Paris UDC discusses Battle of Chickamauga
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 8:04 pm
The summer of 1863 saw a series of defeats for the Confederate Army. The Army of northern Virginia sustained heavy losses at Gettysburg and the Confederates at Vicksburg surrendered.
However, much of middle and east Tennessee remained under Confederate control.
The firing that started the Battle of Chickamauga on Sept. 19 began by accident. Brigadier General John Brannan’s division was sent into the forest around Chickamauga Creek near Chattanooga to destroy a lone Confederate unit. Instead, he met one of Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry brigades.
At this time, brigades were the basic maneuver units, with both sides attacking or defending along the brigade lines of battle.
The heavily-wooded area around the creek made these maneuvers difficult as did the confusion of voice commands.
Mounted staff officers and soldiers detailed to deliver orders and messages were often delayed, captured or killed.
During the first day of battle, both sides attacked and retreated, gaining little ground but losing many men.
On Sept. 20, the Confederate attack began four hours late.
Following the early morning confusion, fierce fighting began. During this attack on the Federals, Gen. John Bell Hood was shot in his upper right leg, causing amputation to be necessary. A determined Union Gen. George Thomas continued to fight, but by sunset, the Federal units had withdrawn. Gen. Braxton Bragg was advised that the Confederates should pursue the enemy. This did not happen. Instead, Confederate forces moved to Missionary Ridge, not Chattanooga. The Confederates, already short of doctors and medical supplies, treated the wounded of both sides. Both sides lost a tremendous number of men.
Most of the battlefield is now Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. Sandra Paschall presented certificates to Laura Nunnelee for Timothy J. Nunnelee, Co. G, 31st Regiment, Ark. Inf., Gabriel B. Fowlkes, Co. H, 11th Regiment, Tenn. Inf., John Dugger, Co. B, 1st Regiment, Ark. Cav., and Addison M. Dugger, Co. I, 38th Regiment, Ark. Inf. CSA.
Members brought boxes of hot cocoa packets to be given to the Veterans at the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Humboldt.
The April 2012 meeting is expected to be held at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park near Eva.
Gifts were exchanged and the group enjoyed lunch.
Virginia Jones and Julie Wilson planned the luncheon and provided the tree and other decorations and individual gifts.