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Battle of Chickamauga
Harper's Weekly - October 3, 1863

The following is transcribed from Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization, dated October 3, 1863:

The Battle of Chattanooga

          A very important and bloody battle was fought near Chattanooga on Saturday, 19th, and Sunday, 20th Sept., between General Rosecrans and Bragg's rebel army, which had been heavily reinforced. Up to the present time we have no full and reliable account of the battle. A Louisville dispatch, received here on 21st, stated that Rosecrans had been "badly beaten." Later dispatches merely speak of his being obliged to fall back on Chattanooga. The following account is condensed from the Washington Star, and is supposed to be official:

Beginning of the Fight

          On Saturday, the 19th, a demonstration was made by the rebels in strong force, which appears to have been repelled by the force under General Thomas, with the advantage on the Union side.

          On Sunday an engagement commenced late in the morning. The first gun was fired at nine a.m., but no considerable firing took place until ten. Previous to ten o'clock General Rosecrans rode the whole length of our line. soon after the battle commenced

          General Thomas, who held the left, began to call for reinforcements. About twelve o'clock word came that he had been forced to retire.

          The second line of reinforcements were then sent to him, and McCook's whole corps, which was on the right and as a reserve in the centre, was sent to his assistance. General Wood, of Crittenden's corps, and Van Cleve, who held the front centre, were also ordered to the left, where the fury of the cannonade showed that the enemy's force was massed.

          Their places were filled by Davis and Sheridan, of General McCook's corps. But hardly had these divisions taken their places in the line, when the rebel fire, which had slackened, burst out in immense volleys upon the centre.

          This lasted about twenty minutes, away then Van Cleve, on Thomas's right, was seen to give way, but in tolerable order: soon after which the lines of Sheridan and Davis broke in disorder, borne down by the enemy's columns, which are said to have consisted of Polk's corps. these two divisions were the only divisions thrown into much disorder. Those of Negley and Van Cleve were thrown into confusion, but son rallied and held their places, the first on the left and the second on the right of Thomas's corps. Davis and Sheridan, late in the day, succeeded in rallying eight thousand of their forces, and joined Thomas.

Thomas Changes Position

          General Thomas, finding himself cut off from the right, brought his division into position into position for independent fighting, his line assuming the form on a horse-shoe along the crest of a wooded ridge. He was soon joined by Granger, from Rossville, with a division of General McCook and General Steadman's division and with these forces firmly maintained the fight until after dark.

          Out troops were as immovable as the rocks they stood on. The enemy repeatedly hurled against them the dense columns which had rented Davis and Sheridan in the morning; but every onset was repulsed with dreadful slaughter. Falling first on one then on the other point of our lines, the rebels for hours vainly sought to break them. General Thomas seemed  to have filled every soldier with his own unconquerable firmness; and General Granger, his hat torn by bullets, rode like a lion wherever the combat was thickest. Every division commander bore himself gloriously, and among them Generals Turcheu, Hazen, and Parker especially distinguished themselves. Turchen charged through the rebel lines with the bayonet, and being surrounded, forced his way back again. Parker, who had two horses shot under him on Saturday, forming his men in one line, made them lie down until the enemy was close upon them, when suddenly they rose and delivered their fire, with such effect that the assaulting columns fell back in confusion, leaving the ground covered with killed. When night fell this body of heroes stood on the same ground occupied by them in the morning, their spirits being unbroken. Thier losses are yet estimated.

Net Results

          General Thomas telegraphs (Monday afternoon) that the troops are in high spirits. He brought off all his wounded. Of the sick and wounded at Crawfish Spring, including our main hospital, nearly all had been brought away.

          The number of prisoners taken by the enemy will hardly surpass two thousand, besides the wounded, of whom not more than one thousand could have fallen into their hands. Of rebel prisoners we have sent thirteen hundred to Nashville.

          Most of our losses in artillery wee occasioned by the killing of all the horses.

          General Thomas retired to Rossville on Sunday night after the battle had closed.

          General Rosecrans had issued orders fro all his troops to be concentrated with the forces at Chattanooga.

          In the last two assaults our troops fought with bayouets, their ammunition being exhausted.

          The latest information that has reached this city is from Chattanooga last evening, and was to the effect that General Rosecrans would concentrate on Chattanooga last night.

          There were indications that the enemy wee contemplating a demonstration on another part of our line last evening.

The following is transcribed from Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization, dated October 31, 1863:

The Losses at Chicamuaga

          Complete official returns from the infantry engaged in the battles of Chicamauga have been received, showing a total loss of 955 officers and 14,891 men. The losses of the cavalry will swell the grand total to about 16,000. Of 4,685 missing, 2,500 were wounded. Thirty-six pieces of artillery were lost and a few wagons.

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