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Chickamauga 1863 - The River of Death. War. Chickamauga is an Indian name meaning ‘river of death’ and this was to prove to be the bloodiest two days of the American Civil War.
Chickamauga 1863 - The River of Death. By the Autumn of 1863 the tide of war appeared to be running heavily against the Confederacy. Lee’s attack into Maryland had been halted at Gettysburg and he had fallen back into Virginia to lick his wounds; in the Mississippi Valley Vicksburg, the last Confederate hold on the river, had fallen to the tenacious Grant, and in the mountains around Chattanooga in eastern Tennessee General W S Rosecrans’ Union Army of the Cumberland was pausing after driving out the Confederate Army of the Tennessee without a shot being fired. Confederate commander General Braxton Bragg had been out-manoeuvred but was far from beaten. Reinforced by troops from Mississippi and Virginia on 19th September he attacked the Union army along Chickamauga creek south of Chattanooga. Chickamauga is an Indian name meaning ‘river of death’ and this was to prove to be the bloodiest two days of the war. For the first day Union lines held but on the second a gap appeared in the Union lines into which General J. Longstreet marched. The entire Union right collapsed and the army retreated headlong for Chattanooga, all except General George H. Thomas’ Corps who fought on doggedly until nightfall delaying the confederate advance, saving the Union and earning his fame as the “Rock of Chickamauga”. This title investigates this crucial battle of the American Civil War.
Background to Battle
Opposing Commanders and their Armies
The First Day of Battle, 19 September
The Second Day: the Confederate Right Wing Assault
The Battlefield Today