Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail
After the war, whenever veterans got together, there was much talk of great artillery duels. many would speak of General Thomas' battle line of cannons at Chickamauga. But in fact, the only real artillery duel of the battle took place at Glass's Mill.
"On Saturday, the 19th, at 9 a.m.," Captain Robert Cobb, commanding Cobb's Kentucky Battery, stated: "I was ordered by General Helm to send one 12-pounder Napoleon gun and one 12-pounder howitzer across the ford at Glass's Mill to the line of skirmishers in front of the Second and Sixth Kentucky regiments. Arrived there, I was ordered by General Helm to open fire upon a house in an open field, distant 500 yards, for the purpose of dislodging a party of the enemy's skirmishers. The first fire was promptly responded to by a battery of the enemy posted to the right and rear of the house, and distant about 900 yards. After firing 5 rounds, my pieces were withdrawn to cover, when the enemy fire also ceased. I was then ordered to bring up the remaining three Napoleon guns and to co-operate with Captain C. H. Slocomb, also ordered up with his battery, in an effort to drive the enemy's battery from its position...A few rounds...from the two batteries sufficed to silence the enemy's guns."
"On the morning of the 19th," General John C. Breckinridge later recalled, "Slocomb, with four guns, Cobb with two, and the remainder of Helm's brigade were moved across Glass' Ford to ascertain the position of the enemy, while the two rifled pieces of Slocomb's battery, under Lieutenant Vaught, took position on a bluff upon the east side of the stream. An artillery engagement ensued, much to our advantage, until the enemy, who occupied the better position, brought forward a number of heavy guns and showed the greater weight of metal."
Major-General James Negley, commander of the second division of General Thomas' 14th Army corps of the Army of the Cumberland, wrote: "Very early in the morning [of the 19th] the enemy advanced a heavy line of skirmishers upon Beatty's front, which was a very exposed position, engaging his pickets sharply for some hours. [At] 11:30 the enemy advanced in force, planting two batteries within 400 yards of Beatty's position, which was followed by a fierce cannonading, during which Bridges' Battery, of Beatty's brigade, sustained a loss in men and horses. A part of Beatty's line was gradually driven back (but soon reestablished), I sent one regiment (Eighteenth Ohio Volunteers) and a section of Schultz's Battery, of Stanley's brigade, to his support. 12:30 p.m. Beatty repulsed the enemy."
Maps shown are by Sanford C. Kellog.