Hello everyone! So glad to get to spend another Friday with you! Our 10TRF series is back and I'm so excited to share with you some facts about this sometimes over looked Battle, Chickamauga! Enjoy!
1. What does it mean? The name Chickamauga is an Indian word, we all agree on that, but is it Cherokee for "Bloody River" or "River of Death" or is it Creek for "Dwelling Place of the Chiefs?" No one really knows, but the one I hear the most is Bloody River. Which leads us to...
2. Bloody Pond. According to the men who fought in this battle, the fighting was so fierce and men were so desperate for water, they dragged themselves over the Chickamauga Creek for relief. There, their blood mingled with the water and supposedly turned the creek red. Pretty scary!
3. Mother Vs. Officer. During the fighting, Confederate soldiers became so hungry, some of them raided a potato patch at a nearby farm. An officer quickly ordered them to stop, reprimanding them for stealing. Mrs. Deborah Thedford, the lady of the house intervened, saying, "Hold on, Mr. Officer. They are my potatoes and they are my boys. Let 'em take 'em." Among the raiders were her sons. Mrs. Thedford opened her home to the many wounded during the battle, among them two of her boys. She became known as the Mother of Chickamauga.
4. Costly. This was a Confederate victory, badly needed after a crushing defeat like Gettysburg, but it wasn't won without a high price. 16,170 Union soldiers were reported dead, wounded or missing/captured, 18,454 for the Confederacy. It is ranked as the second costliest battle of the Civil War second only to Gettysburg.
5. The Traitor. Gen. George "Pap" Thomas, nicknamed "The Rock of Chickamauga" following the battle, was actually from Virginia and left his home state high and dry to join the Union.
6. Old Pete to the Rescue. Chickamauga is considered a Western battle, so many may be surprised to find Gen. Longstreet, a famous Eastern theater fighter, listed among the Southern commanders of this battle. Following the Battle of Gettysburg, "Gloomy Pete" loaded his men on trains and came to the aide of Gen. Braxton Bragg in Georgia.
7. A Nod to a Hero. While Braxton Bragg is not know for being the best fighting General of the Confederacy, he was indeed a fighter and Southern hero, worthy of respect. He is one of 10 Confederates who have U.S. Army forts named after them, his namesake being Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C. What better way to honor men who served their country than with a fort?
8. Welcome to the Peach State. This was the first battle fought in Georgia. But it would not be the last.
9. On the closing day of fighting (the battle lasted from September 19th to September 20th, 1863) confusion occurred when the Confederacy attempted to encircle three Union units. A fourth federal outfit opened fire to aid their comrades in escaping (A few did, but most were captured). When Southern units turned to fire on the federals, they accidentally opened fire on a Confederate Unit coming to help them. Thankfully, things were straightened out before things got too bad.
10. Where did this happen again? If you look up the Chickamauga National Battlefield, you may be confused as to why part of the park is in Tennessee. Since the battle was fought in the Northern most corner of Georgia, fighting spilled over into Tennessee. Most of the fighting took place in Georgia though.
This battle and much more are covered in my newest book, "The Rivers of Sorrow."
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
King James Bible
Until Next Week,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.