Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Not Tenting Tonight

Van Cleave's Division abandoned their position near Crawfish Springs on this date in 1863, essentially leapfrogging Wood's Division which remained anchored at Lee and Gordon's Mills.  Palmer's Division made a similar move, flanking both Wood and Van Cleve  to the north along Lafayette Road toward Brotherton's farm.  Thus, Van Cleve was now in the center, with Palmer to his left and Wood to his right.

These moves were in response to skirmishing heard to the northeast, where Wilder's (US) Brigade was engaged by Walker's(CS) Reserve Corps as well as information that Polk's Army was headed due north.  It was therefore only prudent that Van Cleve and Palmer should parallel his movements, keeping West Chickamauga Creek between themselves and the enemy as they did so.

The Seventeenth Kentucky, in Sam Beatty's Brigade, Van Cleve's Division of Crittenden's XXI Corps bivouacked that evening on the east side of Lafayette Road less than a mile north of Wood's fortifications at Lee and Gordon's Mills, with Palmer's Division about one mile to their north and also on the east side of Lafayette Road.  They were facing the east and the Confederate divisions of Polk and Buckner.  There was little more than a mile of flat, lightly wooded terrain between the lines and skirmishers were within shouting distance as the men consumed their evening rations and laid down to rest.  By this time, these veteran volunteers did not need to be told, no camp fires were lit that night.

Note:  The above information, as well as future troop movements through the next few days are compiled from three principal sources.  They will be referenced when specific information is provided by a particular source.

Powell, David A. and Friedrichs, David A., The Maps of Chickamauga, 2009, Savas Beatie LLC, New York.

Ogden, Jim, (Chief Historian); Hodges, Anthony (Volunteer Historian)  and the interpretive staff at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia for personal communications, valued guidance locating markers on the battlefield and providing legends from some tablets now missing.

Robertson, William G., The Battle of Chickamauga, Civil War Series, 1995, Eastern National for America's National Park Service.

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