On September 18, Federals hunkered along the banks of Chickamauga Creek to resist Confederate attempts to cross at Alexander’s Bridge. Action also broke out at Reed’s Bridge, another of the few river crossings in the area.
Today, monuments flank Alexander’s Bridge to mark the position of Col. John T. Wilder’s “Lightning Brigade”—midwesterners from Illinois and Indiana armed with Spencer repeating rifles. The Spencers gave Wilder’s men the firepower to hold off concerted Confederate pushes until, finally, numbers outweighed them too heavily.
Text adapted from material in Lee White’s Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, part of the Emerging Civil War Series.