Barnes’ brigade was finally reunited with the other two brigades of Van Cleve’s division – Dick and Samuel Beatty – in the early morning of 20 September and they were placed in a reserve position in Dyer Field about 1000 yards west of the Brotherton Cabin. Van Cleve lost the use of Barnes’ brigade at about 9:30 am – his other two regiments were sent to Thomas on the Federal left another 30 minutes later – when General Thomas Wood connected the four regiments of the brigade to his division connecting them to his left flank. They linked Woods division with Brannan’s further on to the north – left – just south of Poe Field. Just before 11 am Wood’s division was ordered out of the line. Even though they had been under attack since about 10:15 am, Barnes was able to disengage and pull back without too much trouble. They were inserted into the left wing of Thomas’ left wing just to the right of Dodge’s brigade. By the time Barnes’ men showed up the area had quieted from the chaos of earlier in the morning. Rebel attacks on this area were not renewed until around 5 pm. At the same time, Thomas had decided to pull his troops off the field. He pulled back his units from the south – right – and that meant Barnes’ brigade was one of the last units to leave. Along with Dodge’s men, Barnes’ were able to withdraw in decent order, unlike King’s Regulars who were placed to their right.
The 35th Indiana has chosen to place their monument here in the positions they held during the afternoon of 20 September.
Present 229/Casualties 65
3RD BRIGADE – 3RD DIVISION(Van Cleve)/21ST CORPS (Crittenden)
Colonel Sidney Barnes was a Kentuckian from Estill County southeast of Lexington. A lawyer before the war, Barnes was one of the main forces behind the formation of the 8th Kentucky being elected as the regiment’s colonel. Promoted to brigade commander, he led his five regiments into the battle here on 19 September in support of Davis’ division late in the afternoon in Viniard Field. He had been searching for his own division which was hard-pressed further to the north around the Brotherton Field. Van Cleve had left Barnes’s brigade behind earlier to watch the crossing at Lee and Gordon Mills while the rest of his division had marched north. Relieved from the creek ford defense by men from McCook’s trailing 20th Corps, Barnes brought his men up to the south edge of Viniard Field at about 3 pm. Around 3:45, Barnes decided it was time to get his brigade into the fray. He marched his regiments diagonally across the field in a northeasterly direction thinking he was getting into the left flank of the Rebels. Trigg’s brigade was, however, hidden on the east edge of the field in the trees. Instead of flanking the Confederates, it was Barnes who found himself flanked. The shock of Trigg’s volley collapsed Barnes attack and sent his men running westwards into Carlin’s brigade, disrupting them in turn. Some would rally among Wilder’s lines on the west edge of Viniard Field, but the brigade as a unit was unable to coalesce until the fighting died down that evening. They would join Sheridan’s division in the woods southwest of the Widow Glenn House.
For the brigade’s exploits on 20 September, see the entry for the 35th Indiana.
Barnes paid a price for his service on the Union side. His estate was ravaged by soldiers under John Hunt Morgan who had earlier been a comrade with Barnes’ eldest son, Thomas, during the Mexican-American War. The government failed to reimburse Barnes for the expenses he incurred in raising and training the 8th Kentucky. Also, his monies became tied up with his brother’s death – he had entrusted his financial holdings to him when he had marched off to war – and he ended up losing his estate to the lawyer whom he had turned his practice over to when he had left – earning the enmity of Barnes. After a couple of failed political races – Union war heroes were not popular in Kentucky after the war – he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1878, Barnes was named Prosecuting attorney for the Territory of New Mexico where he befriended Lew Wallace, the Territorial governor, author of ‘Ben Hur’ and a former Union general in his own right.
Here, south of Viniard Field along Lafayette Road are the regimental monuments to the 51st Ohio and the 99th Ohio. The 8th and 21st Kentucky regiments are remembered on the Kentucky State Monument further up the road. The 35th Indiana – the Irish Regiment – has placed their monument in the woods near Brotherton Field where the brigade fought on 20 September.
Present 1202/Casualties 299
2ND BRIGADE – 3RD DIVISION(Van Cleve)/21ST CORPS (Crittenden)
You will find two regimental monuments for this brigade hidden in the trees to the east of Lafayette Road and Brotherton Field. This is where the brigade made its first foray around 1 pm 19 September. Things went well for a while, but that just attracted more Confederate troops. Soon, they flanked the brigade on the right of Dick’s men – King’s brigade – and Dick’s regiments found themselves fighting on the flank and front causing a quick retirement. Some of the brigade would rally on the slight rise in the middle of Brotherton Field until that position would also be flanked – the other two regimental monuments of the brigade are found here.
Here in the woods are the monuments to the 59th Ohio and the 13th Ohio. In the fighting on 19 September, the commanding officer of the 13th Ohio, Lieutenant Colonel Elhannon Mast, was killed and the second-in-command, Major Joseph Snider, wounded. The regiment was then led by Captain Horatio Cosgrove. Bad on top of bad, the regiment was overwhelmed once more in the Longstreet assault late in the morning on the next day. Cosgrove led about 100 survivors to join the fight on Horseshoe Ridge.
To get to the monuments, I took the trail leading south from Brotherton Road which is just a little west of the monument to Bushrod Johnson. You will pass the two regimental monuments to Sam Beatty’s brigade – 79th Indiana and 19th Ohio – on your left. Carnes’ Tennessee Battery monument is also nearby. It is quiet in these woods. The monuments are left to hikers and horsemen. You gain a good idea wandering in the woods at what kind of wilderness the men fought within.
1ST BRIGADE – 1ST DIVISIION(Davis)/20TH CORPS (McCook)
Before the battle of Chickamauga, Rosecrans had spread his army out far and wide in hope of sweeping up parts of Bragg’s supposedly demoralized and outmanned Army of Tennessee. He had magnificently pushed the Rebels out of southern Tennessee in a campaign of wide flanking moves that forced Bragg to give up Chattanooga without a fight and retreat into northern Georgia. However, Bragg’s army was neither demoralized nor outmanned. Reinforced by a corps of troops from Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia led by Lieutenant General James Longstreet, Bragg’s force actually – for once – outnumbered Rosecrans’. With the spread out nature of the Federal force, it became Bragg’s chance to snatch up stray pieces and isolate Rosecrans from his new base at Chattanooga. Aware of his danger, Rosecrans began to concentrate his force and move them northwards in the direction of his supply line. Both sides then collided together at Chickamauga.
While most, not all Federal units were concentrated in time to see action here. Colonel Sidney Post’s brigade had been screening the supply wagons of McCook’s 20th Corps as they lumbered their way north over Lookout Mountain into McLemore’s Cove – Chickamauga Creek valley to the south. The 20th Corps had been 30-40 miles south of the battlefield as recently as ten days before the battle. The infantrymen marched north rapidly when the decision to concentrate had been decided, but the wagon trains took much more time having to deal with the rugged terrain of Lookout Mountain for a second crossing. Finally, around 3 pm on 20 September, Post’s men joined up with the cavalry brigades of Colonel Archibald Campbell and Colonel Daniel Ray who had been holding off two Rebel cavalry divisions of Major General Joseph Wheeler around the Glass Mill and Lee and Gordon Mill area – the latter area being the site of many of the divisional hospitals of the Federal army. At about 5pm, Post’s brigade and the Federal cavalry gathered up the supply and hospital trains that they could and began to withdraw back over Missionary Ridge and Chattanooga. In keeping Wheeler’s horsemen away from the disintegrated units of the Federal right wing, Post and the Union cavalry were able to keep the catastrophe of the day from on becoming one that could not be managed.
Sidney Post lived an interesting life before and after the war. He served as a consul and a consul-general to Austria Hungary in Vienna from 1866 until 1879. He was elected a congressman from the Illinois 10th District – around Galesburg – and served from 1887 until his death in 1895. Late in the War he would be severely wounded during the battle of Nashville. For his actions in leading his brigade at Nashville he would eventually be awarded the Medal of Honor in 1893.
Here, in an obscure part of the Park on Wilder Road somewhat hidden in the trees are the regimental monuments of Post’s brigade: 59th Illinois – Post’s old command, 74th Illinois and 75th Illinois.
Present 1239/Casualties 24
William S. Rosecrans was the commander of the Federal forces – the Army of the Cumberland – at Chickamauga. He was originally from Ohio. A graduate of West Point, Rosecrans graduated high in the 1842 class which featured several Civil War generals for both sides. His roommates were James Longstreet and Alexander P. Stewart, so Chickamauga was a reunion of sorts for the three men even if they were not fighting on the same sides. He entered the army in the engineering branch, resigning in 1854 to pursue a civilian career that never really took off.
With the Civil War, Rosecrans was soon back in service and he became the colonel of the 23rd Ohio, a regiment that included two future Presidents – Rutherford Hays and William McKinley. He helped plan and lead the campaign which pushed the Confederates out of western Virginia. As a brigadier general, he was sent further west participating as a unit commander during the siege of Corinth in June 1862 and then as an independent commander at the battles of Iuka and Corinth where he demonstrated skills that led to his appointment to command the Army of the Cumberland in late 1862 following the relief of Don Carlos Buell.
Now, a major general, Rosecrans reorganized his force and led it to a technical victory at Stones River though his army had a very close time of it. A micromanager, though with good ideas and a clear grasp of strategy, Rosecrans had managed to push Bragg out of middle Tennessee the almost bloodless Tullahoma Campaign – June 1863. Following a two-month stockpiling of supplies – two months that while necessary, managed to drive his superiors in Washington furious – his army managed to maneuver Bragg totally out of Tennessee and the important city of Chattanooga. Richmond responded by detaching Longstreet’s corps from Lee’s army in Virginia and sending it to Bragg so that he could try and redeem himself and regain Chattanooga.
Rosecrans was caught with his army spread out over 60 miles apart while the Rebels moved to concentrate theirs to try and pinch off parts of the Union army. From 29 August up until the battle – 19-20 September – Rosecrans was constantly on the move and the mental edge. Bragg barley missed a couple of chances to gobble up parts of the Federals in the week leading up to the battle but his ability to control his subordinates was not always as sharp as he would have liked it – a problem that would continue during the upcoming battle. Even after missing his opportunities, Bragg still was maneuvering his army so that they could try and cut of Rosecrans from Chattanooga and his supply line. The battle started with a plan on Bragg’s part but almost from the start, both he and Rosecrans were forced to improvise and react to events as the battle evolved.
On the first day of battle – 19 September – Rosecrans spent his time guiding the Federal effort from the Widow Glenn House where the Wilder Tower stands today. From there, he could guide his approaching units and feed them into the confused fray. Early in the morning of 20 September, he moved his headquarter here on this hill on the west edge of the Dyer Fields. He wanted to shorten the line his men were holding which meant giving up Viniard Field altogether. The new headquarter site would bring him closer to where he felt the Federal effort would be exerted. He was constantly moving units about during the night before and the morning of 20 September – several times bypassing the proper chain of command causing no end of confusion among his senior commanders. A result of his constant efforts was that Rosecrans was very much on edge, frazzled and exhausted from lack of sleep. The micromanagement would eventually lead to the collapse of the Federal center just after 11 am. His headquarters was right in the path of the Rebel onslaught. Both he and his staff were swept away in the mass confusion of Federals fleeing and Confederates close behind.
By leaving the field, Rosecrans’ military career would be fatally damaged. His chief of staff, James Garfield, on the other hand, rode to Thomas to apprise him of the situation with the rest of the Federal line. By making his ride – and not leaving the battlefield - through the confusion, Garfield would go a long way to being elected President after the War.
During the battle, the 1st Battalion Ohio Sharpshooters, the 10th Ohio and the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry were assigned to Rosecrans’ headquarters to help protect. On 20 September, the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry tried to corral the routed Federals from the smashed center and right wing. There were simply too many though a fair number were gathered up. The whole group was ordered off the field by General Sheridan whose own battered division was moving off the battlefield in disarray. Both the marker for Rosecrans’ headquarters and the monument to the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry sit atop the knoll here, a short walk up the hill from Dyer Road.
The 2nd Minnesota regiment was very busy during the two days of Chickamauga. Fighting as part of Van Derveer’s brigade, they fought long and hard in various locations on the battlefield. Most regiments have various markers noting where they were engaged, but the 2nd Minnesota were more successful in their fund raising. Instead of one regimental monument, they were able to erect three:
1) Horseshoe Ridge – where they fought during the afternoon 20 September on Hill two from around 2 pm until the order to retreat went up at 6 pm
2) Kelly Field – where at around 11 am 20 September they along with the rest of Van Derveer’s brigade, launched a successful counterattack which routed Stovall’s brigade which had briefly gained the rear of Thomas’ positions on the Federal left
3) Here on Reed’s Bridge Road – where around noon 19 September, the 2nd Minnesota helped to repel the attacks made by the dismounted cavalry brigade of Colonel George Dibrell which had been trying to gain the flank of Van Derveer’s men from the far left – north.
At about 2 pm 20 September, Bushrod Johnson’s division was trying to gain the right flank of the Federal position atop Horseshoe ridge when James Steedman’s reserve division pulled atop the crest of the ridge and pushed the Rebels off. The 96th Illinois – forming the right flank of Walter Whitaker’s brigade – went over the top and down the other side of the hill. Unsupported, they quickly came back up again when it became obvious that Johnson’s men had not gone down the hill too far. The regiment also lost some 100 men in those 20 minutes of combat. Regimental commander Colonel Thomas Champion was elevated to brigade command when Whitaker went down with a wound for a while. Lieutenant Colonel Clarke – second-in-command - had fallen in the first attack and command fell to Captain Burden Hicks who led the maybe 150 survivors of the regiment – a couple of other companies had attached themselves to the 113th Ohio in all of the confusion. Hicks was ordered to take his men to the far right of Mitchell’s brigade making them the end of the federal right on Horseshoe Ridge – 3 pm.
Retreat was ordered at about 5 pm with only a few rounds of ammunition remaining. The 96th moved eastwards when they realized that Mitchell’s brigade had already left. They eventually reunited with the companies that had fought with the 113th Ohio and were once again placed under Champion’s command – Whitaker had resumed brigade command. There were fewer than 100 men left.
2ND BRIGADE – 3RD DIVISION(Brannan)/14TH CORPS (Thomas)
The son of a wealthy planter, John Croxton was an 1857 graduate of Yale and a Kentucky lawyer. He was also one of two men in his hometown to vote for Abraham Lincoln. He rose early in the war to become the colonel of the 4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry regiment by the time of the battle of Perryville in October 1862. Only 26 years old, he was then given command of a brigade.
Thomas used Croxton to investigate the claims of Colonel Daniel McCook that a Rebel brigade was cut off on the west side of Chickamauga Creek near Reed’s Bridge. Croxton’s men ran into the men of Davidson’s cavalry brigade who were part of Nathan Forrest’s cavalry screen covering the right flank of the Confederate army. Bragg had been trying to gain the left flank of the Federal army and cut them off from Chattanooga. As push comes to shove, he found himself abandoning his original plans as Croxton’s men – 7:30 am – pushed against Davidson’s men. Bragg accepted the fact that others had already begun to feed troops into the fray and he shoved back. Colonel Claudius Wilsonbrought his five regiments of mostly Georgian troopers into the fray replacing Davidson’scavalrymen at about 8:30 am. Croxton now asked Thomas which of the five brigades he was facing that he was supposed to capture.
As Confederate units began to be fed into the fray, so were Federals. The rest of Brannan’s division and then Baird’s came up. The arrival of Scribner’s brigade – 10 am – on the right of Croxton – marching east across Winfrey Field – routed Wilson’s men and ended the first phase of the morning’s fight. More Confederates would soon appear, but Croxton’s men used the lull to retire and replenish their ammunition.
Baird’s division was routed around 11:15 am by the brigades of General St. John Liddell– Govan and Walthall. Croxton’s men now reappeared on the flank of Govan’s in the woods northwest of Winfrey Field some 600 yards and drove them off the field at 11:30 am. But again, push and then shove. Another Rebel division, General Benjamin Cheatham’s, came onto the scene. Croxton’s brigade was forced back some 300 yards around 12:15 pm where the action mired into a static firefight for another half hour. Relieved by Willich’s brigade, Croxton’s men retired to recuperate north of Kelly Field – the Federals of Johnson’s and Palmer’s divisions replacing Brannan’s division. The division moved south around 5:30pm to help staunch the hole in the Federal center that had been ripped open at Brotherton Field. Croxton’s brigade came last arriving by the time General Joseph Reynolds had already closed the hole. Croxton’s men swept the areas behind the new Union line to clear out Rebels who had been left behind. Brannan’s force ended the day in the woods northwest of Poe Field.
That is where Croxton’s men started 20 September with Connell’s brigade on their right. Defending from behind log breastworks, the brigade helped defeat A.P. Stewart’sattack at 10:30 am – Bate’s and Brown’s brigades. It was the confusion from this attack that led Rosecrans to pull Wood’s division from Brotherton Field to help further north – help that was not needed. Wood’s division came out of the line just as Longstreet’s assault was reality – 11:15 am – and the Union center was pierced. As the center came apart, Connell’s brigade was swept up and unraveled – 11:30 am. The initial grey wave consisted of Bushrod Johnson’s division – McNair, Fulton and Sugg – which continued to the west once the door had opened. Law’s division followed – 11:45 am – and carried the fight to Croxton. His two Kentucky regiments were ordered to retreat after Croxton, himself, went down with a leg wound during a furious firefight with the Georgians of Benning’s brigade. The two Indianan regiments counterattacked and Benning’s men were driven back – 12 pm. The Indianans then joined Reynolds’ division forming up on the right side – west side of Kelly Field – withdrawing along with the rest of Thomas’ left wing units around 5 pm.
The Kentuckians gathered up on Hill Two of Horseshoe Ridge helping to fight off two attacks by Kershaw’sSouth Carolinian brigade – 1:15 and 1:45 pm – before being relieved by Van Derveer’s brigade just after 2 pm. They stayed in a reserve position on the backside of Horseshoe ridge retreating only at 6 pm as Thomas ordered a general retreat.
The Indianan regiments have placed their monuments off the Brotherton Road near where they faced off with Davidson’s cavalrymen and Wilson’s brigade on 19 September. The monument of the 14th Ohio – which fought as part of Croxton’s brigade on 19 September – is located on Poe Road next to that of the 31st Ohio. The 31st Ohio had been loaned from Connell’s brigade on 19 September, but both fought as part of Connell’s brigade on 20 September suffering in the initial rout phase of Longstreet’s assault.
3RD BRIGADE – 2ND DIVISION(Negley)/14TH CORPS (Thomas)
William Sirwell was born into a military family. His parents were English immigrants and his father had been an armorer at the Allegheny Arsenal in Pittsburgh when William was born. William was exposed to militia life at the young age of ten and was constantly involved in organizing and training militias in the years before the Civil War. A watchmaker and jeweler by profession, he kept a shop in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. He had someone else run the shop, though, as he was considered as one of the best militia drillmasters in the State and was always in high demand by various militia both in and out of Pennsylvania. At the onset of the war, Sirwell and his militia company – the Brady McAlpines – were inducted as a part of the 9th Pennsylvania serving for 90 days in Virginia. At the end of their tour, Sirwell came home and helped organize the 78th Pennsylvania becoming the colonel of the regiment. The 78th Pennsylvania eventually became a part of the Army of the Cumberland and fought hard at Stones River gaining Sirwell a brigade to command – adding the 37th Indiana, the 21st and 74th Ohio to complete the brigade.
At the onset of the action here, Sirwell’s brigade was watching the stream crossings at Glass Mill to the south. Eventually, Negley’s division was ordered north during 19 September and Sirwell’s men arrived on the scene at just after 5 pm. Along with Stanley’s brigade on their left, Sirwell’s men plunged into the woods east of the Tan Yards off the Glenn-Kelly Road seeking to repair the hole in the Federal center rent apart in Brotherton Field. They arrived just after Harker’s flanking attack from the south had encouraged those Confederates who had broken through to withdraw east of Lafayette Road to escape encirclement – men of Clayton’s, Gregg’s and Fulton’s brigades. Only Rebel skirmishers remained behind. With Negley’s men now also on the scene, they soon also fled.
On 20 September, Sirwell’s brigade initially occupied positions just west and south of Brotherton Field in the woods along the line denoted by the brigade’s monuments. Early in the morning, Negley’s division was ordered to the extreme left of Thomas’ line. Their position was to be taken over by men from the division of Brigadier General Thomas Wood. Negley’s brigades were drawn off one at a time, first John Beatty’s and then Stanley’s, leaving Negley with only Sirwell’s command. After Wood’s men replaced them, Sirwell’s men gathered atop Snodgrass Hill where Negley was amassing stray artillery and odds and ends of other units. Just after 11 am, Longstreet’s assault rolled through the Federal center and the right would soon also collapse. Fragments of units coalesced along with Negley’s command. With the right and center gone, Rebels were reported in the woods to the east and Negley thought the left had given way as well leaving him and his small command alone on the battlefield. He ordered Sirwell’s remaining regiments – one of the four (21st Ohio) had been loaned out to Major General John Brannan who was actually going to cobble together a defensive line on Horseshoe Ridge – off the field along with all of the other men he had by now collected. Up to 2600 men, 40 artillery pieces and important divisional ammunition trains all headed off to Chattanooga. This would be Negley’s last day of field command. Sirwell’s career would suffer in the short term, too.
The monuments of the 37th Indiana and 74th Ohio are found on the west fringe of Brotherton Field while that of the 78th Pennsylvania is due south deep in the woods. Taken together, all three demonstrate the line in which they marched late in the afternoon of 19 September when they helped to restore the Federal center. The 21st Ohio chose to place their monument on Horseshoe Ridge where they fought long and hard without their fellow brigade regiments.
Present 1729/Casualties 268
Born in 1839 in North Ireland of Scottish parents, Joseph Campbell was brought to a farm outside Franklin Tennessee in 1851. A draftsman by profession, Joseph joined the 1st Tennessee regiment in 1861 – it is important to note that lots of immigrants were involved on both sides of the Civil war. Carrying the colors at Stones River, he was wounded during the course of fighting in the first day of fighting. He was left behind with the other Rebel wounded when Bragg pulled back from Murfreesboro at the conclusion of the battle. Joseph spent the next seven months at a Federal prison – Johnson’s Island – before being exchanged. Lame from his wounds, Joseph still went forward with the colors as the 1st Tennessee went into action at around 2 pm on 19 September as a part of Maney’s brigade. Here, Joseph Campbell fell for the last time. This personal marker was erected by his brother after the war – one of the very few personal monuments that have been allowed to be placed in the park (the marker actually predates the Park’s establishment).
2ND BRIGADE – 2ND DIVISION(Johnson)/20TH CORPS (McCook)
Dodge’s Brigade has chosen to place their monuments on two areas of the battlefield. This entry concerns the actions of the brigade on 19 September – two other regiments have chosen to place their monuments just off the north end of Battleline Road where the regiment fought on 20 September.
Here in the woods just south of the intersection of Brotherton and Alexander’s Bridge Roads are the regimental monuments of the 79th Illinois and 77th Pennsylvania. The brigade had fought during the afternoon of 19 September in and around Brock Field. Initially used as a reserve behind Willich’s brigade, Brigadier General Richard Johnson sent in Dodge’s men – 2:15pm – to help push Strahl’s brigade which had been shoving back Hazen’s brigade. Dodge’s men continued forward to the area where these monuments have been placed. They held their position as the fighting in this sector died down after about 3 pm. Dodge placed the 77th Pennsylvania and the 79th Illinois at the front, keeping the 29th and 30th Indiana back as reserves.
At 7:30 pm, Major General Patrick Cleburnelaunched his division forward once again at the Federal divisions of Baird and Johnson catching them by surprise. Dodge’s men were engaged on the front by Brigadier General Preston Smith’s brigade. Out in advance of his men – expecting only friendly troops in front of them as the brigade moved forward in what was thought to be a supporting role – Smith and his staff rode right into the middle of the 77th Pennsylvania. Smith was mortally wounded. Alas for the Pennsylvanians, the Rebel brigade that was supposed to be in front of Smith’s men – Deshler’s – had lost its way in the woods and darkness, but now they came in directly on the right flank of Dodge’s men. Hemmed in, Dodge’s men broke with many surrendering – 73 from the 77th Pennsylvania alone including regimental commander Colonel Thomas Rose. Rose would later be involved in a dramatic escape from Libby Prison in Richmond. There were a total of 532 casualties from Dodge’s brigade for the battle and 307 were noted as missing, most from this night action. Interestingly, as bad as it seemed to be going for the Federals that night, the Confederates were also completely disordered and no attempt was made to follow up on their success. The 77th Pennsylvania was finished for this battle though the 79th Illinois would reform along with the two Indianan regiments to fight on the north end of Thomas’ line the next day.
Present 1130/Casualties 532
1ST BRIGADE – 3RD DIVISION(Van Cleve)/21ST CORPS (Crittenden)
Trying to keep all of the names straight is difficult when studying the unit movements here at Chickamauga. Two brigades on the Federal side were commanded by men with the last name of Beatty – John and Samuel. Here, we look at the monuments left by the men of Samuel Beatty’s brigade. Samuel was an Ohioan who had served in the Mexican-American War as a lieutenant. He had gone on to become a sheriff and had been elected as colonel of the 19th Ohio at the onset of the Civil War. The 19th Ohio had fought in a series of battles from Rich’s Mountain in West Virginia – a small battle which made big names for both George McClellan and William Rosecrans – through Shiloh, after which Beatty was elevated to brigade command. He led his brigade through the battles of Perryville and Stones River being promoted to brigadier general along the way.
Here at Chickamauga, Beatty’s brigade had a very tough two days. Ordered north from a covering position at Lee and Gordon Mill late in the morning of 19 September by division commander Brigadier General Horatio Van Cleve, the brigade marched into the woods east of Brotherton Field off Lafayette Road with Dick’s brigade on their right flank – south side – in support of Palmer’s division which was being assaulted further to the east by the brigades of Cheatham’s division. At about 1:45 pm, Beatty’s men rolled up the left flank of Wright’s brigade capturing the guns ofCaptain William Carnes' artillery battery that were fighting only with the support of the 38th Tennessee which was also quickly overwhelmed. But then, three fresh brigades of Major General A.P. Stewart came onto the scene – 2 pm. For the next hour, the men of Van Cleve’s division slugged it out with two of Stewart’s brigades. At 3:30 pm, Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson’s newly created division came on flanking Van Cleve’s men from the south routing the entire division, peeling them back from right to left – King’s brigade, then Dick’s and finally Beatty’s. Beatty’s men tried to rally in the middle of Brotherton Field with some of the survivors of Dick’s brigade, but many of the men and their officers had been scattered from the fighting in the woods. Those that rallied behind Beatty and Dick were too few and their line quickly fell apart after the new line was again flanked on the right – south end of Brotherton Field – after a short 15 minute fight – 4 pm. Later in the evening, some of the men of Beatty’s brigade returned to their regiments, reforming in the area where Rosecrans would set up his headquarters up for September 20 – west Dyer Field.
In the morning of 20 September, Beatty’s men were ordered forward to back up Connell’s brigade who was in line just north of Brotherton Field. Wood’s division had been mistakenly ordered out of the Federal line at 11 am just as Longstreet’s assault was beginning. Connell’s brigade was quickly overrun and those men trampled through Beatty’s rank. Next, the Confederate divisions shattered Beatty’s men in turn. The brigade’s day was over by 11:30 as survivors removed themselves westwards as quickly as they could.
Beatty would continue to command at the brigade level through the rest of the war, gaining the brevet rank of Major General before returning to civilian life in Ohio as a farmer. Here in the woods just south of Brotherton Road are the monuments of two of his regiments – 79th Indiana and 19th Ohio. His other two regiments – 9th and 17th Kentucky – are remembered on the Kentucky Monument.
Present 1384/Casualties 331
2ND BRIGADE - 2ND DIVISION (Johnson)/20TH CORPS (McCook)
Colonel Joseph Dodge had been a school teacher before the war. Helping raise a couple of companies of the 30th Indiana, Dodge was elected Lieutenant Colonel. He took command after Colonel Sion Bass was mortally wounded at Shiloh. With the death of Brigadier General Edward Kirk at Stones River, Dodge was elevated to brigade command.
During the night of 19-20 September, the brigade was detached from Johnson’s division and placed on the far left of Thomas’ line - just west off Alexander Bridge Road near the intersection with Battleline Road. Dodge’s left ended in the woods east of the Kentucky Monument and short of the Lafayette Road. It was obvious to Thomas and Rosecrans that the left needed to be extended which would be the starting point for a series of moves that would help in that direction but have serious ramifications on other parts of the battlefield. John Beatty brought in his regiment on Dodge’s left at 9am as the first step, but Thomas wanted him to stretch his brigade all the way the Reed’s Bridge and Lafayette Road intersection – by the present-day Visitor Center. The rest of Negley’s division, to which Beatty’s brigade belonged, were to fill in the empty ground – Stanley and Sirwell – but they took long to disengage from their former line in Brotherton Field to arrive in time before Breckinridge’s 9:345 assault overwhelmed Beatty’s men. Grose’s brigade was brought up on the left of Dodge next at 10:15 am and they were quickly routed by the two brigades of Adams and Stovall fifteen minutes later. Dodge’s men held off one of the regiments of Stovall, firing from behind rudimentary breastworks and swinging back to the left to further guard the extreme left Federal flank. They let other Federal units swing in and take care of those of Breckinridge’s men who were wandering in the left rear – which they did by 11:15 am. Liddell’s division was next to come in on the Federal left at about noon, but that attack was beaten. And with that the scene on the far left quieted down.
At 4:30 pm, Thomas decided it was time to get off the field. His units began to withdraw from the south to the north just as the Rebels renewed their assaults. Being on the far left, meant that Dodge’s men were among the last to withdraw. Luckily for the brigade, the assaults were not aggressively followed up – the Confederates had suffered hard from the morning attacks – and Dodge was able to disengage in good order.
Here in the woods just off Battleline Road are the monuments of the 29th and 30th Indiana in memory of their stands on 20 September 1863.
Present 1130/Casualties 532
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