Timeline of historical events during and surrounding the Battle of Chickamauga
Created by TFP on Sep 16, 2008
Last updated: 03/12/10 at 05:25 AM
After a change in command and reinforcement of the Union troops, Gen. Ulysses Grant directs a push out of the city in the Battle of Chattanooga, which includes the Battle of Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Union troops drive Confederate forces under Gen. Bragg south into Georgia and open the door to the Atlanta Campaign and the invasion of the Deep South. Image of Grant courtesy of the Library of Congress
Confederate soldiers attack Union placements protected by breastworks built throughout the night. Battles shaped by the terrain and woodlands were waged through the day, taking massive tolls in wounded and killed among the ranks of both sides. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
A breakdown in Union communication opens a gap in the Blue lines, through which Confederate Gen. James Longstreet drives three divisions that push the Union Army into retreat.
To protect the retreat back to Chattanooga through McFarland Gap, Gen. George Thomas organizes Union soldiers, many with repeating rifles, on Snodgrass Hill and rains lead down on the Confederate ranks. The stand holds off the surging Gray and earns Gen. Thomas the nickname the "Rock of Chickamauga.” Gen. Bragg’s failure to pursue the retreating army produces near revolt among his generals, and allows the Union force to fall back to Chattanooga and fortify its defenses. Image of Gen. Thomas courtesy of Library of Congress
Huge opposing forces were near each other, but are obscured by dense woods that keep commanders from being sure where their own troops were, much less the enemy’s.
Late Saturday morning, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry clashes with Union troops in the dense woodlands near Jay’s Mill, then pulled back about 1 p.m. Divisions from North and South poured in and engaged in the first day of the Battle of Chickamauga. Back and forth pushes throughout the day included some bloody engagements. At day’s end, the Confederate Army held a slight advantage. Union forces dug in, lined up roughly along LaFayette Road, facing soldiers of the South and awaiting the Confederate charge. Image courtesy of Library of Congress
Gen. Bragg’s order to attack at Lee & Gordon’s Mills was stymied by slow reaction from commanders and difficulty getting troops quickly across Chickamauga Creek.
Union Gen. Thomas Crittenden reaches Lee & Gordon’s Mills in Chickamauga, where Union Gen. William Rosecrans had ordered his forces to concentrate as he prepared to meet Gen. Bragg’s reinforced troops. Image of Chickamauga from Snodgrass Hill in early 1900s provided by Library of Congress
The Battle of Davis Crossroads flares up in McLemore Cove, west of LaFayette. This relatively minor engagement happened when Union Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas’ lead division — commanded by Maj. Gen. James Negley — pushed south toward LaFayette and encountered a division led by Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman. They clashed briefly at Davis Crossroads near the Dug Gap pass across Pigeon Mountain.
Union troops had pushed west from Murfreesboro and enter Chattanooga after Gen. Braxton Bragg withdrew his Confederate Army of Tennessee and evacuated the city. Gen. Bragg moves his troops 26 miles south to LaFayette, Ga., and begins receiving reinforcements from East Tennessee, Virginia and Mississippi. Image of Union troops camped in Chattanooga near Tennessee River provided by Library of Congress