Battle of Chickamauga 

U.S. #2975 – Click the image to read about all the subjects on this sheet.

On September 20, 1863, the first major battle fought in Georgia, the bloody Battle of Chickamauga, came to a close.

Union General William S. Rosecrans had previously had great success in his Tullahoma Campaign and hoped to push Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s Army of the Tennessee out of Chattanooga. Rosecrans consolidated his forces and forced Bragg to flee Chattanooga. Bragg then assembled his troops in Lafayette, Georgia, and prepared to retake Chattanooga.

U.S. #216 – Garfield was promoted and received a citation for his service at Chickamauga.

Bragg followed the Union army and engaged them in a small fight at Davis’ Cross Roads. He then received reinforcements from John Bell Hood’s Virginia division and Bushrod Johnson’s Mississippi division. Early in the morning of September 18, Bragg marched his troops to the Chickamauga Creek, aiming to separate the Union troops from Chattanooga. Bragg’s men then crossed the river, though his arrival wasn’t a surprise – Rosecrans had seen them marching toward his position and called in reinforcements.

U.S. #2013 – Walker performed surgery near the front line at Chickamauga.

Though there was some small skirmishing on the 18th, the battle began in full force after dawn on September 19th. All day, Bragg’s men launched vicious attacks but could not break through the Union line. Then, at 11:00 that night, General James Longstreet arrived with a massive force that gave the Confederates the upper hand.

The battle began again at 9:30 the next morning, September 20, with a large Confederate attack on the Union left flank. As the battle continued, Rosecrans believed a gap had formed in his line and ordered Thomas Wood’s division to fill it. However, the gap didn’t exist and when they left their positions to obey his orders, they actually created a large gap in the line. The Confederates used this mistake to their advantage and flooded the line, rushing the Union troops from the field.

Union General George H. Thomas then worked to consolidate the fleeing Union troops and establish a defensive position. Though the Confederates brought the battle to them, the Union troops held their position. Thomas was then known as “The Rock of Chickamauga” for his leadership. Rosecrans was later relieved of his command and Thomas took control of the Army of the Cumberland.

Item #20101 – Commemorative cover marking Longstreet’s 166th birthday.

Though Bragg had succeeded in the driving the Union troops from the field, Rosecrans and the Union Army still held Chattanooga. But the Confederates would then occupy the heights surrounding the city, blocking their supply lines.

Antigua #2538-39 – Set of 2 Antigua sheets includes a scene from Chickamauga as well as James Longstreet, a general from the battle.

Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, with the highest number of casualties in the Western theater. In fact, it had the second-highest number of casualties after Gettysburg, with about 16,000 Union and 18,000 Confederate soldiers killed, wounded, missing, or captured.

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  1. Preserving our American History and Heritage is something that needs protection. Thank you Mystic for supplying the history around the stamps issued to commemorate these events. Regardless of what side you sympathize with, this is our unique history that made the United States the country it is today and should never be lost.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with you Bill, destroying those statues of confederate soldiers to me is akin to the Taliban destroying those giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan, or ISIS destroying the tetrapylon monument in Palmyra. All that is our history (like it or not) and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

  2. I totally agree. What people generally fail to see is that it was the standard at that time. History can not be erased. I’m proud of the service of my great grandfather, which I’ve included in his biography.

    1. I take a different view.

      The Confederate statues should be preserved and seen at museums or statue parks similar to what Russia has done with its Soviet stuff, and Germany with its Nazi past. I agree that the statues should not be destroyed, but be kept as a reminder of what went bad that led up to the Civil War.

      Most of these statues were erected in the early 20th Century, not in the 19th Century as many mistakenly assume. Sure, families fought on both sides of the War, and service should be remembered in the familial sense. My great X 3 grandfather fought on the Union side….

  3. Although, Lee is a legitimate historical figure, a recent piece on the oped page by Richard Cohen confirmed that even his sisters discouraged him from joining the Confederate cause, Cohen suggests keeping the monuments, but having large explanatory plaques explaining the many caveats of this complex man.

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