In Their Own Words
September 22, 1863
Letter Told of Battle of Chickamauga
From Chickamauga, Joseph Cumming wrote to his wife about the costly Confederate victory in the Sept. 19-20 battle in north Georgia:
“I have just been to General Bragg’s headquarters with a letter of congratulations, and he himself told me of these facts. He is very quiet over his signal victory. But of course he is very happy. It has, however, been at a tremendous cost that he has gained [it]. Our loss in killed and wounded alone will be between 10,000 and 15,000… . The battle was very desperate. Three distinct times, the corps or portions of it was broken, and the General and his staff rallied it, sometimes under very heavy fire and then we were very much exposed. The enemy was finally defeated all along his line after dark Sunday evening, when the extent of our victory could be ascertained and pursuit was impossible. It was a battle in which victory was the result of persistent, indomitable fighting, men being rallied invariably when broken.”
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), P. 272.