Chickamauga: The armies converge

from Lee White

One hundred and fifty years ago today, western armies were moving into position for what would become the battle of Chickamauga. From Rock Springs to Ringgold, massive troop movements were underway.

“Soldiers, you are largely re-enforced; you must now seek the contest,” said Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, commanding the Army of Tennessee. “In so doing I know you will be cotent to suffer privations and encounter hardships. Heretofore you have never failed to respond to your general when he has asked sacrifice at your hands. Relying on your gallentry and patriotism, he asks you to add the crowning glory to the wreath you wear. Our cause is in your keeping; your enemy boasts that you are demoralized and retreating before him. Having accomplished our object by driving back his flank movement, let us now turn on his main force and crush it in its fancied security. Your generals will lead you; you have but to respond to assure us a glorious triumph over an insolent foe. I know what your response will be. Trusting in God and the justice of our cause, and nerved by the love of the dear ones at home, failure is impossible and victory must be ours.”

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Lee White is the author of Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, part of the Emerging Civil War Series. Bushwhacking hit shelves last week, just in time for this week’s sesquicentennial.

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