Hardship on the Union Line

Hardship on the Union Line (HM16R0)

Location: Chickamauga, GA 30707 Catoosa County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 56.003', W 85° 15.325'

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Soldiers battled fatigue, thirst, and cold

On the night of September 19, 1863, when the first day of bloody fighting had ended, the two armies re-grouped and planned their strategy for the next day. The Federal left withdrew to a line which extended to your left and right from this point. The Confederate line was at your back.

Already weary after the day's fighting, the Union soldiers here could not rest. Their axes rang as they built breastworks of logs, rails, and earth to defend against the attacks that would come in the morning.

Cold and thirst plagued the Federals through the night. Their canteens ran dry, and Confederates blocked their access to Chickamauga Creek and other water sources. It was unusually chilly for a September night, but with the enemy so near, campfires were prohibited. A Wisconsin soldier wrote: "... we had a slight frost. We lay on our arms without blankets or even coats, having thrown away everything but gun and ammunition."

The President Mourns

Initially wounded not far from here on the morning of September 20 was Confederate Brig. Gen. Benjamin Helm, the brother-in-law of President Abraham Lincoln. Helm had been leading his Kentuckians against the Union breastworks when a bullet pierced his right side. He died that night.

Lincoln had offered Helm, a West Point graduate, a commission in the Union Army, but Helm joined the Confederate Army instead, When President Lincoln learned his favored brother-in-law had been killed at Chickamauga, he was visibly stricken. It is said that Helm's death hurt Lincoln as much as the death of his son Willie, stricken with fever in 1862.

This section includes photographs of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Helm, C.S.A.
HM NumberHM16R0
Placed ByChickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 4:50pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 659333 N 3867044
Decimal Degrees34.93338333, -85.25541667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 56.003', W 85° 15.325'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 56' 0.18" N, 85° 15' 19.50" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 9349 Battleline Rd, Chickamauga GA 30707, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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