Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Chickamauga

Frank and I married in January of 2003.  We spent out honeymoon on the Little River Canyon in Northern Alabama and spent the day just outside Chattanooga at Chickamauga Battlefield.  We bought out National Park passports there and got out first stamps.  It was such an exciting day.  After touring the Battlefield and learning much about it's history I felt such a sadness in my heart.  The Civil War was such a terrible time.  What touched me so was that brothers fought against brothers. The battle that took place at Chickamauga lasted from September 19-20, 1863.  During this battle Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee defeated a Union force commanded by General William Rosecrans. After Rosecrans' troops pushed the Confederates out of Chattanooga earlier that month, Bragg called for reinforcements and launched a counterattack on the banks of nearby Chickamauga Creek. Over the two days of battle, the rebels forced Rosecrans to give way, with heavy losses on both sides. Bragg failed to press his advantage after the victory, however, allowing the Federals to safely reach Chattanooga. When the battle began Bragg's men repeatedly attacked the Union left, anchored by a large Union corps led by George Thomas. With reinforcements sent in by Rosecrans, Thomas was able to hold his position for the most part, with heavy losses on both sides. That evening, Longstreet arrived with two more brigades. Bragg decided to split his army into two wings  Longstreet was in command of the left wing and Leonidas Polk was leading the right. Polk frustrated Bragg with his delays, Longstreet advanced around 11:30 am on September 20. In a stroke of luck for the Confederates, the advance occurred just at the point when Rosecrans was shifting his troops. As a result, the rebels were able to burst through a gap in the Federal lines and sent the Union troops into a chaotic retreat north towards Chattanooga. Though Longstreet and his fellow general Nathan Bedford Forrest wanted to pursue the enemy the following morning, Bragg was preoccupied with the toll taken on his army by the battle at Chickamauga. Ten Confederate generals had been killed or wounded, including the fiery Texan John Bell Hood (whose leg was amputated), and overall Confederate casualties numbered close to 20,000. The Union suffered some 16,000 casualties, making the Battle of Chickamauga the costliest one in the war's western theater. Bragg's inaction turned a triumph for the South into a strategic defeat. Ulysses S. Grant soon arrived in Chattanooga with reinforcements, allowing the Union to reverse the results of Chickamauga and score a lasting victory in November.  The battle was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.  If you are ever in Chattanooga there is so much to do besides the aquarium, the choo-choo, and shopping.  Plan a day to drive through Chickamauga and Look-out Mountain.  I promise you that you will not regret it.  When you drive through the battlefield you will be filled with an eerie sense of the spirits of soldiers who fought and died there for what they believed in.  Atop Lookout Mountain you can feel them too....and when the clouds are appears as if the spirits are climbing the mountain to defend their city.

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