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Confederate reinforcements arrive by rail to support Braxton Bragg's advance (above). Although the regional rail network was in poor condition it proved an essential supply route, vital for Bragg's intended maneuvers.

Confederate reinforcements arrive by rail to support Braxton Bragg's advance (above). Although the regional rail network was in poor condition it proved an essential supply route, vital for Bragg's intended maneuvers.

Sept 10; Bragg orders attack on isolated Union units in McLemore's Cove; the plan fails and Union forces are able to withdraw

Alarmed by Confederate attempt to isolate part of his forces, Rosecrans orders a concentration in the valley of West Chickamauga Creek

Sept 19, early am: Opposing patrols collide, precipitating the batde of Chickamauga vjr ft od bless the gallant fellows, not one man intoxicated, not one rude word did I hear. It was a strange sight. What seemed miles of platform cars, and soldiers rolled in their blankets lying in rows... In their grey blankets packed in regular order, they looked like swathed mummies."

A Southern matron upon viewing the reinforcements advancing by rail to support Bragg.

I had my horse to leap from the train, mounted with one arm in a sling, and about 3pm, joined our forces ... in line of battle... in a short time we arrived at Reed's Bridge, across the Chickamauga, and discerned the Federals drawn up in battle array beyond the bridge, which they had partially destroyed. I ordered some... artillery to open fire... our opponents quickly retreated. We repaired the bridge, and continued to advance."

4 Miles

"The Rock of Chickamauga". Maj. Gen. George Thomas (below). A total rout of Rosecrans's army was only prevented by Thomas's insistence upon a reinforcement of the Union left and the spirit of resistance with which he inspired his men.

With neither side aware of the precise position of its opponent, Thomas sent a division forward to reconnoiter the Chickamauga (above). The advancing Federals drove back Forrest's Cavalry, but were in turn hard hit by two of Walker's Confederate divisions. The battle swung back and forth, losses were high, but the results by nightfall were negligible.

Chickamauga September 19 - 201863

With neither side aware of the precise position of its opponent, Thomas sent a division forward to reconnoiter the Chickamauga (above). The advancing Federals drove back Forrest's Cavalry, but were in turn hard hit by two of Walker's Confederate divisions. The battle swung back and forth, losses were high, but the results by nightfall were negligible.

General Bragg's plan on September 19 called for his army to complete its crossing of Chickamauga Creek and commence a drive south toward Lee and Gordon's Mill, where he believed the left flank of the Federal Army of the Cumberland was located. The Confederate army could then drive the Federals southward into the wilds of McLemore's Cove, away from both Chattanooga and their supply line to Nashville. When the plan was formulated, the Federal left indeed lay at Lee and Gordon's Mill, but during the early hours of September 19 General George Thomas's XIV Corps had passed behind XXI Corps and extended the Federal line northward beyond the Confederate position.

After sunrise on September 19, Thomas sent a division eastward in search of a Confederate brigade rumored to be isolated west of Chickamauga Creek. The division encountered Confederate cavalry covering the rear of Bragg's army, and the resulting action soon drew both armies to the scene. Throughout the day, both commanders threw more and more units into the fight, but neither side gained a decisive advantage m the struggle which raged in the tangled thickets and small fields just west of the creek. After dark, the two armies drew apart slightly, but each prepared to renew the contest at first light.

That night, the Army of Tennessee received additional reinforcements from Virginia. Dividing his forces into two wings

"The Rock of Chickamauga". Maj. Gen. George Thomas (below). A total rout of Rosecrans's army was only prevented by Thomas's insistence upon a reinforcement of the Union left and the spirit of resistance with which he inspired his men.

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