The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Battle of Chickamauga

What was Bragg’s plan?

Thanks to his flanking maneuvers, General Rosecrans had brought the Army of the Cumberland right over the border of northern Georgia. He and his men had known nothing but success for the previous two months, and this perhaps led to some over-confidence. By the late afternoon of September 19, 1863, Rosecrans realized that Bragg now had the numerical advantage. Rosecrans, therefore, drew his men up on the west side of the creek called Chickamauga, which, in the language of some of the local Indians, may have meant “river of blood.” (Native American linguistics are among the most difficult of studies because of the variety of tribal languages and pronunciations.)

Bragg had a solid, even inspired, plan for September 20, 1863. His men would attack all along the front, with Longstreet’s corps threatening the federal center, but the main punch would come from his right against the federal left. By caving in that left flank, the Confederates would drive the Union men in a semicircle, counterclockwise, to slam them up against the banks of Chickamauga Creek. The plan had flair, even some brilliance, but it required excellent timing.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App