The battle of Chickamauga was fought Sept. 19 and 20, 1863, with reports appearing in the Democratic Banner on Sept. 26.
Things in middle and east Tennessee had been relatively quiet since the bloody battle at Stone’s River at the beginning of the year, and it wasn’t until the end of June that Gen. William Rosecrans began his Tullahoma campaign, that resulted in Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg retreating all the way to Chattanooga.
Under pressure from Washington to attack Bragg, Rosecrans took his time to accumulate supplies and finally feinted at Chattanooga and sent most of his army southwest to cross Lookout Mountain at two different passes. When Bragg realized Rosecrans was trying to get behind him, he evacuated Chattanooga, which was occupied by Union forces on Sept. 8.
Rosecrans thought Bragg’s army was demoralized and retreating, but Bragg, who was also under pressure from his government to attack, saw an opportunity to destroy a portion of the Union army, then turn and attack the forces in Chattanooga.
But events alerted Rosecrans to his danger and he began consolidating his forces. As a result, when Bragg finally got his army to attack, he had missed his best chance and confronted a unified army.
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