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

Thomas’ Night March

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail

 
 
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
1. Thomas' Night March Marker
Inscription. On September 18, 1863, the Confederate forces began a preliminary push against Reed's Bridge and Alexander's Bridge on the extreme left of the Federal position. Colonels Minty and Wilder, stationed at these bridges, had given General William Rosecrans repeated warnings of a Confederate buildup that threatened these positions. By the end of the day on the 18th General Rosecrans realized that he was in danger of being cut off from Chattanooga. General George Thomas was ordered to move the 14th Army Corps up from McLemore's Cove to cover the Federal left.

"By that night it became perfectly clear to all," Charles Dana wrote, "that Bragg's plan was to push by our left into Chattanooga. This compelled another rapid movement by the left down the Chickamauga. By a tiresome night march Thomas moved down past Crittenden and below Lee and Gordon's Mills, taking position in the vicinity of a little house, known as the Widow Glenn's, and below, covering the Rossville road, and now forming the left of the Union army ... These movements were hurriedly made, and the troops, especially those of Thomas, were very much exhausted by their efforts to get into position."

Thomas encountered considerable difficulty on the move. The roads were in bad shape and also congested. In some areas, units from other commands refused to move. It was
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
2. Thomas' Night March Marker
Close-up view, that is displayed on the marker, of Union troops preparing to march.
10:30 p.m. by the time Thomas reached Crawfish Spring. He moved Negley's division off the road at that point and instructed them to camp around the spring. He knew that it would take most of the night to march his men to the right of the army. It was obvious that the men would be in poor shape for combat in the morning after such a march. Nevertheless, he determined to make the best of the situation. He sent advance parties north along the Dry Valley road. They set fire to the rail fences on either side of the road to light and mark the way. Smoke from the fires mixed with the rising dust to sting the eyes and burn the throats of the marching soldiers. The column moved slowly, with frequent stops and starts. Whenever the men to the front would halt, those behind would drop to the dust, or rest in place, asleep on their feet. All night long it went on stopping and starting, stopping and starting all night to cover five miles. Dawn was approaching when they halted in the fields east of the Widow Glenn's farm.

"The head of the column [of the 14th Army Corps] reached Kelly's farm about daylight on the 19th, Baird's division in front," General George H. Thomas later wrote, "and took up a position at the forks of the road, facing toward Reed's and Alexander's Bridges over the Chickamauga... Kelly's house is situated in an opening about three-fourths of a mile wide, on the
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
3. Thomas' Night March Marker
Close-up view, that is displayed on the marker, of a map made by Colonel William E. Merrill, Chief Engineer of the Army of the Cumberland, that shows this location.
east side of the State [Lafayette] Road." Both armies were now in place to begin the Battle of Chickamauga.

Please visit our website at:
http://www.ChickamaugaCampaign.org

 
Erected by Cohutta Bank.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 34° 52.972′ N, 85° 17.038′ W. Marker is in Chickamauga, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker is on 5 Points Road east of Osburn Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker is located on the north side of the road, just east of where the roadway crosses a line of railroad tracks. Directly across the street, to the south, are the grounds for the nearby Chickamauga City Hall building. Marker is in this post office area: Chickamauga GA 30707, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Thomas' Corps (a few steps from this marker); Crittenden Avenue (approx. 0.8 miles away); Hood Avenue (approx. 0.8 miles away); Boynton Avenue (approx. 0.8 miles away); Longstreet Avenue (approx. 0.8 miles away); Thomas Avenue
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
4. Thomas' Night March Marker
Close-up view, that is displayed on the marker, of General Thomas and his staff in the field.
(approx. 0.8 miles away); Lee Avenue (approx. 0.8 miles away); Bragg Avenue (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chickamauga.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
5. Thomas' Night March Marker
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
6. Thomas' Night March Marker
View of the featured marker situated along the side of the road, near the railroad crossing, looking west along 5 Points Road.
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
7. Thomas' Night March Marker
View of the featured marker situated along the side of the road, looking east along 5 Points Road.
Thomas' Night March Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 6, 2014
8. Thomas' Night March Marker
View of the marker, looking north from across the street, seeing the marker situated opposite the service road entrance to the grounds of the Chickamauga City Hall complex.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 30, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 227 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on May 1, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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