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This Day in Georgia History

September 20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga Confederate Victory

The Battle of Chickamauga raged all day in northwest Georgia. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee was victorious - but at a terrible price. Union commander William Rosecrans retreated from the field leaving his army under Gen. George H. Thomas, whose defense of Snodgrass Hill lead to his nickname of the “Rock of Chickamauga.” Thomas’s forces held their position until nightfall, when they retreated back to Chattanooga. Total casualties for Confederate forces were 18,454 (including Brig. Gen. James Deshler, who was killed in battle, and Benjamin Helm, who was mortally wounded), compared to 16,170 Union casualties (including brigadier general William Lytle, who was mortally wounded). While the battle was considered a Confederate victory, Bragg subsequently was criticized for allowing retreating Union forces to escape.

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