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Davis Crossroads in Walker County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Davis' Cross Roads

A Squandered Opportunity

 

— Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails —

 
Davis Cross Roads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 20, 2019
1. Davis Cross Roads Marker
Inscription.  As Union Major General William S. Rosecrans' “Army of the Cumberland” entered Georgia in early September 1863, its three infantry corps were dangerously divided over a fifty mile radius. Most endangered was Major General George H. Thomas 14th Corps, especially Major General James S. Negley's 4,000-man division. They moved through Steven's Gap on September 9th into McLemore's Cove believing no enemy was ahead. Learning of Negley's isolation and sensing an opportunity to defeat the Federal army in detail, Confederate “Army of Tennessee” General Braxton Bragg ordered Major General Patrick R. Cleburne's 5,000-man division to attack Negley's division “in front” through Dug Gap in Pigeon Mountain. Meanwhile, Major General Thomas C. Hindman's 6,000-man division, supported by two additional divisions, would enter McLemore's Cove from the north, moving against Negley's exposed left flank.

On Thursday, September 10th, General Negley's division moved east across McLemore's Cove until encountering skirmishers from General Cleburne's division near Dug Gap. Negley made his headquarters at Davis' Cross Roads in the

View of the Davis' Cross Roads and Marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 20, 2019
2. View of the Davis' Cross Roads and Marker.
home of a forty year old widow, Julia Davis, and her six children.

Had General Hindman attacked as ordered on the 10th, or early on the 11th, there might have been a great Confederate success. But Hindman repeatedly delayed, convinced he was outnumbered or that he himself would be flanked. In reality, with the two supporting divisions Hindman had three times Negley's number. By 8:00 am on the 11th, Union Brigadier General Absalom Baird's 4,600-man division arrived to reinforce Negley. Baird reported, "We were [soon] informed that firing had commenced in the front and we at once rode to the spot. About half a mile ſeast of] the Widow Davis House...our line of infantry and artillery was formed." Nearer the firing line, Surgeon Roswell G. Bogue of the 19th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, stated, “[A] severe skirmish or small battle ensued[, d]uring which nine men were killed and twenty-two wounded.” After the Federal line withdrew, Bogue continued, “the wounded were moved back first to a point called Bailey's Cross Roads, then to the foot of the mountain to Steven's [Gap]."

Realizing their

View looking east towards City of LaFayette. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 20, 2019
3. View looking east towards City of LaFayette.
position was becoming increasingly difficult, Generals Baird's and Negley's divisions began retreating west toward Steven's Gap. When General Hindman finally advanced at 4:00 pm the Federals were largely gone. "The extrication of our division from the environment of Dug Gap by General Negley was to my mind the most masterly piece of generalship I saw during the war," wrote Union Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Blakeley, 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Timid generalship squandered an opportunity for the Confederates to severely damage the Federal army. General Rosecrans subsequently decided to consolidate his divided army. General Bragg would try again to strike the Federal army before it united at Chickamauga, but he had perhaps lost his best chance.
 
Erected 2019 by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 2.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 34° 45.34′ N, 85° 22.067′ W. Marker is in Davis Crossroads, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker is at the intersection of Georgia Route 193 and Georgia Route 341, on the right when traveling west on State Route 193. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 18381 GA-193, Chickamauga GA 30707, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are

Map of Davis' Cross Roads Battlefield core and study areas by the ABPP. image. Click for full size.
By Public domain
4. Map of Davis' Cross Roads Battlefield core and study areas by the ABPP.
within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Martin Davis House and Farm (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove (approx. 0.8 miles away); Catlett’s Gap (approx. 3.6 miles away); Gowan’s (Gower’s) Ford And Widow Glenn’s Grave (approx. 4.9 miles away); Fort Cumming (approx. 5.3 miles away); Marsh-Warthen House (approx. 5.9 miles away).
 
Regarding Davis' Cross Roads. Also known as the Battle of Dug Gap.

This marker is along the Chickamauga Campaign "historic driving route" portion of the Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail.
 
Also see . . .  Battle of Davis Crossroads. (Submitted on November 22, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesWar, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for Davis' Cross Roads.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 22, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 22, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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