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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Western Theater)
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Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/21/2021 5:28:55 PM
Having just passed the anniversary of that mighty battle, I invite discussion.....nothing in particular, just a wish to enjoy reflection and commentary on any aspect of the western battle that might excite interest and inspire further research.

Regards, Phil
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"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
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2896
Joined: 2010
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/21/2021 6:27:37 PM
Didn´t a Texan captured in the Wildnerness refer to Chickamauga as one great bushwack ?

It is not true that Moltke the Elder refered to the ACW as two armed mobs chasing each other around the countryside although it is often claimed. Chickamauga, however, seems closest to the description.

Trevor

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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/22/2021 1:56:16 AM
Thanks Trevor . You’ve pitched in with some top notch stuff, as usual !

Yes, there is an anecdote about that Texan who complained that the Chickamauga fighting was so disorganised that there was no damned rear. You mention that he was captured in the Wilderness ......do you mean the wilderness of the Chickamauga forests, or does the capital letter you use refer to the Wilderness battle of May 1864 in Virginia ? I’m not being pedantic here. There was the famous Texas Brigade under Gregg’s command in Longstreet’s Corps, Army of Northern Virginia that fought in both battles ; there were also Texans in the Army of Tennessee - Granbury’s men, for example - who were heavily engaged at Chickamauga. If he was one of Longstreet’s men, his comment suggests that, maybe, soldiers who had fought in the Eastern theatre and were transported to the West in September 1863, were aghast at the chaotic nature of the fighting......might we infer from this that there was a special character to the Western battles, such as to be noticed by the men who had fought in both East and West ? I think Longstreet himself was appalled at the incoherent and uncommunicative staff liaison he encountered when he arrived to help Bragg and his army. Scope for discussion and research here. The lamentable record of antagonistic rivalry in the Western war certainly bears fruit in the history of Chickamauga.

There’s certainly much in the story of Chickamauga to show how toxic relationships between officers in both armies produced appalling results.
We know so much about how Bragg was infamous for being unable to rein this in, and, perhaps, for contributing to it. It was also apparent in the Union senior officers. I can’t remember the details and the names, but the disastrous gap in the Union centre that allowed Longstreet to smash through was attributable to the hatred between two Union generals. Were they Crittenden and Wood ? I must research this, too.

Your allusion to Moltke the Elder’s falsely attributed reference to the ACW being a matter of armed mobs chasing each other round the countryside raises the question as to what he actually said , and why it’s been distorted. Might it be a caricature to bolster up the image of sniffy and disdainful European military hierarchy refusing to give the American conflict its proper due as a valuable lesson ?

Hope we can develop this.

Regards, Phil
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"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
Gregory C. White
Canton GA USA
Posts: 379
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/22/2021 11:48:50 AM
Phil,

I really don't have much to add to the Chickamauga discussion.

I have a 3x great uncle that was wounded in the knee, and permanently disabled @ Chickamauga. He
was a private in the 4th Georgia Battalion Sharpshooters.

I reside maybe an hour from the Chickamauga battlefield, and whenever I journey to Chattanooga
to sight see, I inevitably find myself @ Chickamauga to meander around. Great visitor center and a
gun collection perhaps second to none. Typically see deer in the park, such a peaceful contrast to
the two days in September 1863.

Lots of history to absorb in that area near the GA-TN line.

Best Regards,

Greg
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“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevent their history, and denies them their symbols, has sown the seeds of its destruction.” Sir William Wallace, 1280 A.D.
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1324
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/22/2021 12:46:34 PM
Battle coverage from the Memphis Daily Appeal, Memphis Tennessee. September 22, 1863. Not hard to tell where they stand.


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 106
Joined: 2020
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/22/2021 1:24:06 PM
Phil,

Well, will say a couple things speaking from memory & Generalities, sorry.

I’d say Chickamauga/Chattanooga may rank as the decisive turning point. I know lumping two
together but . . .

With Union army consolidated in Chattanooga and once 64 campaign began only took 4 months to take Atlanta. That’s 5 months from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga & 4more to Atlanta. That’s 200+ miles in less than 12 mos. actually campaigning (excl winter). From Chickamauga/Chattanooga the soft under belly was exposed & really Atlanta the last major logistical point to sustain a main army of 50-60k. Richmond less than ½ the distance lee held for 3 years. also rosecrans' tullahoma campaign grossly under rated IMHO.

Next; I think as decisive event Chickamauga a little exaggerated in that the decision was actually in McLemoore cove 9-10 Sep. When Bragg did successfully line his army up withn 3 miles of Thomas’ Lead division having 3/1 force advantage; on front and flank vs lead division, troops in position orders given; but insubordinate division commanders simply refused to follow orders. And happened twice in 3 days before Thomas caught on. Thomas’ corps was spread out over 10 miles marching over mountain pass. Other two Rosecrans corps each about 25 miles away. Braggs whole army concentrated. This was decisive when the petty bickering and feuding in Braggs army abetted by Davis came home to roost in the most destructive events in any campaign. See turchins history; he says that too. True speculation if Thomas’ Corps routed and other two separated by 40-5 mile, what comes next is amazing to consider. But DHHill, Hindman, Buckner, Polk simply guilty of
insubordination in worst way. Bragg bears some guilt in that he remained back and kept sending orders. Shuda, coulda gone up shot Hill in head & taken personal command and order troops forward. Hill was simply lying when he claimed he couldn’t go forward. Yes IMHO.
See maps 110 and 111a West point atlas.

Thanks phil, Mike_C
mikecmaps
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2896
Joined: 2010
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/22/2021 4:18:05 PM
A short animated battle map so we know the basics.

[Read More]

Phil, the Texan was from Gregg´s Brigade. His captors discussing what the hell kind of place the Wildnerness was to fight a battle got the answer that they should have been at Chickamauga as it was just one big bushwack.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2896
Joined: 2010
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/22/2021 4:33:50 PM
Quote:
Thanks Trevor .

Your allusion to Moltke the Elder’s falsely attributed reference to the ACW being a matter of armed mobs chasing each other round the countryside raises the question as to what he actually said , and why it’s been distorted. Might it be a caricature to bolster up the image of sniffy and disdainful European military hierarchy refusing to give the American conflict its proper due as a valuable lesson ?

Hope we can develop this.

Regards, Phil


Apparently, an american reporter told Sherman that he had said it and asked him what he thought. Fuller, writing about Sherman and Grant, quoting Sherman´s reply assumed that it had been said. Bruce Catton took it from Fuller and McPherson took it from Catton.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/23/2021 7:00:51 AM
If memory serves me, there was a soldier in Longstreet’s command who , after Chickamauga, wrote something like ;

We were sent out west looking for a fight, and, good grief, we found one !

In the same way, let me say that I pitched in looking for a discussion about Chickamauga, and, thank goodness, I found one !

Thanks all, and please continue .


Regards, Phil
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"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
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6557
Joined: 2006
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/23/2021 10:31:50 AM
Hi Phil,

One of the things that also puts a damper on Chickamauga's Rebel victory, is that in the follow up Battle for Lookout Mountain, the Union was victorious even taking extremely bad ground of straight up the mountain! How did that happen, when the Rebs could have won by rolling rocks down on the Union????

Regards,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/23/2021 11:16:40 AM
Dave,


Might it be that steep slopes don’t always confer the advantage we imagine when it comes to defensive firepower ?

Observation is obviously massively enhanced by occupying dominating heights, but firing down at a steep angle is awkward. Far more lethal is the gentle almost imperceptible slope faced by Pickett’s men at Gettysburg .

Dominating the topographic crest of Missionary Ridge, as opposed to the military crest, was to be the rebels’ undoing.

Regards, Phil
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"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
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5134
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/24/2021 4:38:49 AM
Trevor,

Thanks for that link you sent.

I’ve just sat down and watched it.

It would be hard to describe the battle as anything other than a bushwhacking affair on the grand scale : that Texan knew what he was talking about !

I want to know more about the lie of the land. There were some big fields and farms. There were obviously important roads. But it was mainly woods, and, significantly, prospects for artillery deployment were limited. Very different from the three big “ Burg” battles in the East : Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg . In those three the gun lines did much to define and dominate their respective battles, since the fighting was conducted in relatively panoramic vistas with enough open ground to make the gunners’ work effective and vital. Not so Chickamauga. That said, the references to the high ridge and the horseshoe configuration makes the image rather different in the imagination.

There’s a lot of references to yankee breastworks in the literature. The rebels shed excessive blood attacking these. Were these breastworks opportunistic , or had they been constructed in advance as Union preparations for a retreat ?

I note that the confederate casualty list, huge though it was, contained a rather lower proportion of killed and a higher proportion of wounded than those of battles in which artillery was more conspicuous.

Regards, Phil
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"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
littlepowell
SC USA
Posts: 600
Joined: 2009
Let's talk about Chickamauga
9/27/2021 2:20:32 PM
One thing's for sure, if you ever get a chance to visit the battlefield, I highly recommend it. It's gorgeous, pristine, incredibly well preserved!
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1154
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
10/16/2021 5:40:57 PM
Trevor and Phil,

At Chickamauga Gregg wasn't commanding Hood's old Texas Brigade Robertson was. Gregg was in command of a Brigade in Bushrod Johnson's Provisional Division that had his former 7th Texas under Hiram Grandbury and 5 Reg of Tenn Inf and a Bat of Tenn Sharp Shooters. The closest thing to a Texas Brigade in the AOT that day was under Deshler in Cleburne's Division or Ecror in Walkers's Division..
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1154
Joined: 2004
Let's talk about Chickamauga
10/16/2021 5:51:16 PM
Phil,

Arty sis a lot of the damage done to the Orphan Brigade,

The breastworks were opportunistic thrown up as the sounds of battle drew closer in many cases.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"

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