Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chickamauga, Sept. 19, 1863 (Part 3)

At approximately 2:15 PM, Confederate General A. P. Stewart sent the brigades of Clayton (Alabama), Brown (Tennessee) and Bate (mixed) against what remained of Beatty and Dick.

Henry Clayton's large Alabama brigade, passing thropugh the wreck of Marcus Wright's command as the Tennesseeans fell back in disorder....

Cpl. Edgar W. Jones, marching in the ranks of Company G, 18th Alabama, recalled the experience.  "Standing in line the firing began seemingly without any command," he wrote years later, "and in three minutes the engagement was something awful.  The slaughter was dreadful.  We discovered that we were within perhaps fifty yards of the enemies main line."

Still, the Alabamians made headway, driving back the front rank of both Beatty and Dick....Beatty's and Dick's second lines [9th & 17th KY, 86th IN and 13th OH] , however, were solid bedrock upon which to rally, and both Yankee brigades held there.  Clayton's Alabama regiments recaptured the remains of Carnes' battery, minus several of the guns dragged away by the 79th Indiana, but beyond that they could not go.
(Powell and Friedrichs, page 82)

About 3:00 PM, Clayton withdrew from the fight, being replaced in line by the Tennessee brigade of Gen. John C. Brown, which covered the front of both Beatty's and Dick's.  Brown immediately ordered his men to charge, despite limited visibility.

...T. I. Corn of the 32nd Tennessee wrote that "the battle was now on in dead earnest.  The woods were ablaze in many places, and smoke made it difficult to see far in any direction.  According to N. J. Hampton of the 18th Tennessee, the smoke was so dense "we could not distinguish the enemy from our own men ten steps away."  As the 32nd passed through Carnes' position, Corn spotted thirteen dead horses in a single pile. [Powell and Friedrichs, page 82]

At approximately 4:00 PM, with an added push from Sheffield, Stewart's four brigades drove Beatty and Dick across Lafayette Road near Brotherton's cabin where they joined the artillery- 26th Pennsylvania and four guns of the 7th Indiana Battery.  Here they were joined by elements of the 9th Indiana, 124th Ohio and 41st Ohio of Hazen's brigade and made a brief stand with  Stewart's troops advancing from the front, and Johnson's brigade of Johnson's Division from the right.  At 4:30 they were forced to withdraw further west to Dyer Field and then to the slope west of Dyer Springs road where they bivouacked for the night.

Well, that depends on what the definition of "bivouack" is.  It was widely known that Rosecrans had little use for sleep, and he frequently shared his insomnia with his troops.  On this night, his menwere to build fortifications and the sound of axes could be heard ringing through the night.  On his pension form, S.T. Brown's only combat injury was reported as "leg wounded by ax at Chickamauga."  This was likely the night it happened. *

*  Blackburn, John,  A Hundred Miles, A Hundred Heartbreaks, 1972, page 126. 

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