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Battle of Chickamauga

The Battle of Chickamauga was a Union offensive in the American Civil War in Catoosa County and Walker County, Georgia from September 18, 1863 to September 20, 1863. It claimed an estimated 34,624 casualties (16,170 for the Union; 18,454 for the Confederates) and resulted in a Confederate victory.

The battle was fought between the Army of the Cumberland[?] and the Army of Tennessee[?], and was led by William Rosecrans[?] and George Henry Thomas for the Union and Braxton Bragg[?] and James Longstreet for the Confederates.

After the Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed his offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga[?]. The three army corps comprising Rosecrans’ army split and set out for Chattanooga by separate routes. In early September, Rosecrans consolidated his forces scattered in Tennessee and Georgia and forced Bragg’s army out of Chattanooga, heading south. The Union troops followed it and brushed with it at Davis’ Cross Roads. Bragg was determined to reoccupy Chattanooga and decided to meet a part of Rosecrans’s army, defeat them, and then move back into the city. On September 17 he headed north, intending to meet and beat the XXI Army Corps. As Bragg marched north on September 18, his cavalry and infantry fought with Union cavalry and mounted infantry armed with Spencer repeating rifles. Fighting began in earnest on the morning of September 19, and Bragg’s men hammered but did not break the Union line. The next day, Bragg continued his assault on the Union line on the left, and in late morning, Rosecrans was informed that he had a gap in his line. In moving units to shore up the supposed gap, Rosencrans created one, and James Longstreet’s men promptly exploited it, driving one-third of the Union army, including Rosecrans himself, from the field. George Henry Thomas took over command and began consolidating forces on Horseshoe Ridge and Snodgrass Hill. Although the Rebels launched determined assaults on these forces, they held until after dark. Thomas then led these men from the field leaving it to the Confederates. The Union retired to Chattanooga while the Rebels occupied the surrounding heights.

Thomas' efforts in the battle earned him the nickname The Rock of Chickamauga.

Adapted from a United States National Park Service battle summary (http://www2.cr.nps.gov/abpp/battles/ga004.htm)



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