(1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Western Theater)
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3293
Joined: 2007
Granger at Chickamauga
3/26/2021 10:46:03 AM

General Thomas has been called 'the rock of Chickamauga. " But the man called by some "the savior of Chickamauga" was Gordon Granger. Posted four miles away from Thomas, and under orders form the commanding General Rosecrans to keep the Rossville Pass open in case it is needed as a line of withdrawal, Granger commanded the three brigade reserve division. About late-mid morning, Granger climbed a haystack with a staff officer and tried to observe and get a feel for what was happening to Thomas. He decided that the rebels were"throwing everything against Thomas, and he would defy his orders and lead two brigades south, to aid him, leaving one brigade to guard the approach to the pass

At the time he made that call, Longstreet had not yet "thrown his everything" at Thomas in the form of his column of assault. When Granger`s march was slowed by rebel cavalry, and a battery of guns, he then ordered the third brigade to advance and engage in flank protection, as his march was continued. Granger`s arrival was just in time to enable Thomas to hold against two divisions that had overlapped his position and were pressing their attack Thus he became 'the savior of Chickamauga."

I have sometimes compared this to the "savior of Little Bighorn" Benteen, who was under direct orders from his commanding officer to " come quick. Bring packs. Big village. PS. Bring Packs." Yet Benteen came to the aid of a superior officer who he knew was in trouble, and held together Reno`s command. If Granger had followed his orders, Thomas would have had to strip his badly mauled left to re-enforce his overlapped right...and the position may have given way entirely. Had Benteen followed his orders, he might have come to the aid his commander too late, and perhaps the entire command lost.

Granger came to mind when D. H. hill was being discussed..and, like Hill...Granger was not well liked by many superiors, opinionated, coarse..even sarcastic...yet a good commander

Just some thoughts. Morris
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6386
Joined: 2004
Granger at Chickamauga
3/26/2021 2:59:55 PM

This makes me think of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top multiplied tenfold in scale.

A kind of last gasp, in the nick of time, ammo running out, rather outrageous bayonet attack that takes the enemy by surprise and saves the army from a catastrophic fate.

According to his chief of staff, Granger took 3,700 men into the fight and suffered 1,788 casualties.

There appears to be a tradition in the Civil War of notoriously antagonistic and difficult officers who came to the rescue in desperate circumstances.

Regards, Phil

"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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