First Skirmish at Chickamauga

First Skirmish at Chickamauga (HM16A0)

Location: Ringgold, GA 30736 Catoosa County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 55.542', W 85° 10.369'

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Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail

On September 18, 1863, Brigadier General Bushrod R. Johnson's division had arrived in Ringgold from Mississippi and Lt. Gen. Longstreet's men were beginning to arrive from Virginia. At 5 A.M. Gen. Johnson started toward Leet's with three of his brigades, one of Longstreet's and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest' cavalry. After they had marched three miles, they received orders to return to Ringgold and proceed toward Reed's Bridge by was of Peeler's Mill.

Col. Robert H.G. Minty's Federal cavalry brigade was at Reed's Bridge. Minty sent 100 scouts toward Leet's and 100 toward Ringgold. About 7 A.M. his scouts returned and reported large Confederate forces moving in from both directions. Col. Minty moved forward with the 4th Michigan, about one-third of the 4th United States Regiment and two guns of his artillery. He would attempt to slow the Confederates while reporting his findings to Gen. Crittenden at Crawfish Springs. The Federals reached the intersection of the Three-Notch-Road and fired on the Confederate column as it advanced through the gap at Ellis' Springs. Dust was seen on the Graysville Road to the north and Col Minty, afraid of being flanked, retreated back to Reed's Bridge and requested cavalry reinforcements from Col Wilder.

Gen. Johnson's column stopped at Peeler's Mill, near the Three Notch Road. Local citizens informed him that the Federals had again advanced to the west of Peavine Creek. Gen. Johnson placed three of this brigades in line of battle and sent forward pickets. Gen. Forrest's cavalry was sent in front to develop the Federal position. Major Robertson arrived from LaFayette with eight pieces of artillery. The Confederate skirmishers crossed the creek and advanced toward the Federal line, located behind a cornfield east of Pine Grove Road. When Maj. Robertson opened fire with six of his eight cannon, the Federals retired to the top of the hill.

The main line of Rebel infantry had trouble crossing the creek. Once across, they reformed and started through the cornfield. After minor resistance, the Federals retreated to Reed's Bridge.

One Confederate commander reported that the only problem they had from Peeler's Mill to Reed's Bridge was that they had to march in line of battle over some very rough and uneven roads, passing through briar thickets with some of the men being bare footed.

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HM NumberHM16A0
Series This marker is part of the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail series
Placed ByChickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 5:33am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 666893 N 3866327
Decimal Degrees34.92570000, -85.17281667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 55.542', W 85° 10.369'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 55' 32.52" N, 85° 10' 22.14" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706, 423
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3145 Boynton Dr, Ringgold GA 30736, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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