sgborder.gif (1587 bytes)

Untitled-1.JPG (204232 bytes)

Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863

        The battle of Chickamauga began on Sept. 19 when federals tried to destroy an isolated Confederate bridge on the west side of the creek just below Alexander's Bridge, left lower center. However, the battle guickly developed as both sides rushed more and more divisions to the scene, Bragg moving up east bank of the Chickamauga, and Rosecrans up the opposite side. Opposing divisions went into the line facing each other almost simultaneously, stretching the battleline northward, until it extended almost five miles.
         The fighting rolled gradually from the south end toward the center throughout the day. At one point in the afternoon a hole opened in Rosecran's line which, had Bragg taken advantage of it, might have put the Yankees to rout, left center. However, Rosecran's filled it and the fight continued. A substantial attack by Stewart nearly penetrated the enemy line, and later that afternoon a brutal assault by Hood on Rosecran's right flank inflicted serious damage, but the blue line held. The day then closed with a twilight attack by Cleburne at the opposite end of the field, right center. Bragg intended a general attack the next day, starting on his right and rolling to the left, the reverse of his Stones River plan. Breckinridge struck first,joined thereafter by Cleburne, and the fury of their assaults led Thomas to call for more and more reserves, especially after Breckinridge pushed around his left flank, center right. Finally, Thomas J. Wood's command pulled out of the center of the federal line, in obedience to confused orders, opening a massive hole just as Longstreet's men were going in to assault, center left. The effect was electric. The whole union right collapsed and fled for Chattanooga. The left, commanded by Thomas, pulled back under massive pressure from three sides and held out on Snodgrass Hill long enough to cover the retreat, upper center. Fortuitously General Goron Granger came to his aid from the north, right, and Thomas held out until nightfall. It wasn't until then that Thomas left the flank to Bragg. His work had been vital in saving the federals, for by that time most of the army of the Cumberland including Rosecran's, its commander, were well on their way back to Chattanooga.
        Bragg now had the chance to completely destroy the Union army, but perhaps partly because of the casualties his force had taken he declined the opportunity. Instead he closed in around Chattanooga, sealed off it's lines of supply and began the siege of the federals inside. The two-day battle produced other, more terrible results. Rosecarns lost 16,000 casualties, and Bragg 21,000.


The Ninth TX At Chickamauga

On September 19, 1863, Gist's division, under the temporary field command of Nathan Bedford Forrest, opened the battle of Chickamauga. Lt. Stephen Tanner, of Company A, noted that of the picket line of the 9th Texas, all but himself were captured. Included in those taken prisoner was 2d Lt. George W. Bedford, of Company K. Bedford, of Paris, would become a doctor after the war, and would live to the ripe old age of 79, but for the present time was worried about staying alive. Dr. Bedford sat out the remainder of the war at Camp Douglas, Illinois-an excruciatingly slow 20 months!

Ector's brigade, including the 9th Texas, was ordered to charge a battery of artillery, which was taken. Two fresh divisions of Yankees counterattacked, forcing Gist to leave the field, with his reduced division, now numbering about 1,000. The Georgians and Texans were forced to leave the field for the day, leaving many of the wounded behind on the field of battle. As at Mufreesboro, the 9th Texas assisted in the capture of artillery, but once again, their losses had been frightful. The 9th only had 145 men in the assault, and of that number 6 were killed, 36 wounded and 18 captured or missing, for a loss of 41.4% of those troops engaged. Included in the losses were Col. William Hugh Young, who suffered a serious chest wound. Overall, the brigade suffered losses of over 40%. On the following day, Ector's brigade, numbering only about 500 effectives after their heavy losses of the previous day, took the field and assisted Southern forces in routing the Union army, which retreated all the way back to Chattanooga.

Regarding the part played by Ector's Brigade in the battle, Major Gen. W.H.T. Walker, commanding the Reserve Corps, Army of Tennessee, stated: "General Ector is absent, his brigade having been ordered to Mississippi, and I have no report from him, but his brigade acted with the greatest gallantry." Regarding Gen. Ector himself, Walker stated, "To the division and brigade commanders-...I have only to say that the brigadier-generals fought with a gallantry that entitles them to division commands." General Gist, commanding Walker's division, noted Ector's and Wilson's "judicious and efficient support."

Following the battle of Chickamauga, Ector's men were sent to Jackson, where they remained briefly until being ordered to proceed to Meridian, Brandon, and Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi. Here, the 9th Texas spent the next seven months, resting and refitting for the tough campaign of 1864. Ector's brigade was reassigned to Polk's Corps and the division of Samuel G. French, a West Pointer and New Jerseyian by birth. French had two other brigades assigned to his division, a Missouri brigade under Francis Marion Cockrell and a Mississippi brigade under Claudius W. Sears. Both brigades had been captured, and later exchanged, at Vicksburg.

  September 17-19. . .Reenactment, Chickamauga, GA
  Mansfield, LA Reenactment

                                sgborder.gif (1587 bytes)

 Home  Co. I Photos    Schedule    Music  WebRings  Flags   E-mail