Sunday, December 27, 2009
Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia
The Battle of Chickamauga, fought on September 19 & 20, 1863, was one of the bloodiest battles ever witnessed on the American continent.
Fought in the woods and small fields along the west side of Chickamauga Creek near the modern community of Fort Oglethorpe, the battle resulted in losses of 34,000 killed, wounded and missing from the two armies. It was described by many as a "soldier's fight," because in many cases soldiers stumbled and struggled through overgrown woods with little direction and surrounded by the smoke and confusion of battle.
Chickamauga was also one of the most dramatic Confederate victories of the Civil War. General James Longstreet's Corps attacked just as a gap was accidentally opened in the Union lines. Southern troops pierced the Union line of battle and the Federal army of General William S. Rosecrans collapsed in panic, with only the men under General George H. Thomas, the "Rock of Chickamauga," holding their ground on Snodgrass Hill.
The scene of Braxton Bragg's great victory is now preserved as a unit of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. Other units include Point Park on Lookout Mountain, small reserves on Missionary Ridge and several other areas in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Chickamauga unit is the largest section of the park, however, and features tour roads, monuments, a magnificent visitor center and interpretive markers that help visitors explore the miles of battlefield. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/chickamauga. You might also enjoy the new film on the battle which is now available on DVD: