Chronological History of the American Civil War

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General George Thomas (U.S.), now on the Union left (northern) flank, had the misfortune to be clambering through thick brush, when they came upon the men of Nathan Bedford Forrest, and the bullets began to fly. Forrest’s men, although called ‘cavalry’, actually functioned as mounted infantry, who traveled on horses, but fought on foot. Fight they did today, and as units of both sides moved towards the sounds of battle, the general combat commenced. Sunday, September 20, 1863 : The fighting continues at Chickamauga Creek in Georgia, not far from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The fighting was essentially toe to toe, from one end to the other until, due to a mistaken order. The Union troops right in the center under Thomas J. Wood (U.S.) were pulled out of position. In the Confederate center, were the forces of James Longstreet (CSA), who lost no time capitalizing on this opening. The Union line nearly dissolved, except for General George Henry Thomas (U.S.). Gathering his men on a rise called Snodgrass Hill, they formed a defensive line that held all afternoon; getting for Thomas the nickname “The Rock of Chickamauga.” After dark, under orders, Thomas withdrew to rejoin the rest of the Union army in Chattanooga. General Braxton Bragg (CSA) had won his battle, but it came at a terrible cost. The Battle of Chickamauga was the second costliest battle of the Civil War, ranking only behind Gettysburg, and was by far the deadliest battle fought in the West. These bloody two days in American history cost the Federals 1,657 dead, 9,756 wounded, and 4,757 missing for a total of 16,170 casualties out of 58,000 troops. The Confederate losses were 2,312 dead, 14,674 wounded and 1,468 missing for a total of 18,545 out of 66,000 troops. Monday, September 21, 1863 : Union forces head for Chattanooga. Observer’s for Bragg (CSA) sent him word that Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland (U.S.) was disorganized and scattered, and that a robust chase could destroy what was left. Brigadier-General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA) wrote to Bragg “every hour (lost) is worth a thousand men.” Bragg did not seem to fully comprehend the magnitude of the South’s victory. Some elements of the Confederate Army did attempt a follow up, but Bragg had just lost more than 20% of his men and 10 generals. He just wanted to regroup around Chattanooga and besiege the town. In 1890, the Chickamauga Battlefield would become a part of the very first National Military Park, established by the Federal government, soon followed by Shiloh, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Antietam. Tuesday, September 22, 1863 : Skirmishes at Missionary Ridge and Shallow Ford Gap, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, bring the Chickamauga Campaign to a close as General Braxton Bragg (CSA) occupies the high ground of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, surrounding Chattanooga and the Union Army of the Cumberland (U.S.). Wednesday, September 23, 1863 : Confederate siege of Chattanooga begins. General Rosecrans (U.S.) informed President Lincoln, that he could not hold Chattanooga unless he had more men. Lincoln, believing that Chattanooga had to be held, ordered that 20,000 extra men should be sent there. Thursday, September 24, 1863 : President Lincoln, wires General Rosecrans (U.S.) in Chattanooga, telling him 40,000 to 60,000 troops are on their way. Within a week, General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker (U.S.) will arrive at Stevenson, Alabama. This move of Hooker's army, which underscored the Union's ability to effectively utilize the rail network, was one of the most impressive logistical accomplishments of the war. Hooker was hoping to redeem himself and regain his reputation as a solid commander, since losing his command in June, to General George Meade (U.S.). Friday, September 25, 1863 : Lincoln described General Rosecrans (U.S.) as “confused and stunned like a duck hit on the head.” 20,000 Union troops started their journey to support Rosecrans at Chattanooga, and President Abraham Lincoln is upset with Major General Ambrose E. Burnside's inability to assist at Chattanooga. Saturday, September 26, 1863 : President Lincoln and members of his administration are distressed that troop movements aiding General Rosecrans in Chattanooga are published in the New York Post. At the age of 70, Samuel "Sam" Houston, dies in Huntsville, Texas. He was a nineteenth-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. He is best known for his leading role in bringing Texas into the United States. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee, and was elected as the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator for Texas after it joined the United States, and

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