Battle of Chickamauga (September 19th-20th, 1863)

Chickamauga was one of the few battles in the Civil War that the Confederates outnumbered the Union. It was the worst defeat of the Union in the Western Theatre and slowed the Union's advance to Atlanta.

The armies stretched across about six miles of battle front on land that was not very good for a fight. Dense woods covered most of the battlefield, so artillery was not very useful and soldiers could only see about a half a football field distance in front of them when the ay was clear - add the smoke and dust of the battle and they could barely see 20 feet in front of them. The battle lasted two days, wirth confusion reigning as generals struggled to keep track of their troops let alone direct them. After the first day the Union was taking a defensive position as they tried to regroup their forces. On the second day confusion among the Union generals caused a hole to open in the union line near Brotherton Cabin allowing Confederates to roll forward and two Union corps retreating from the battlefield. This left Union Major-General George H Thomas exposed and in danger. Thomas led his men in a stubborn defense on Snodgrass Hill where he earned the nickname, "The Rock of Chickamauga." After the defense, Thomas is able to make a safe and orderly retreat to Chattanooga.

While the Confederates won the battle the price, like in many of the Civil War's battles was high. Killed, wounded and missing for the Confederate amounted to 18,000 of the 66,000 engaged. Union casualties were 16,000 of the 58,000 involved.