Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chickamauga, Sept. 19, 1863 (Part 2)

At 12:45 PM, Palmer's and Hazen's Brigades become heavily engaged with Smith's Brigade (CS) supported by Dawson's Regiment and Scott's artillery, at Brock Field, near the center of the battlefield.  (Powell and Friedrichs, page 32)

At 1:00 PM, as this battle expands and intensifies, Van Cleve orders the brigades of Sam Beatty and George Dick north along Lafayette Road (double quick time) approximately two miles to a position just south of Brotherton Field.  They immediately form to the right and advance some 200 yards east into the woods where they are in a position to out flank Wright's Brigade of Tennessee Volunteers who are lined up behind Carnes' (CS) Battery.

In Beatty's brigade, Marcus Woodcock of the 9th Kentucky remembered the moment he entered the fight:  "We were almost completely exhausted by the long run we had been compelled to make [nearly two miles]....Our brigade fronted...[a] regiment at a time[,]those that fronted first commencing a musketry fight with the enemy...and then the whole brigade made a general charge." Alongside them, struggling to keep up, hustled Dick's four regiments.  Initially, Dick expected to fall in behind Beatty's men, "But," he reported, "the First Brigade having obliqued to the front line...was immediately engaged and gallantly drove the first line of the enemy." 

Carnes' gunners and the men of the 38th Tennessee bore the brunt of the attack, but had very little time to prepare for it. Carnes reported the crisis to Cheatham, who replied, "hold [your] ground for as long as possible."  When Federal fire began cutting down his artillerymen, Carnes ordered the drivers up to work the cannon, "and, giving the enemy double charges of canister at close range," held the Yankees in check.  The return fire, however, remained very intense.  Confederate Lt. L. G. Marshall remembered the open lid of a limber chest drawing the fire of "hundreds of hostile... shots" so that it "made the chest resemble a huge grater."  (Powell and Friedrichs, page 78).

With the 38th Tennessee driven back, Carnes was forced to abandon the battery, the four guns taken and moved toward the rear.

Note:  Special thanks to Dr. Anthony Hodges for his assistance in locating the markers at this site.

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