Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ckickamauga, Sept.19, 1863 (Part 1)

Our volunteers from Ohio County, Kentucky awoke this morning to await further orders.  After a hearty breakfast of hardtack and coffee they waited near the southern end of Lafayette Road with the rest of Beatty's Third Brigade of Van Cleve's Division, Crittenden's XXI Corps, Army of the Cumberland.

Rosecrans' troops are generally stretched from north to south along Lafayette Road, a sound arrangement in that the road allowed for rapid re-supply or reinforcement of any position along the line.  Bragg, after crossing  West Chickamauga Creek, chose to concentrate his forces opposite the middle of Rosecran's thin blue line.

Around 11:00 AM, an isolated battle began on the northeastern section of the battlefield near Jay's Mill.  Rosecrans ordered General George Thomas to move his XIV Corps north along Lafayette Road to Kelly's field.  Repeating a pattern of behavior noted by this author during the march on Corinth, Thomas took the initiative to move east into the woods in pursuit of what he thought was an isolated Confederate regiment. Finding that this isolated regiment was, in fact, the right flank of Bragg's entire army,  Thomas called for help.

Rosecrans obliged by sending Richard Johnson's Division of McCook's XX Corps from their position at the Widow Glenn's house and ordering Crittenden to detach his northern-most division, under Palmer, to reinforce Thomas.  This maneuver left the center of Rosie's thin blue line weakened, directly opposite the strength of Bragg's "sledgehammer" arrangement of Buckner's and Hood's Divisions.

As Thomas is engaged by Liddell and Walker (CS), who are supported by Forrest's Cavalry, he pulls Brannan et al. back to Lafayette Road at noon.

Note:  The troop movements reported above were condensed from Powell and Friedrich's' Maps of Chickamauga, 2009, pages 58-69.

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