Chickamauga: Winfrey Field

Chick-VanPeltDeathAs the fight on September 19 continued, opposing forces filed onto the battlefield, hitting each other on the flanks in “a deadly tic-tac-toe manner,” in the words of historian Lee White.

In the confused fighting, Lt. George Van Pelt of the 1st Michigan Battery was killed. “The gallant Van Pelt was shot down at his guns, having fired 64 rounds into the midst of the enemy as they came charging down the hill,” said Colonel Benjamin Scribner. Van Pelt’s death is erroneously portrayed on the unit’s monument, however—the lieutenant was not on horseback at the time of his death.

Of the more than 660 monuments on the Chickamauga Battlefield, a couple dozen have bronze bas relief tablets on them, like the one above, depicting the battle. The images provide one of the most enduring chronicles of the fighting, making them an important part of the historical record.


Text adapted from material in Lee White’s Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, part of the Emerging Civil War Series.

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