente, el 19 de septiembre, las escaramuzas a lo largo de los cruces de arroyos se habían convertido en una batalla a gran escala. A lo largo del día 19 de septiembre, las tropas confederadas se lanzaron a la lucha desde el este, reforzadas por el general James Longstreet y sus hombres del Ejército de Virginia del Norte, mientras que los refuerzos de la Unión se movieron desde el norte y el sur. Fue una pelea aterradora ya que el terreno boscoso ocultaba los movimientos y posiciones de las tropas, lo que conducía al caos cuando las unidades se atacaban ciegamente entre sí. A lo largo del día, la batalla se movió de un lado a otro a través de los bosques al este de LaFayette Road, aunque al anochecer el ejército de la Unión estaba anclado en una posición fuerte a lo largo de LaFayette Road.

El Monumento a la Brigada Wilder es una torre de 85 pies que domina el extremo sur del campo de batalla donde luchó la "Brigada Relámpago" de John Wilder. Está abierto para que los visitantes escalen estacionalmente en primavera, verano y otoño, si el clima lo permite.

De la noche a la mañana, Bragg reorganizó el ejército de Tennessee, colocando al general James Longstreet, recién llegado de Virginia, al mando del ala izquierda del ejército, y al general Leonidas Polk al mando de la derecha. Bragg planeó un asalto temprano en la mañana, pero la falta de comunicación entre Bragg y sus subordinados retrasó el ataque hasta alrededor de las 9:30 am. El asalto comenzó en la derecha confederada, con tropas confederadas bajo el mando del ex vicepresidente John C. Breckenridge y Patrick Cleburne, nacido en Irlanda, atacando la izquierda de la Unión a lo largo de la actual Battleline Road y el área de Kelly Field. En esta pelea murió el cuñado del presidente Abraham Lincoln, el general confederado Benjamin Helm.

Esa mañana, el general William Rosecrans experimentó su propia falta de comunicación y tuvo consecuencias catastróficas para el Ejército de Cumberland. En el fragor de la batalla, dio órdenes contradictorias al general Thomas Wood sobre cómo debía posicionar a sus tropas. Wood sacó a sus tropas de la línea y comenzó a moverlas hacia el norte, creando un enorme agujero en el centro del ejército de la Unión. En ese momento, ocurrió el desastre, cuando los confederados de Longstreet atacaron el lugar que Wood acababa de dejar cerca de la cabaña Brotherton. El centro y la derecha del ejército de la Unión se derrumbó y fue encaminado hacia Rossville. El general George Thomas reunió a su cuerpo en la izquierda de la Unión en Snodgrass Hill, y con el apoyo del Cuerpo de Reserva comandado por Gordon Granger, se defendió de los implacables ataques confederados durante toda la tarde, salvando al ejército de la Unión de la aniquilación. Por su trabajo ese día, Thomas se hizo conocido como la Roca de Chickamauga. En la noche del 20 de septiembre de 1863, Thomas y sus hombres se retiraron del campo de batalla y se reunieron con el ejército en ruta a Chattanooga.


Batalla de Chickamauga - Historia

La batalla de Chickamauga fue un conflicto que tuvo lugar en Georgia durante la Guerra Civil estadounidense. Las fuerzas federales y confederadas se enfrentaron durante dos días el 19 y 20 de septiembre de 1863 en el condado de Catoosa y el condado de Walker, Georgia.

La batalla fue el último conflicto en la iniciativa ofensiva del ejército de la Unión, llamada Campaña Chickamauga, contra los rebeldes en el noroeste de Georgia y el sureste de Tennessee.

En el lado federal, la batalla fue librada por el Ejército de Cumberland, bajo el mando del Mayor General William Rosecrans, mientras que el Ejército Confederado de Tennessee fue dirigido por el General Braxton Bragg.

Fondo

Durante el verano de 1863, Rosecrans y su ejército habían emprendido una exitosa campaña contra las fuerzas confederadas bajo Braxton en el centro de Tennessee, y el ejército rebelde se había retirado a Chattanooga. Rosecrans recibió instrucciones tanto del presidente, Abraham Lincoln como del comandante supremo, el mayor general Henry W. Halleck, de continuar la ofensiva y tomar Chattanooga, que era una ciudad estratégica importante, de manos de los confederados.

Por su parte, Bragg había persuadido a los líderes confederados de aumentar su ejército con tropas de otras áreas con la intención no solo de defender Chattanooga, sino también de lanzar un contraataque contra el ejército de la Unión. Este movimiento aumentó su ejército de 52.000 hombres a poco menos de 70.000, superando en número al ejército de Rosecrans en unos 10.000 hombres.

Rosecrans reconoció que tendría algunas dificultades para cumplir con las instrucciones del presidente. Un movimiento ofensivo significaría que sus fuerzas tenían que cruzar la meseta de Cumberland, un terreno difícil con carreteras de mala calidad. Además, sus líneas de suministro se verían obstaculizadas por las montañas en la parte trasera.

Rosecrans quería retrasar la ofensiva hasta que todos los suministros necesarios estuvieran en su lugar, para no tener que preocuparse por conseguirlos mientras se desplazaba. Quería retrasar la mudanza hasta el 17 de agosto, pero Halleck insistió en que avanzara sin demorarse más. Sin embargo, Rosecrans no comenzó a avanzar hasta el 16 de agosto.

El plan de campaña

El plan de Rosecrans & # 8217 era avanzar hasta el río Tennessee y luego acumular más suministros antes de intentar vadearlo. Sintió que sería imposible cruzar el río si el ejército contrario sostenía el otro lado, por lo que su plan era crear una distracción que atraería a las fuerzas de Bragg a las escaramuzas al norte de Chattanooga y las usaría como una distracción mientras su ejército principal Vadeé el río en diferentes lugares varios kilómetros río abajo.

Una vez cruzado el río, el plan era atacar la ciudad desde el oeste, el sur y el sureste. El ataque desde el sureste le daría al ejército de la Unión el control de la línea ferroviaria que conectaba Chattanooga con Atlanta. Este ferrocarril era una línea de suministro vital para los confederados, y tomarlo significaría que el ejército de Bragg tendría que retirarse de Chattanooga o tratar de defender la ciudad sin tener una fuente de suministro.

La campaña

El ejército de la Unión tardó hasta el 23 de agosto en llegar al río. Rosecrans comenzó a implementar su engaño y envió parte de su ejército al norte de Chattanooga. El engaño parece haber funcionado, y Bragg pensó que se intentaría cruzar al norte de Chattanooga.

El 29 de agosto, las primeras tropas de la Unión lograron cruzar el río Tennessee en Caperton & # 8217s Ferry. Al día siguiente, se llevó a cabo un segundo y tercer cruce en Shellmound. El 31 de agosto, se llevó a cabo un cuarto cruce en Battle Creek, y para el 4 de septiembre, todos los soldados de la Unión que tomarían parte en el ataque a Chattanooga habían cruzado con éxito el río.

Cuando Bragg se dio cuenta de que no podía mantener la ciudad, se retiró a Lafayette en Georgia y el ejército de la Unión entró en Chattanooga el 9 de septiembre. Debido a su plan de atacar en varios frentes, las fuerzas de Rosecrans estaban muy dispersas. Aun así, todavía pensaba que los hombres de Bragg estaban en desorden e inicialmente ordenó a algunas de sus tropas que persiguieran a los confederados en retirada. Más tarde se decidió en contra de esta táctica y optó por consolidar sus tropas.

Bragg también estaba consolidando sus tropas y el 15 de septiembre había decidido que la mejor opción para su ejército era lanzar una ofensiva para retomar Chattanooga. Comenzó a trasladar sus tropas a Chickamauga Creek.

La batalla de Chickamauga

La batalla comenzó el 19 de septiembre y tuvo lugar en varios frentes en muchos lugares diferentes. El ejército de la Unión rápidamente ganó la iniciativa en los diversos encuentros, y cuando llegaron los refuerzos, los confederados se vieron obligados a retirarse en varias áreas. Sin embargo, a medida que avanzaba el día, los confederados lograron detener la ofensiva federal y Bragg sintió que su lado estaba en una mejor posición y había infligido un daño significativo a las fuerzas de la Unión.

Bragg planeaba lanzar un nuevo ataque contra los soldados federales al amanecer del 20 de septiembre, pero una falla en las comunicaciones significó que la ofensiva del amanecer no podría tener lugar. La llegada de refuerzos significó que los confederados superaban en gran medida a las tropas de la Unión, y Rosecrans se dio cuenta de que no estaba en condiciones de lanzar una ofensiva.

La demora en el ataque confederado permitió que el ejército de la Unión se preparara mejor para la acción anticipada, y Bragg declaró más tarde que esta demora fue la razón principal por la que sus tropas no infligieron una derrota severa al ejército de la Unión.

Debido a que el Ejército Confederado tenía la ventaja, Rosecrans no tuvo más remedio que concentrar su defensa dentro de Chattanooga, aconsejó a su ejército disperso que se retirara ante los ataques confederados sostenidos. Rosecrans ordenó a sus hombres que comenzaran una retirada general a Chattanooga, lo que significaba el final de la batalla de Chickamauga y una victoria para los confederados.

Resultados y secuelas

Las bajas de ambos bandos en la batalla fueron elevadas. El ejército federal tuvo 1.657 bajas mortales, 9.756 heridos y 4.757 desaparecidos o hechos prisioneros. En el lado confederado, hubo 2.312 muertos, 14.674 heridos y 1.464 desaparecidos o hechos prisioneros. El número de bajas fue el segundo más alto en toda la Guerra Civil, superado solo por las bajas en Gettysburg.

La lentitud de Bragg para atacar convirtió una victoria táctica del Sur en una derrota estratégica, ya que se permitió a las fuerzas federales escapar a Chattanooga. Después de la Batalla de Chickamauga, Bragg sitió Chattanooga, pero estaba fuertemente fortificada y las tropas federales pudieron mantener el control. A pesar de no poder recibir suministros, las tropas de la Unión lograron mantenerse en Chattanooga hasta que llegó el general de división Ulysses S. Grant con una fuerza de relevo que rompió el asedio de Bragg a fines de noviembre.


Historia de la Guardia Nacional de Georgia

En la noche del 18 de septiembre de 1863, el comandante federal, el mayor general William Rosecrans, envió al mayor general George Thomas, comandante del 14º Cuerpo, al norte por Lafayette Road. Su intención era extender su línea defensiva y mantener la línea de retirada del ejército federal al norte de Chattanooga. En la mañana del 19 de septiembre, los hombres de Thomas habían tomado posiciones en los campos de la Granja Kelly. [1] Después de recibir un informe del coronel federal Daniel McCook sobre una brigada rebelde aislada atrapada en el lado oeste del río, Thomas envió a la Tercera División del Mayor General John Brannon para avanzar y desarrollar la situación. Brannon, un soldado del ejército de carrera y un veterano de guerra mexicano-estadounidense, envió la orden de poner a los hombres en movimiento. Tomando rápidamente café y desayuno a medio cocinar, los hombres de Brannon comenzaron a moverse hacia el este con el Coronel John Croxton y la Brigada de 8217 moviéndose hacia Brotherton Road y el Coronel Ferdinand Van Derveer orientándose en Reed & # 8217s Bridge Road.

Acciones de apertura el 19 de septiembre de 1863. Mapa de Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com.


Las tropas confederadas que McCook había encontrado eran jinetes de la 1ª Georgia, que habían lanzado líneas de escaramuza al sur de Jay & # 8217s Mill, aproximadamente & # 189 millas al oeste de Reed & # 8217s Bridge. Después de haber recibido órdenes de retirarse, McCook dejó el campo a los georgianos antes de informar sus hallazgos a Thomas. Por lo tanto, cuando las brigadas de Thomas se movieron hacia el este en busca de la brigada confederada aislada, los georgianos estaban preparados en orden de escaramuza a través de Reed y Bridge Road listos para recibir a los escaramuzadores de Van Derveer. Moviéndose hacia el este a través del bosque a sólo un cuarto de milla al sur de la 1ª Georgia, la línea de escaramuza de Croxton & # 8217 compuesta por la 10ª Indiana se encontró con las fuerzas de caballería de Brig. El general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Al enviar mensajeros para informar a Brannon del contacto con su frente, Croxton comenzó a maniobrar a sus regimientos de infantería para alinearlos, un proceso difícil en terreno boscoso. Forrest, mientras tanto, ordenó a su caballería que desmontara y mantuviera el terreno mientras se convocó el apoyo de la infantería.

Al recibir uno de los mensajes de Forrest, el mayor general William T. Walker, al mando del cuerpo de reserva confederado, ordenó a su compañero georgiano, el coronel Claudius Wilson, que se apresurara con su brigada al sonido del contacto. Walker, al igual que Brannon, fue un soldado del ejército de carrera y un veterano de guerra mexicano, y al igual que Brannon, pronto tendría dos brigadas dirigiéndose a las cercanías de Jay & # 8217s Mill como la Brigada de Brigada de Texas. El general Matthew Ector se puso detrás de Wilson.

La caballería confederada aguantó el tiempo suficiente para que Wilson desplegara sus regimientos para amenazar a Croxton. Los regimientos de Wilson & # 8217s, el 25, 29 y 30 de Georgia con el 1er Batallón de Georgia Sharpshooters y el 4 th Louisiana Sharpshooters presionaron la línea Croxton & # 8217s que se dobló, pero no se rompió. [2] Durante las próximas dos horas y media, las brigadas serían absorbidas por la creciente lucha en Jay & # 8217s Mill.

Confusión y refuerzo

La acción alarmó tanto a Rosecrans como a su adversario confederado, el general Braxton Bragg. El plan de batalla de Bragg # 8217 requería que 25,000 hombres asaltaran las líneas federales a lo largo de Lafayette Road, bien al sur de Jay & # 8217s Mill. La presencia inesperada de Thomas al norte amenazó el flanco derecho de Bragg. Rosecrans, mientras tanto, había ordenado a Thomas que se colocara en posiciones defensivas, solo para que su subordinado se enfrentara a una división con un enemigo de fuerza desconocida.

Antes de lanzar su ofensiva en Lafayette Road, Bragg decidió asegurar su flanco en las cercanías de Jay & # 8217s Mill. Envió su cuerpo de reserva y cinco brigadas de la división de división Ben Cheatham & # 8217 del mayor general Ben Cheatham. Mientras tanto, Rosecrans cambió las divisiones del 20º y 21º Cuerpo hacia el norte para reforzar a Thomas. Tanto los comandantes federales como los confederados estaban enviando unidades sin tener en cuenta la cadena de mando, una ruptura en el mando y el control que se agravaría aún más por el terreno y la falta de visibilidad.

Acciones en la tarde del 19 de septiembre de 1863. Mapa de Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com.


La lucha se mueve hacia el sur

Los 7.000 confederados de Cheatham y # 8217 se estrellaron contra las divisiones federales poco después del mediodía, en las cercanías de la granja Brock. [3] Después de cometer Cheatham, Bragg envió una tercera división bajo el mando del mayor general A. P. Stewart y le ordenó que se moviera con el sonido de las armas. [4] Stewart llegó al sur de las líneas de Cheatham & # 8217 poco antes de las 2:00 p.m. a tiempo para estabilizar la vacilante línea confederada. Moviéndose con Stewart estaban el 4º de Georgia Sharpshooters y el 37º de Infantería de Georgia. [5] Los georgianos fueron capaces de desalojar a los obstinados defensores federales del Mayor General Van Cleve y la División # 8217 de sus posiciones en Lafayette Road. Habiendo tomado una cantidad significativa de terreno, Stewart no tenía suficientes hombres para mantener su posición y se vio obligado a retirarse al este de Lafayette Road. [6]

Los georgianos entran en la zanja de la muerte

Bergantín. Gen. Hans Christian Heg. NPS

Con la intención de encontrar el flanco enemigo, Rosecrans se reunió con el improbable llamado Brig. El general Jefferson Davis, y le ordenó que moviera su división a través del campo Viniard, bastante al sur de las fuerzas enfrentadas. Con la esperanza de encontrar el flanco izquierdo confederado, Davis en su lugar se encontró con el cuerpo principal de Bragg & # 8217 que aguardaban la fuerza de asalto: 25.000 hombres. En las próximas dos horas y media, el combate más salvaje de la batalla se arremolinaría en el campo Viniard hasta que la línea federal colapsó a las 4:30 p.m. y los norteños fueron enviados de regreso a través de Lafayette Road. Intentando reunir a su 3ª Brigada, el coronel Hans Christian Heg, nacido en Noruega, cabalgó a lo largo de la primera línea de sus hombres amonestándolos con un ejemplo personal de coraje. Mientras giraba su caballo, Heg fue alcanzado por una bala que le atravesó el abdomen. Se tambaleó por la herida, pero se mantuvo en la silla y permaneció con sus hombres. [7]

Persiguiendo a las tropas federales que huían, los georgianos de Brig. El general Henry Benning lanzó una andanada tras otra en las espaldas de los soldados federales en retirada. Sargento. W.R. Houghton de la 2.a Georgia recordó la acción:

& # 8220 Nos quedamos allí & # 8230 derribándolos & # 8230 Fue una matanza horrible. & # 8221 [8] La matanza pronto sería visitada por los hombres de Benning & # 8217 mientras avanzaban hacia el campo de fuego de la brigada del coronel John Wilder , cuyos hombres iban armados con fusiles de repetición de siete disparos. Benning & # 8217s georgianos fueron hechos pedazos. De 1.200 georgianos, 490 se convirtieron en víctimas. Los federales también habían sufrido. Entre los caídos estaba Heg, que moriría a la mañana siguiente a causa de los efectos de su herida en un hospital de campaña. [9]

Monumento a la 2a Infantería de Georgia en Chickamauga. Foto del Mayor William Carraway


A las 6:00 p.m., la mayoría de los combates habían terminado en el Campo Viniard, donde habían competido 15 brigadas. Después de casi 12 horas de combate continuo, la lucha concluyó, a excepción de un raro asalto nocturno iniciado por la división del mayor general Patrick Cleburne a través del campo de Winfrey. Los hombres de ambos ejércitos se acomodaron para una noche inquieta. A pesar de las temperaturas que cayeron por debajo del punto de congelación, a los soldados de ambos ejércitos se les prohibió iniciar fogatas debido a la proximidad de las fuerzas enemigas.

Con la llegada del teniente general James Longstreet al campo, Bragg reorganizó su ejército en dos alas. Longstreet recibió el mando del ala izquierda, mientras que el mayor general Leonidas Polk comandó la derecha. El plan de batalla de Bragg # 8217 se mantuvo sin cambios: atacar y conducir al ejército federal hacia el sur, lejos de su línea de retirada hacia Chattanooga.

En el lado opuesto de Lafayette Road, Rosecrans, habiendo ido sin dormir, examinó sus líneas con la intención de apoyar las líneas de Thomas & # 8217 hacia el norte. Rosecrans estaría de acuerdo en reforzar a Thomas & # 8211 una decisión que tendría consecuencias fatídicas en el segundo día de la batalla.

Monumento al Coronel Peyton Colquitt en Chickamauga.
Foto del Mayor William Carraway
Se reanuda la acción, el norte federal en peligro

Aunque Bragg tenía la intención de atacar al amanecer, el asalto confederado no comenzó hasta las 9:30 a.m. cuando el cuerpo del teniente general D.H. Hill golpeó a Thomas. Aunque repelidos sangrientamente en parte de sus líneas, dos brigadas de Hill & # 8217s Corps consiguieron girar el flanco izquierdo de Thomas & # 8217s. Los confederados condujeron hacia el sur por Lafayette Road hasta Kelly Field y amenazaron a toda la posición federal. Rosecrans, al sentir la amenaza, cambió las fuerzas del sur y, a las 11:30, Hill fue obligado a retroceder, pero no antes que Brig. El general James Deshler, un comandante de brigada en la división del mayor general Patrick Cleburne, murió al ser alcanzado en el pecho por un proyectil de artillería. [10] Moviéndose en apoyo de Hill, el coronel Peyton Colquitt, al mando de Gist & # 8217s Brigade of Georgian & # 8217s and South Carolinians, resultó mortalmente herido. Colquitt, había comandado anteriormente el 46º Regimiento de Infantería de Georgia. [11]

El asalto del teniente general Longstreet. Mapa de Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com.


El éxito de Hill preocupó a Rosecrans, que comenzó a trasladar fuerzas adicionales hacia el norte. En el curso de la redistribución, el Federal expuso una brecha en toda la división en su línea. Justo cuando se abrió la brecha, Longstreet lanzó un asalto a la brecha. Las divisiones de Davis y el mayor general Phillip Sheridan fueron aplastadas por 12.000 confederados emergentes.

Bergantín. General W. H Lytle
Al mando de la 1ª Brigada de Sheridan & # 8217 estaba Brig. El general William Lytle, de Ohio, Lytle había sido un poeta célebre antes de la guerra y era popular en el norte y el sur. Presionado por una brigada de alabamenses, Lytle estaba montado y dirigiendo el movimiento de sus tropas cuando fue golpeado en la espalda por una bala de mosquete. Permaneció en la silla de montar y siguió dando órdenes hasta que fue golpeado en la cabeza salpicando sangre en el uniforme de un oficial de estado mayor. Los hombres de Lytle intentaron alejarlo del conflicto, pero pidió que lo dejaran en el campo donde falleció. [12] Avanzando, los soldados confederados reconocieron a Lytle y formaron una guardia alrededor de su cuerpo. La noticia se difundió entre las filas grises. Actualmente, Confederate Brig. El general Patton Anderson, abrumado por el dolor, se paró ante Lytle. Anderson y Lytle habían sido buenos amigos antes de la Guerra Civil estadounidense. Se separaron amistosamente en Charleston en 1860 prometiendo que nada interferiría con su amistad. Llorando, Anderson se quitó el anillo de bodas de Lytle y se aseguró un mechón de pelo para enviárselo a su viuda. [13]

Con la derrota degenerando rápidamente en una derrota, Rosecrans, su jefe de personal y futuro presidente, James Garfield, y tres comandantes de cuerpo fueron expulsados ​​del campo. Un tercio del ejército federal dejó de existir como fuerza de combate. Si no fuera por la posición decidida del mayor general Thomas y los hombres en Snodgrass Hill, todo el ejército federal podría haber sido destruido en detalle. Thomas aguantó el tiempo suficiente para preservar al ejército federal antes de retirarse a Rossville al norte. Sin embargo, cientos de soldados federales fueron capturados por los confederados que se apresuraron.

La desesperada posición del mayor general George Thomas. Mapa de Hal Jespersen, www.cwmaps.com.


En la mañana del 21 de septiembre, los confederados se despertaron y encontraron que el ejército federal se había escabullido. Rosecrans restablecería su base en Chattanooga, pero su mandato como comandante del ejército estaba llegando a su fin. En poco más de una semana, Rosecrans sería reemplazado por un general occidental de lucha dura llamado Ulysses Grant.

Aunque técnicamente era el vencedor, Bragg había fracasado en su objetivo de destruir Rosecrans. Continuaría discutiendo con sus comandantes subordinados hasta noviembre, cuando desafiaría al ejército federal por el control de Chattanooga.

Más de 34.000 de los 125.000 soldados comprometidos en Chickamauga se convirtieron en bajas. Pero D.H. Hill, recordando la batalla años más tarde, observó que la verdadera víctima de Chickamauga fue la esperanza.

& # 8220 Me parece que el ímpetu del Soldado del Sur nunca se vio después de Chickamauga, el guión brillante que lo había distinguido se había ido para siempre. Luchó denodadamente hasta el final, pero después de Chickamauga, con el mal humor de la desesperación y sin el entusiasmo de la esperanza. Esa & # 8216 victoria estéril & # 8217 selló el destino de la Confederación del Sur. & # 8221 [14]

[1] Powell, David A. y David A. Friedrichs. Los mapas de Chickamauga: un atlas de la campaña de Chickamauga, incluidas las operaciones de Tullahoma, del 22 de junio al 23 de septiembre de 1863. Nueva York: Savas Beatie, 2009. 48


Relato de la batalla de Chickamauga

En la cabaña de troncos con poca luz del Widow Glenn, se extendió el mapa militar. Los preocupados oficiales de la Unión del Ejército de Cumberland se apiñaron cuando el general de división William S. Rosecrans, su demacrado comandante, pidió una evaluación de la situación que enfrentaban sus tropas en la noche del 19 de septiembre de 1863. El domingo por la mañana ciertamente traería consigo una reanudación de la salvaje lucha que se había arremolinado a lo largo de las orillas del arroyo Chickamauga la mayor parte de ese día.

El ejército de la Unión había estado en apuros a lo largo de una línea de batalla extendida, pero se había negado a romper bajo la presión de los repetidos asaltos del Ejército Confederado de Tennessee del general Braxton Bragg. El XIV Cuerpo del Mayor General George H. Thomas había soportado la peor parte de algunos de los combates más feroces. Hueso cansado por el trabajo de su día, Thomas se reclinó en una silla y tomó una siesta. Como era su práctica, Rosecrans a su vez le pidió a cada oficial su consejo sobre la pelea que se avecinaba. Cada vez que se mencionaba su nombre, Thomas se despertaba el tiempo suficiente para decir: "Fortalecería la izquierda", antes de volver a dormirse.

Aunque el ejército de Rosecrans estaba ensangrentado, su línea seguía intacta y se tomó la decisión de reanudar la batalla el 20 esencialmente en el mismo terreno que ahora ocupaban las tropas. Thomas sería reforzado y encargado de mantener la izquierda, que cruzaba LaFayette Road, el vínculo vital con Chattanooga, Tennessee, de importancia estratégica, a 10 millas al norte. El XX Cuerpo del Mayor General Alexander McCook se cerraría a la derecha de Thomas, mientras que el XXI Cuerpo de Thomas Crittenden se mantendría en reserva. Durante la noche, el sonido de las hachas les dijo a los confederados que esperaban que su enemigo estaba fortaleciendo desesperadamente sus posiciones.

El ejército de Cumberland había luchado con valentía y había motivos para el optimismo entre los comandantes de la Unión. Desde que salió de los cuarteles de invierno, Rosecrans había maniobrado brillantemente a Bragg y su ejército fuera de Tennessee y capturado Chattanooga, prácticamente sin disparar un solo tiro. Sin embargo, en su momento de supremo éxito, Rosecrans cometió un error: confundió la retirada ordenada de Bragg con una retirada precipitada y dividió precipitadamente su fuerza en tres alas. A medida que estas fuerzas separadas se movían a ciegas a través de pasos de montaña hacia el campo del norte de Georgia en busca de un enemigo "vencido", cada una estaba demasiado distante para prestar apoyo a las demás en caso de un ataque enemigo. Con las tropas federales repartidas en un frente de 40 millas de ancho en un terreno desconocido, Bragg detuvo sus fuerzas en LaFayette, Georgia, a 40 millas al sur de Chattanooga.

Bragg se dio cuenta de la magnitud de su oportunidad de lidiar con cada ala del ejército de la Unión en detalle y obtener una sorprendente victoria para la Confederación. Ordenó a sus subordinados que lanzaran ataques contra las unidades federales dispersas, pero fueron lentos, incluso no cooperaron, en responder. Las relaciones entre Bragg y sus lugartenientes se habían deteriorado gravemente después de cuestionables retiradas de Perryville, Ky., Y Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Los comandantes de cuerpo y división de Bragg sintieron casi como un hombre que había desperdiciado victorias con su manejo inepto de las tropas. The lack of cooperation in the higher echelons of Bragg’s army contributed greatly to the squandering of a chance for one of the most lopsided victories of the war.

In the nick of time, and with substantial help from his enemy, Rosecrans collected his troops in the vicinity of Lee and Gordon’s Mill along the banks of a sluggish little stream the Cherokee Indians had named ‘Chickamauga’ after the savage tribe that had lived there many years earlier. Now, two great armies would prove once again that ‘River of Death’ was an accurate translation. In the vicious but indecisive fighting of September 19, both Rosecrans and Bragg committed more and more troops to a struggle which began as little more than a skirmish near one of the crude bridges that crossed the creek. Though little was accomplished the first day, the stage was set for a second day of reckoning.

The importance of the war in the West was not lost on the Confederate high command. Already three brigades of the Army of Northern Virginia, under Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood, had arrived by rail to reinforce Bragg. Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Robert E. Lee’s ‘Old Warhorse’ and second in command, was due at any time with the balance of his I Corps. These veteran troops would give Bragg an advantage few Confederate commanders would know during the war–numerically superiority. As the Virginia troops arrived, Bragg’s army swelled to 67,000 men, outnumbering the Federals by 10,000.

While Rosecrans convened his council of war at the Widow Glenn’s, Longstreet was searching for the elusive Bragg. Bragg unaccountably had failed to send a guide to meet him, and after a two-hour wait, Longstreet struck out with his staff toward the sound of gunfire.

As they groped in the darkness, Longstreet and his companions were met with the challenge. ‘Who comes there?’ ‘Friends,’ they responded quickly. When the soldier was asked to what unit he belonged, he replied with numbers for his brigade and division. Since Confederate soldiers used their commanders’ names to designate their outfits, Longstreet knew he had stumbled into a Federal picket. In a voice loud enough for the sentry to hear, the general said calmly, ‘Let us ride down a little and find a better crossing.’ The Union soldier fired, but the group made good its escape.

When Longstreet finally reached the safety of the Confederate lines, he found Bragg asleep in an ambulance. The overall commander was awakened, and the two men spent an hour discussing the plan for the following day. Bragg’s strategy would continue to be what he hoped to achieve on the 19th. He intended to turn the Union left, placing his army between Rosecrans and Chattanooga by cutting the LaFayette Road. Then, the Confederates would drive the Army of the Cumberland into the natural trap of McLemore’s Cove and destroy it, a piece at a time.

Bragg now divided his force into two wings, the left commanded by Longstreet and the right by Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk, the ‘fighting bishop’ of the Confederacy. Polk would command the divisions of John C. Breckinridge, who had serves as vice president of the United States under President James Buchanan, and Patrick Cleburne, a hard-fighting Irishman. Also under Polk were the divisions of Benjamin Franklin Cheatham, States Rights Gist and St. John R. Liddell. Breckinridge and Cleburne were under the direct supervision of another lieutenant general, D.H. Hill. Longstreet was given the divisions of Evander Law and Joseph Kershaw of Hood’s corps, A.P. Stewart and William Preston of Simon Bolivar Buckner’s corps, and the divisions of Bushrod Johnson and Thomas Hindman.

Breckinridge and Cleburne were to begin the battle with a assault on Thomas at the first light. The attack was to proceed along the line, with each unit going into action following the one on its right. Bragg’s order subordinating Hill to Polk precipitated some costly confusion among Southern commanders as the time for the planned attack came and went. Somehow, Hill had been lost in the shuffle and never received the order to attack. Bragg found Polk calmly reading a newspaper and waiting for his breakfast two miles behind the lines. Polk had simply assumed that Bragg himself would inform Hill of the battle plan.

When the Confederate tide finally surged forward at 9:45 a.m., Thomas was ready with the divisions of Absalom Baird, Richard Johnson, John Palmer and John Reynolds. Breckinridge’s three brigades hit the extreme left of the Union line, two of them advancing smartly all the way to the LaFayette Road before running into reinforcements under Brig. Gen. John Beatty, whose 42nd and 88th Indiana regiments steadied the Federal line momentarily. A redoubled Rebel effort forced the 42nd back onto the 88th, and several Union regiments were obliged to shift their fire 180 degrees to meet the thrust of enemy troops in their rear. Fresh Federal soldiers appeared and finally pushed Breckinridge back.

Cleburne’s troops followed Breckinridge’s assault and suffered a similar fate. The hard-pressed Rebels pulled back 400 yards to the relative safety of a protecting hill. As he inspected the ammunition supply of his men before ordering them forward again, one of Cleburne’s ablest brigadiers, James Deshler, was killed by an exploding shell that ripped his heart from his chest. Seeking shelter in a grove of tall pines, the Confederates traded round for round but could not carry the breastworks.

Thomas’ hastily constructed breastworks had proven to be of tremendous value, but several of the Union regiments suffered casualties of 30 percent or higher. The brigades of Colonel Joseph Dodge, Brig. Gen. John H. King, Colonel Benjamin Scribner and Brig. Gen. John C. Starkweather had held the extreme left of the Union line since the day before and had been engaged for over an hour when Cleburne’s attacks gained their full fury. For all their seeming futility, the Confederate assaults against Rosecrans’ left did have one positive result. Thomas’ urgent pleas for assistance were causing Rosecrans to thin his right in order to reinforce the left through the thick, confusing tangle of forest.

At the height of the fighting on the left, one of Thomas’ aides, Captain Sanford Kellogg, was heading to Rosecrans with another of Thomas/ almost constant requests for additional troops. Kellogg noticed what appeared to be wide gap between the divisions of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood on the right and John Reynolds on the left. In actuality, the heavily wooded area between Reynolds and Wood was occupied by Brig. Gen. John Brannan’s division. When Kellogg rode by, Brannan’s force was simply obscured by late-summer foliage.

When Kellogg informed Rosecrans of the phantom gap, the latter reacted accordingly. In his haste to avoid what might be catastrophe for his army, Rosecrans did not confirm the existence of the gap but, instead, issued what might have been the single most disastrous order of the Civil War. ‘Headquarters Department of Cumberland, September 20th–10:45 a.m.,’ the communiqué read. ‘Brigadier-General Wood, Commanding Division: The general commanding directs that you close up on Reynolds as fast as possible and support him.’

Earlier that morning, Wood had received a severe public tongue-lashing from Rosecrans for not moving his troops fast enough. ‘What is the meaning of this, sir? You have disobeyed my specific orders,’ Rosecrans had shouted. ‘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.’

With Rosecrans’ stinging rebuke still echoing in his ears, Wood was not about to be accused of moving too slowly again, even though this new order confused him. Wood knew there was no gap in the Union line. Brannan had been on his left all along. To comply with the commanding general’s order, Wood was required to pull his two brigades out of line, march around Brannan’s rear, and effect a junction with Reynolds’ right. In carrying out this maneuver, Wood created a gap where none had existed.

Simultaneously, Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan’s men were ordered out of line on Wood’s right and sent to bolster the threatened left wing, and Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis’ division was ordered into the line to fill the quarter-mile hole vacated by Wood. Almost three full divisions of the Federal right wing were in motion at the same time, in the face of a heavily concentrated enemy.

Now, completely by chance, in one of those incredible situations on which turn the fortunes of men and nations, Longstreet unleashed a 23,000-man sledgehammer attack directed right at the place where Wood had been moments earlier.

At 11:30 a.m., the gray-clad legion sallied forth from the forest across LaFayette Road into the fields surrounding the little log cabin of the Brotherton family. Almost immediately it came under fire from Brannan’s men, still posted in the woods across the road. Brannan checked Stewart in his front and poured an unsettling fire into the right flank of the advancing Confederate column. Davis’ Federals, arriving from the other side, hit the Rebels on their left while his artillery began tearing holes in the ranks of the attackers.

Johnson soon realized that the heavy resistance was coming from the flanks and the firing of scattered batteries. His front was virtually clear of opposition, and he smartly ordered his troops forward at the double-quick. As he emerged from the treeline that marked Wood’s former position, Johnson saw Davis’ troops rushing forward to his left, while two of Sheridan’s brigades were on their way north towards Thomas. On Johnson’s right, Wood’s two brigades were still in the act of closing on Reynolds.

While Johnson wheeled to the right to take Wood’s trailing brigade and Brannan from behind, Hindman bowled into Davis and Sheridan, throwing them back into confusion. When Brannan gave way, Brig. Gen. H.P. Van Cleve’s division was left exposed and joined the flight from the field. In a flash of gray lightning, the entire Union right disintegrated.

The onrushing Confederates were driving a wedge far into the Federal rear. They crossed the Glenn-Kelly Road just behind the Brotherton field, rushed through heavy stands of timber, and burst onto the open ground of the cultivated fields of the Dyer farm. One Confederate regiment overran a troublesome Union battery that had been firing from the Dyer peach orchard, capturing all nine of its guns.

Johnson paused to survey the progress of the attack. Everywhere, it seemed, Union soldiers were on the run, fleeing in panic over the countryside and down the Dry Valley Road toward McFarland’s Gap, the only available avenue to reach the safety of Chattanooga. ‘The scene now presented was unspeakably grand,’ the amazed general recalled.

The brave but often reckless Hood caught up with Johnson at the Dyer farm and urged him forward. ‘Go ahead and keep ahead of everything,’ Hood shouted, his left arm still in a sling from a wound received 10 weeks earlier at Gettysburg. Moments later, Hood was hit again. This time, a Minie bullet shattered his right leg. He fell from his horse and into the waiting arms of members of his old Texas Brigade, who carried him to a field hospital, where the leg was amputated. Meanwhile, Longstreet was ecstatic as his troops swept the men in blue before them. ‘They have fought their last man, and he is running,’ he exclaimed.

Only two Federal units offered resistance of greater than company strength once the rout was on. Intrepid Colonel John T. Wilder and his brigade of mounted infantry assailed Hindman’s exposed flank and drove Brig. Gen. Arthur Manigault’s brigade back nearly a mile from the area of the breakthrough. Wilder’s stouthearted troopers from Indiana and Illinois were able to delay a force many times their size by employing the Spencer repeating rifle.

Sheridan’s only remaining brigade, under Brig. Gen. William Lytle, a well-known author and poet, was in the vicinity of the Widow Glenn house when Hindman’s Confederates began streaming through the woods. A commander much admired by his troops, Lytle was famous for his prewar poem, ‘Antony and Cleopatra,’ which was popular in the sentimental society of the day and familiar to soldiers on both sides.

Lytle found his brigade found his brigade almost completely surrounded by Rebels. With the prospect of a successful withdrawal slim, he gallantly ordered his men to charge. He told those near him that if they had to die, they would ‘die in their tracks with their harness on.’ As he led his troops forward, he shouted: ‘If I must die, I will die as a gentleman. All right, men, we can die but once. This is the time and place. Let us charge.’ Lytle was shot in the spine during the advance but managed to stay on his horse. Then, he was struck almost simultaneously by three bullets, one of which hit him in the face. As the doomed counterattack collapsed around him, the steadfast Lytle died.

Assistant Secretary of War Charles Dana was with the Army of Cumberland at Chickamauga to continue a series of reports to Washington on the progress of the Western war. Exhausted by the rapid succession of events the prior day, Dana had found a restful place that fateful morning and settled down in the grass to sleep. When Bushrod Johnson’s soldiers came crashing trough the Union line, he was suddenly wide awake. ‘I was awakened by the most infernal noise I ever heard,’ he remembered. ‘I sat up on the grass and the first thing I saw was General Rosecrans crossing himself–he was a very devout Catholic. ‘Hello!’ I said to myself, ‘if the general is crossing himself, we are in a desperate situation.”

Just then Rosecrans rode up and offered Dana some advice. ‘If you care to live any longer,’ the general said, ‘get away from here.’ The whistling of bullets grew steadily closer, and Dana now looked upon a terrible sight. ‘I had no sooner collected my thoughts and looked around toward the front, where all this din came from, than I saw our lines break and melt way like leaves before the wind.’ He spurred his horse toward Chattanooga, where he telegraphed the news of the disaster to Washington that night.

With time, the Confederate onslaught gained momentum, sweeping before it not only the Federal rank and file but also Rosecrans himself and two of his corps commanders, Crittenden and McCook. After negotiating the snarl of men, animals and equipment choking the Dry Valley Road, Rosecrans and his chief of staff, Brig. Gen. and future president James A. Garfield, stopped for a moment. Off in the distance, the sounds of battle were barely audible. Rosecrans and Garfield put their ears to the ground but were still unable to satisfy themselves as to the fate of Thomas and the left wing of the Union army.

Originally, Rosecrans had decided to go to Thomas personally and ordered Garfield to Chattanooga to prepare the city’s defenses. Garfield disagreed. He felt that Rosecrans should supervise the placement of Chattanooga’s defenders, while the chief of staff would find out what happened to Thomas. Rosecrans assented and started toward Chattanooga while Garfield moved in the direction of the battlefield. By the time he reached his destination, Rosecrans was distraught. He was unable to walk without assistance and sat with his head in his hands.

Had he known the overall situation, Rosecrans might have been in a better state of mind–if only slightly. Thomas, to the great good fortune of the Union cause, was far from finished. Those troops which had not fled the field had gathered on the slope of a heavily wooded spur that shot eastward from Missionary Ridge. From this strategic location, named Snodgrass Hill after a local family, Thomas might protect both the bulk of the army withdrawing through the ridge at McFarland’s Gap and the original positions of the Union left–if only his patchwork line could hold.

An assortment of Federal troops, from individuals to brigade strength, came together for a last stand. Virtually all command organization was gone, but the weary soldiers fell into line hurriedly to meet an advancing foe flush with victory. The Rebels drew up around the new defensive position, and a momentary lull settled over the field.

Their goal clearly before them, the emboldened Confederates then rose in unison and assailed their enemy with renewed vigor. They pressed to within feet of the Union positions, only to be thrown back again and again, leaving scores of dead and wounded on the ground behind them.

With three of Longstreet’s divisions pressing him nearly to the breaking point, Thomas noticed a cloud of dust and a large body of troops moving toward him. Was it friend or foe?

When the advancing column neared, Thomas had his answer. It was Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger with two brigades of the Union army’s reserve corps under Brig. Gen. James Steedman. These fresh but untried troops brought not only fire support but badly needed ammunition to the defenders of Snodgrass Hill, who had resorted to picking the cartridge boxes of the dead and wounded. For two days, Granger had guarded the Rossville Road north of the battlefield. By Sunday afternoon, he was itching to get into the fight. Finally, when he could stand it no longer, he bellowed, ‘I am going to Thomas, orders or no orders.’

At one point, the marauding Rebels actually seized the crest of Snodgrass Hill, planting their battle flag upon it. But thanks to numerous instances of individual heroism, the stubborn Yankees heaved them back. No single act of bravery was more spectacular than that of Steedman himself, who grabbed the regimental colors of a unit breaking for the rear and shouted: ‘Go back boys, go back. but the flag can’t go with you!’

As daylight began to fade, Thomas rode to the left to supervise the withdrawal of his remaining forces from the field, leaving Granger in command on Snodgrass Hill. Longstreet had committed Preston’s division in an all-out final attempt to carry the position, and the movement toward McFarland’s Gap began while Preston’s assaults were in progress. The protectors of Snodgrass Hill were out of ammunition again, and Granger’s order to fix bayonets and charge flashed along the lines of the 21st and 89th Ohio and the 22nd Michigan, the last three regiments left there. The desperate charge accomplished little save a few extra minutes for the rest of the army. While the last 563 Union soldiers on the hill were rounded up by Preston’s Confederates, the long night march to Chattanooga began for those fortunate enough to escape. By Longstreet’s own estimate, he had ordered 25 separate assaults against Thomas before meeting with success.

The tenacity of the defense of Horseshoe Ridge bought the Army of the Cumberland precious time. It also contributed to Bragg’s unwillingness to believe his forces had won a great victory and might follow it up by smashing into the demoralized Federals at daybreak. Not even the lusty cheers of his soldiers all along the line were enough to convince their commander. Bragg was preoccupied with the staggering loss of 17,804 casualties, 2,389 of them killed, 13,412 wounded and 2,003 missing or taken prisoner. The Union army, after suffering 16,179 casualties, 1,656 dead, 9,749 wounded and 4,774 missing or captured, retired behind Chattanooga’s defenses without further molestation.

History has been less than kind to Bragg, not without cause. True enough, over a quarter of his effective force was lost at Chickamauga. Nevertheless, at no other time in four years of fighting was there a greater opportunity to follow up a stunning battlefield triumph with the pursuit of such a beaten foe. Had Bragg attacked and destroyed Rosecrans on September 21, there would have been little to stop an advance all the way to the Ohio River. Bragg, however, was true to form. As at Perryville and Murfreesboro before, he quickly allowed victory to become hollow.

Rosecrans, on the other hand, had seen one mistaken order wreck his military reputation and almost destroy his army. His nearly flawless campaign of the spring and summer had ended with the Army of the Cumberland holed up in Chattanooga and the enemy tightening the noose by occupying the high ground of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. Lincoln lost faith in ‘old Rosey’s’ ability to command, saying he appeared’stunned and confused, like a duck hit on the head.’

Chickamauga, the costliest two-day battle of the entire war, proved a spawning ground of lost Confederate opportunity. While Bragg laid siege to Chattanooga with an army inadequate to do the job, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, the hero of Vicksburg, was given overall command in the West and set about changing the state of affairs. Reinforcements poured in from east and west. During the November campaign to raise the siege, the Army of the Cumberland evened the score with the rebels in an epic charge up Missionary Ridge. And when Union soldiers next set foot on the battlefield of Chickamauga, they were on their way to Atlanta.

This article was written by Mike Haskew and originally appeared in America’s Civil War revista. Para obtener más artículos excelentes, asegúrese de suscribirse a America’s Civil War revista hoy!


156th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga Living History & Youth Programs

Living historian presentations provide a unique opportunity for visitors and volunteers to experience the Battle of Chickamauga. During the weekends of September 14-15 and September 21-22, the park will host several living history organizations conducting programs on the experiences of various groups of soldiers who participated in the Battle of Chickamauga. In addition, during the weekend of September 14-15, the park will host special hands on programs designed for young people.

Living history programs this year will feature mounted soldiers in addition to artillery programs.

Living History Programs

“Bite the Bullet”: Myths & Realities of Civil War Medicine
11 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm (Friday, September 13, and Saturday, September 14)
Location: Snodgrass Cabin (Tour Stop 8)

During the Battle of Chickamauga, the Union Army turned George Snodgrass’s farm into a hospital. Join local historian Dr. Anthony Hodges to learn about how surgeons, doctors, and stewards waged their own battle to keep men alive.

Lightning Strikes at Chickamauga: Wilder’s Brigade
10 am, Noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm (Saturday, September 14) & 10 am, Noon, and 2 pm (Sunday, September 15)
Locations: Saturday, September 14 - Wilder Brigade Monument (Tour Stop 6). Sunday, September 15 - along Glenn-Viniard Road. Look for the Special Program signs

Colonel John Wilder’s “Lightning Brigade” were some of the most elite troops to take the field at Chickamauga. Armed with the latest in weapons technology, the deadly Spencer repeating rifle, they commanded the south end of the battlefield throughout the engagement. Programs will feature mounted living historians and Spencer rifle demonstrations.

Artillery Demonstrations
10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm (Saturday September 14, and Sunday, September 15)
Location: Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

At the Battle of Chickamauga, the technology of the past at times clashed with the technology of the future. While Colonel John Wilder’s men entered the battlefield with modern repeating rifles, many soldiers fought with cannon - technology that had gone largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Learn about the role artillery played at the Battle of Chickamauga with these firing demonstrations.

The Veterans Return to Chickamauga
10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm (Saturday September 21) and
10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 1:30 pm (Sunday, September 22)
Location: Battleline Road near the King Monument

In 1889, veterans from both armies returned to Chickamauga Battlefield for a reunion that ultimately led to the creation of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. This weekend, living historians will stage their own reunion and portray Civil War veterans and their efforts to create the park.

Youth Programs

Hands on History
Ongoing programs throughout the day (Saturday, September 14, and
Sunday, September 15)
Location: Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

On Saturday September 14, and on Sunday September 15, meet a park ranger for a series of hands-on activities for young people to earn a unique Junior Ranger badge available during the battle anniversary.


Chickamauga

This is the fourth portion of E.B. Quiner’s history of the 15th Wisconsin, which fought in the Federal (Union) Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865). This portion covers the time period of May, 1863, through September, 1863. Information within brackets [ ] has been added to the original text by the webmaster to help modern readers understand what Mr. Quiner rightfully assumed mid-19th century readers would automatically know. Alternative spellings of 15th soldiers’ names have also been added within brackets by the webmaster, using spelling from the 15th’s official muster rolls. Finally, hot links have been added that will take you to on-line transcriptions of official documents and soldiers’ letters, and to profiles of soldiers, which contain additional information about the 15th or its soldiers. ¡Disfrutar!

Source: Quiner, E. B., The Military History of Wisconsin: Civil and Military Patriotism of the State, in the War for the Union. Chicago, Illinois: Clarke & Company, Publishers, 1866. Chapter XXIII, pages 622-625.
[Change of Command]

“On the 1st of May, the regiment was transferred to the Third Brigade, of which Colonel [Hans C.] Heg had been placed in permanent command, by General Rosecrans. Adjutant Henry Hauff was appointed Assistant Adjutant General, Captain Albert Skofstadt, Inspector, and Lieutenant O. R. [Ole Rasmussen] Dahl, Topographical Engineer.

The death of Lieutenant Colonel [David] McKee created a vacancy, and Major Ole C. Johnson was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain George Wilson, Major. Colonel Heg being in command of the brigade, the command of the regiment devolved on Lieutenant Colonel Johnson.

The Fifteenth, with Heg’s brigade, accompanied the movement of General Rosecrans’ forces, against General Bragg, at Tullahoma, leaving the neighborhood of Murfreesboro on the 24th of June, Heg’s brigade being detailed as the rear guard of the Twentieth Corps, under General McCook.

We have before described this march of the army, and nothing occurred of much historical importance, in which the Fifteenth was engaged. After driving Bragg out of Tennessee, General Davis’ division went into camp at Winchester, Tenn., on the 3d of July.
[First to Cross the Tennessee River]

On the 17th of August, the onward march was commenced, and the division crossed the Cumberland Mountains, to Stevenson, Ala. [Alabama], where they remained until [August] the 28th, when they led the advance of Rosecrans’ army against the enemy, in the Chickamauga campaign. Proceeding by a circuitous route, the brigade reached the Tennessee River near Caperton’s Ferry, in the neighborhood of Bridgeport, where they constructed a pontoon bridge, and the Fifteenth Wisconsin was the first regiment to cross into the enemy’s country, south of the Tennessee River.

With the rest of McCook’s corps, the division of General Davis proceeded up Wills’ Valley, to Winston’s Gap, from whence it was recalled, when General Rosecrans concentrated his troops prior to the battle of Chickamauga. General McCook’s command joined General [George] Thomas’ forces on the 18th of September, the night proceeding the great battle of Chickamauga.
[Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia]

On the morning of the 19th of September, General Davis’ division was ordered to march at daylight, but it was 8 o’clock before they got in motion. The engagement began on the extreme left, about 10 o’clock, and the cannon firing increased as they advanced. About noon they passed General Rosecrans’ headquarters, at the widow Glenn’s house, and were soon after seat forward at a double quick, and thrown into line of battle, to fill a gap which existed in the lines at that place, and of which the rebels were attempting to take advantage, by throwing in a force, and thus cut the army in twain. Heg’s brigade was formed in two lines, the Thirty-fifth Illinois on the left, the Eighth Kansas in the centre, and the Fifteenth Wisconsin on the right. The Twenty-fifth Illinois was in the second line, as a reserve. Advancing in this manner, the enemy skirmishers were driven in, and a heavy fire was received from his main line. The brigade continued to advance, however, until the Eighth Kansas began to waver and fall back. Being unsupported on the right, and the regiment on the left thus faltering, compelled the Fifteenth also to fall back, which it did, fighting, carrying off most of its wounded. Here Captain [John M.] Johnson, of Company A, was killed. Being reinforced, they regained the lost ground. Colonel Heg was conspicuously active, and labored with the utmost bravery to make up by personal valor, what he lacked in numbers. The forces in this part of the field were, however, compelled to yield to superior numbers, and fell back across an open field. The regiment was stationed in reserve a few moments, when the front line was driven back. The regiment was lying down as the Thirty-fifth Illinois passed over them, intending to form in the rear of the Fifteenth, but did not, and passed through a column of reinforcements, which were just coming up. The reinforcements, supposing the Thirty-fifth to be the last Union regiment in their front, mistook the Fifteenth for a rebel regiment, and opened fire, while the enemy began a heavy fire on the other side. Being thus placed under the galling fire of both friend and foe, the regiment was compelled to break, and each man looked out for himself. The regiment was no more together that day as an organization, but the men attached themselves temporarily to the commands they first encountered, and stayed with them till night. Another advance was made, and the lost ground occupied until near sundown, when Lieutenant Colonel Johnson proceeded to gather his scattered regiment. About this time, Colonel Heg was wounded by a shot in the bowels, which proved fatal next day. Captain [John M.] Johnson, of Company A, and Captain [Henry] Hauff, of Company E, were killed Major [George] Wilson and Captain Captain [Augustus] Gasman were severely wounded, Captain [Hans] Hanson, of Company C, mortally wounded, and Second Lieutenant C. S. Tanberg [Christian E. Tandberg], of Company D, was also wounded.

The remnant of the Fifteenth was aroused at 3 o’clock next morning, and put in a commanding position near the Chattanooga road, to the right and somewhat to the rear of the rest of the army. About 10 o’clock the skirmishers became engaged on the left, and the battle soon raged with great fury on that part of the field. [General] Sheridan’s and [General] Davis’ divisions were soon ordered forward to occupy the extreme right of the line. Davis’ division consisted of the Second Brigade, Colonel Carlin, and the Third, (late Heg’s) now commanded by Colonel Martin, of the Eighth Kansas. Carlin’s brigade occupied the frontline, his left joining General Wood’s right, with the Third Brigade in his rear as support. We have elsewhere related the great blunder at Chickamauga, whereby General Wood’s division was withdrawn, and the divisions of Sheridan and Davis were allowed to be outflanked and slaughtered. A recapitulation here is therefore unnecessary. After General Wood’s departure, Colonel Heg’s brigade was ordered to fill the gap, with about 600 fighting men. The Third Brigade had hardly time to get into line, before the rebels attacked them. Protected by a slight barricade of logs and rails, they were warmly received, and repulsed with great slaughter. A second charge was also bravely repulsed, soon after which, the right and left flanks were turned, Sheridan’s division not having come up on the right of Carlin and a large gap still existed in the position vacated by General Wood. Holding out to the last, in hopes reinforcements would come, the regiment, when almost surrounded, broke, the last to leave their position, and many were captured, among them, Lieutenant Colonel [Ole C.] Johnson. [To read the personal account of the battle by Lieutenant Colonel Johnson, click HERE]

An effort was made to gather the scattered men near the Chattanooga road, but it proved a failure, and the retreat was continued a mile south of the road, where a good position was obtained, and here men were gathered from the division, and from most of the regiments of the corps, who had got separated from their commands. The whole force was consolidated, and the position held until 5 o’clock in the afternoon, when they were ordered three or four miles further to the rear, where they camped for the night. Here the fragments of the regiment were gathered. The day before, their [the 15th’s] aggregate [strength] was 176 [officers and enlisted men], it was now reduced to 75.

The killed and wounded [at Chickamauga], as officially reported, were:

KILLED OR DIED OF WOUNDS — Field Officer — Colonel Hans Heg. Company A — Captain J. M. Johnson, Second Lieutenant Oliver Thompson. Company B — Privates John Johnson and Gunder Olson. Company C — Captain Hans Hanson, Private John Simondson [John Simonsen]. Company D — Private Halvor Halvorson [Halvor Halvorsen]. Company E — Captain Henry Hauff. Company H — Private Knute Bjornson [Knud Bjornson]. Company K — Corporal Ole M. Dorvnass [Ole N. Damness] — 11 [total].

WOUNDED — Field Officer — Major George Wilson, severely. Company A — Sergeant Amand Geterson [Omund Petersen], Privates Christian M. Johnson, Amund Olson and Hubbard Hammock. Company B — Sergeant A. G. Urnaes [Anders J. Urness], Privates Nils Anderson, Osten Knudson, Hans Lageson, Jacob Jacobson and John Inglestad. Company C — Sergeants Christian Hyer [Christian Heyer] and John Lansworth, Corporal James Overson [James Oversen], Privates Peter Anderson (Sr.), Torstun Hendrickson [Torsten Hendricksen], Basmus Jensen [Rasmus Jensen], Hans C. Sorenson [Hans C. Sorensen] and Carl Sobjornson [Carl Torbjornsen]. Company D — Second Lieutenant C. E. Tanberg [Christian E. Tandberg], Sergeant Ole M. Bendixen [Ole M. Bendixon], Privates Thomas Thompson and Anders Amundson. Company E — Privates John H. Stokke [Johannes H. Stokke], Anson Kjellevig [Anund Kjellesvig] and Nils Hanson [Nils Hansen]. Company F — Sergeant Ole B. Johnson [taken prisoner], Privates Ole W. Vigen [Ole K. Vigen] and Torkeld Togerson [Torkild Torgersen]. Company H — Corporal Nels J. Eide, Privates Ole L. Hangnoes [Ole S. Haugness] and Sam. Samson [Sams Sampson]. Company I — Captain August Gasman, at the time, commanding Company D. Company K — Sergeants Ellend Erickson [Lieutenant Ellend Errickson] and Lars A. Larson, Privates Haagen Geterson [Haagen Pederson], Ole Olson [Ole Aslison?], and Ole Johnson [Oemund Johnson]. — 37 [total].

Forty-eight were missing, mostly taken prisoners. [To review a list detailing the names and fate of the 15th’s casualties (killed, wounded, and Missing), click HERE]

All the field officers being disabled, Captain [Mons] Grinager took command of the regiment. [To read the 15th’s official after action report written by Captain Grinager, click HERE] Soon after breakfast, on the 21st, companies G and I, which had been stationed at Island No. 10 since June 11th, 1862, joined the regiment. They numbered eighty men – more than all the other companies put together. [To read the 3rd Brigade official after action report by Colonel Martin, click HERE.]

Rail breastworks were thrown up, but the enemy made no attack, and the brigade was ordered, at 10 P. M., to proceed to Chattanooga, where they arrived about daybreak, and commenced throwing up breastworks. Here the regiment, with the whole army, suffered severely for fuel, provisions and clothing, there being only a single line of communications over the Cumberland Mountains, to Stevenson, 180 miles, which was continually interrupted by the rebel cavalry. Captain [John] Gordon, of Company G, joined the regiment on the 28th of September, and being senior Captain, took command.” [To read the official Chickamauga report of General Davis, the 15th’s Division Commander, click HERE.]

[To read excerpts from letters, diaries, and interviews of 15th soldiers about their experiences during the May through September, 1863, time period, click HERE]


Battle of Chickamauga - History

Map titled “Draft of battle, 19th-20th Sept” drawn by George C. Lusk, with labels added (click image to enlarge). MCHS archival document.

The map above was drawn by George Campbell Lusk. The title, “Draft of battle, 19th-20th Sept,” and the reference to Gordon Granger’s Reserve Corps in Rossville indicate it is a map of the Battle of Chickamauga.

The battle took place September 18-20, 1863, in northwestern Georgia. The Union force of 58,000 troops (the Army of the Cumberland, led by Major General William Rosecrans, and Major General Gordon Granger’s Reserve Corps) fought 66,000 soldiers of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, led by General Braxton Bragg. Seven of every 25 men on the battlefield were killed or physically wounded. Only the Battle of Gettysburg incurred more casualties than the Battle of Chickamauga during the Civil War.

Chickamauga was one of several battles over the city of Chattanooga. Earlier in the month, Rosecrans had succeeded in forcing Bragg out of the city. Bragg wanted to take it back and destroy Rosecrans’s army. The forces clashed at Chickamauga Creek. After three days the Confederates earned a victory by forcing the Union troops to retreat from the battlefield. But Rosecrans’s army survived and retained control of Chattanooga.

It isn’t known when George Lusk drew this map. He served as Captain of Company K, 10th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The soldiers of the 10th were part of Major General Granger’s Reserve Corps, but they were stationed at the Union supply base in Bridgeport, Alabama, during the Battle of Chickamauga. Lusk’s map includes Bridgeport, although it is actually about 40 miles downriver from the battleground.

Private Joel Waters of Company K wrote to his brother about Captain Lusk:

“I have got a very good captain he passes me out [i.e. gives me written permission to leave camp] every day if I want to go but I never get tight [i.e. drunk] and always come back when he tells me to. Some of the Captains is hard on their men and punish them for most any little offense.”

(Written December 15, 1861, from Camp Morgan, Mound City, Illinois. From Correspondence of Joel E. Waters, pag. 10-12.)

Lusk was a 37-year-old veteran of the Mexican War, married with two children, when he joined the Union cause. He was born in Edwardsville, Illinois. Lusk fulfilled his three-year term of service in August of 1864 but was unable to resign until October due to the responsibilities of command. (Click here to read a transcription of Lusk’s resignation letter.) He returned to Edwardsville where he and his wife Mary had a third child. Lusk worked as a United States revenue agent and then as a policeman and police magistrate. He died in 1892 and is buried in Lusk Cemetery in Edwardsville.

Ideas for Teachers (or anyone who wants to take a deeper dive into the map)

Some relevant essential questions for students to explore:

  • What events happened during the Civil War and what impact did they have?
  • What impact did military leadership have on the conduct of the war?

Possible classroom activities:

  • Re-draw George Lusk’s map to scale and compare it to Lusk’s version.
  • Compare George Lusk’s map of the Battle of Chickamauga to maps of the battle found in history books and discuss the differences.
  • Read John Waters’s letters from September and October of 1863 (p. 33-37) describing his experiences in Company K before and after the battle and discuss how they provide context for the map.

Sources for this article include United States federal decennial census records and the following additional sources:


Battle of Chickamauga - History

The Chickamauga Campaign

Battle Description A brief, fairly detailed, description of the battle itself, with map of the 2nd day action.
Battle of Chickamauga Another good battle description with a Union slant. Taken from "The Army Of The Cumberland" By Henry M. Cist, Brevet Brigadier-General U. S. V.
The Chickamauga Campaign A very good description of the campaign, with a Southern slant, taken from the Georgia volume of the Confederate Military History.
Chickamauga With Longstreet Chickamauga as seen by James Longstreet as described in his book, "From Manassas to Appomattox."
Gordon on Chickamauga From " Reminiscences Of The Civil War" By John B. Gordon, Maj. Gen., CSA
D.H. Hill at Chickamauga Article taken from Battles and Leaders of The Civil War.
From The Official Records
Union Order of Battle Presents the Organization of the Army of the Cumberland
Confederate Order of Battle Presents the Organization of the Army of Tennessee
Summary of Principal Events This lists the principal events of the campaign from Aug. 16 - Sept. 22, 1863

Official Reports (After Action)


Ver el vídeo: La batalla de Chickamauga ACW - American Civil War wargames (Mayo 2022).