Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail
Pigeon Mountain is a rugged spur of Lookout Mountain, extending in a northeasterly direction into Walker County. The space between it and Lookout Mountain is McLemore's Cove. During the war, wagon roads passed from east to west through the mountain in a series of natural gaps. These, from north to south, were called Worthens' Gap, Catlett's Gap, Dug Gap, and Blue Bird Gap. Although not used as much as the three Pigeon Mountain Gaps to the south, Worthens' Gap was very useful to the civilian residents of the central portion of Walker County. This gap also had a number of significant troop movements during the war.
During the summer of 1863, there was a strong presence of Confederate cavalry on the roads in McLemore's Cove. By early September, it was generally known that there was a major Federal army located just on the other side of Lookout Mountain and they were expected to be crossing at any time. On September 9, Confederate cavalrymen discovered that General James Negley's Federal division was at Bailey's Crossroads and were expected to be moving toward Davis Crossroads. General Braxton Bragg was informed of the findings and saw that the Federal division would be vulnerable to a surprise Confederate attack. He, therefore, instructed Major-General Thomas Hindman to prepare his division to move his men against this force and was informed that another division from Lieutenant-General Daniel H. Hill's command at LaFayette, would join him.
General Thomas Hindman responded promptly to Bragg's orders. During the night of September 9, he moved his division through Pigeon Mountain and by dawn reached the house of J. J. Morgan, a 43 year-old farmer living with his wife and nine children on the west side of Cove Road at the intersection of the road leading eastward to Catlett's Gap in Pigeon Mountain. Many of the soldiers got water from nearby West Chickamauga Creek, perhaps at Gower's Ford a short distance to the north. After a brief rest, Hindman moved his men further down along Cove Road and established his headquarters at the H. J. Conley house, where there was "a spring, the last convenient water before Davis."
General Bragg learned that there would be a problem coordinating Hill's troops, and modified his plan by ordering General Simon Buckner to march his corps to the support of Hindman. General Buckner received his orders dated 8 a.m., September 10, and marched his men through the gap to join Hindman. Bragg's orders to these men were to wait until the attack was initiated by General Patrick Cleburne from Hill's Corps. He then joined General D. H. Hill at Dug Gap to direct that element of the attack.
General Cleburne attacked the Federals at Davis Crossroads, and they were pushed back toward the base of the mountain. General Hindman, at last, attacked from the right but it was too late to trap the enemy. Due to this failure to coordinate the action, the Battle at Davis Crossroads resulted in no significance conclusion.