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Near Fort Oglethorpe in Catoosa County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Armies Engage

The Battle of Chickamauga opened here at the site of Jays Sawmill

 
 
The Armies Engage Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, September 14, 1999
1. The Armies Engage Marker
Inscription. The Battle of Chickamauga began here on September 19, 1863, in the field adjacent to Jays Sawmill. The mill is no longer standing.

At dawn, Union Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas ordered two brigades to move eastward to this location to capture a supposedly isolated Confederate brigade. At 7:30 a.m. the Union units collided with the Confederate cavalry of Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest positioned along the edges of the field.

Forrest, surprised by the Federals, ordered his cavalry to attack, delaying the Union advance until help arrived. Then, as Confederate infantry moved in to support Forrest, additional Union units joined the fight. A major battle had begun.

Colonel John Croxton, one of the Union commanders sent to capture the “isolated” brigade, now faced four or five brigades. Amid the confusion, Croxton dispatched a note to General Thomas asking facetiously which of the Confederate brigades in his front he was supposed to capture.

Painting: Confederate cavalry charging a steady line of Union infantry captioned, "In the first action of the Battle of Chickamauga, the Confederate cavalry of Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest charged the advancing Union infantry of Croxton's Brigade. The Federals were positioned in the woods in front of you advancing in this direction."

Photograph:
The Armies Engage Marker Illustration image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, February 18, 2009
2. The Armies Engage Marker Illustration
"Nathan Bedford Forrest, the celebrated Confederate general, commanded the cavalry who opened the Battle of Chickamauga here."
 
Erected by Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
 
Location. 34° 55.736′ N, 85° 13.784′ W. Marker is near Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in Catoosa County. Marker is on Jays Mill Road 0.1 miles south of Reeds Bridge Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is north of the Brotherton Road intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Oglethorpe GA 30742, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Davidson's Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Polk's Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); Huwald's Tennessee Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Pegram's Division (within shouting distance of this marker); Forrest's Cavalry Corps (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederates Cross the Creek (about 600 feet away); 4th United States Cavalry (about 600 feet away); Minty's Cavalry Brigade (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Oglethorpe.
 
More about this marker. Marker is in a small field near the former site of Jay's sawmill. There is a parking pulloff
Nathan Bedford Forrest image. Click for full size.
circa 1863
3. Nathan Bedford Forrest
beside the marker.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Armies Engage Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, September 14, 1999
4. The Armies Engage Marker
Looking south from the intersection of Jays Mill and Reeds Bridge Roads. The marker is beside Jays Mill Road in the distance. The Federals would have been on the right side of the photo parallel to the road.
The Armies Engage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, February 18, 2009
5. The Armies Engage Marker
Marker at left (yellow arrow)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 460 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   2, 3. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   4. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   5. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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