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This Day in Georgia History

September 19, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga Began

The Battle of Chickamauga began marking the first major engagement between Confederate and Union troops in Georgia. Twelve days earlier, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg had been forced to pull his Army of Tennessee out of Chattanooga. They had retreated to a point on the W&A Railroad near Ringgold, Georgia. Union Gen. William Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland had pursued Bragg. After some skirmishes on the 18th, the two sides engaged in a major battle at Chickamauga Creek (which ironically was a Cherokee name that means either “River of Death” or “River of Blood”). Despite heavy losses on both sides, the first day’s results were inconclusive.

For more on the Battle of Chickamauga, see the Digital Library of Georgia.