The Route to the Battle of Chickamauga
On Sunday afternoon, October 24, from 2:30 to 5:30 the Dade County Historical Society is sponsoring a special event which will be open to the general public. The focus of the program will be a review of the events which took place in our county in the early fall of 1863 and led to the Battle of Chickamauga (18 - 20 September).
A battle of great importance to the outcome of the war, Chickamauga marked the end of the Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia. It was the first major battle of the war to be fought in Georgia, the most significant defeat in the Western Theater of the war, and resulted in the second-highest number of casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle was fought between the Army of the Cumberland under Major General William Rosecrans and the Confederate Army of Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg. After his successful Tullahoma campaign, Rosecrans renewed the offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga. In early September, Rosecrans consolidated his forces which had been scattered in Tennessee and Georgia (including in Dade County) and forced Bragg’s army out of Chattanooga headed south. Bragg determined to resist and re-occupy Chattanooga which made a clash of the two armies inevitable. Although it was not planned to happen at Chickamauga, it was there that the two armies ran across each other unexpectedly and the fighting began.
In order to reach the inevitable battle, Rosecrans ordered his various units to approach the area near Chattanooga via many routes. A large number of men came through Dade County and a significant part of the pre-battle maneuvering and preparations took place in Dade County, especially in Johnson’s Crook, just north of Rising Fawn.
To commemorate and explain these events, our tour guide for the afternoon will be Jim Ogden, Staff Historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park since 1982. He is a nationally- and internationally- recognized authority on the Civil War in general and the Battle of Chickamauga specifically. He is an outstanding presenter and speaks regularly to historical organizations across the Eastern half of the US including Civil War Roundtables in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Birmingham. He has also taught a number of Civil War history courses for a number of local institutions of higher education and has made TV appearances on A and E’s “Civil War Journal” and PBS’s “History Detectives”. Mr. Ogden will guide the group to the local areas where critical events occurred and will use maps and other materials to explain the sometimes complicated maneuvers involved in moving thousands of men, animals, and supplies across very challenging terrain.
The tour group will assemble on the square in Trenton beginning at 2:15 on the 24th and, after introductory remarks, will depart for the tour. Participants will use their own cars to make the trip. Carpooling with family and close friends is encouraged to maximize the number of participants. Stops will be chosen which will accommodate parking for multiple vehicles and provision will be made for a rest stop along the way. Participants are encouraged to bring water, wear comfortable shoes, and bring a cane, portable seating, or any other assistance needed for short walks to the sites to be visited.
Because of parking limitations, the tour will be limited to only a set number of participants. Those who wish to take part will need to make reservations by contacting Historical Society officer Joy Odom either by phone (706-398-1051) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once the maximum number of participants has been registered, the sign-up will be closed and the closure will be announced on the Dade Historical Society Facebook page.
If you have questions regarding this event, please visit the Dade County Historical Society Facebook page and pose your question in the inbox. A DCHS member will respond to your query If you prefer, you may contact Joy Odom for more specific information.
We look forward to having a number of our fellow citizens join us for this informative and scenic tour of significant places and events in our county.