Sgt. John Ingraham is the only soldier known to still be buried on the battlefield. Before the war, Ingraham worked as a farm hand for the Reed family, which owned a little farm along Chickamauga Creek. Orphaned at an early age, Ingraham was raised by the Reeds along with the family’s three sons.
When war erupted, Ingraham and the three Reed brothers–like many other local boys–enlisted in the 1st Confederate Infantry. Ingraham fell not far from where he is now buried along Alexander’s Bridge Road.
Ingraham is one of more than 34,000 men killed, wounded, or captured during the three days of brutal fighting–more than 16,000 Federals and more than 18,000 Confederates. That gives Chickamauga the grim distinction of being the second-bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, surpassed only by Gettysburg’s bloody butcher’s bill. Union Brig. Gen. John Turchin called it “the most arduous, the most complicated, and the bloodiest campaign in the West . . . .”
Text adapted from material in Lee White’s Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, part of the Emerging Civil War Series.