Battle of Chickamauga

Saturday, September 19, 1863 to Sunday, September 20, 1863

Kurz & Allison portrait of the Battle of Chickamauga. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Even as the Union's fortunes rise in the East, the Union Army of the Cumberland suffers a major defeat in the Battle of Chickamauga, near the Chickamauga Creek in northwest Georgia. Major General William Rosecrans leads the Army of the Cumberland to Chattanooga, Tennessee, driving the Confederate Army of the Tennessee, under command of General Braxton Bragg, away to the south. Bragg counterattacks to retake Chattanooga, and the battle begins on September 19. On the first day, Bragg's forces fail to advance, but on the 20th, Rosecrans follows misleading intelligence and unwittingly opens a gap in his own lines. By the next day, the Union forces have retreated to Chattanooga and Bragg's Confederate forces surround and besiege the city. Total casualties for the battle, which exceed 34,000, are second only to Gettysburg in the war. Despite taking the field, and claiming victory in the battle, Bragg and the Confederacy are left without control of Chattanooga or eastern Tennessee.


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