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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

May 03, 1864

Atlanta Campaign Began; Marched over Chickamauga Battlefield

The Atlanta Campaign began in earnest as advance units of the Union Army, under General William T. Sherman, began marching southward out of Tennessee on the road to Georgia. See the Principal Events of the campaign. A member of the 15th Wisconsin wrote home to his wife, telling of her crossing a previous battlefield on the march.

“A march of about fifteen miles from our encampment in Lookout Valley, across the battle field of Chickamauga, brought us to this place at three P.M. yesterday; there were troops here; they left this morning and it was understood that we were to take their place and remain for a few days at least; therefore we commenced building camp and were already quite comfortable when, at six o’ clock, a circular from Colonel Wood tells us that the Major General commanding directs him to inform regimental commanders that orders for marching to-morrow will be received during the night. I wanted to go to Chattanooga to-morrow to see whether I could learn anything of my valise. We are on Chickamauga Creek, about twelve miles south of Chattanooga, part of the Battle of Chickamauga was fought here. A portion of the road we passed over yesterday is covered with skeletons of horses, and every tree bears the mark of the battle, many strong trunks were broken down by artillery fire, many graves too attest the deadliness of the conflict. There is a wagon train just starting for Chattanooga after provisions; I will send this by it.” Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page