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An Incredible Legacy
With orders to clear the way for a crushing attack upon the left flank of the Union Army, Confederate generals Bushrod R. Johnson and Nathan Bedford Forrest set out at dawn on September 18th, 1863. Standing in their way were less than 1,000 Federal cavalrymen and a battery of artillery guarding Reed's Bridge, a vital crossing of West Chickamauga Creek. Though Forrest's cavalry forced the Yankees to withdraw that afternoon, the fighting at Reed's Bridge cost the Confederates valuable time, allowing the Federal army to concentrate and thwarting Confederate hopes for a swift, decisive action. The bloodiest battle in the Western Theatre had begun.
The Civil War Trust now has the opportunity to save the site where the Battle of Chickamauga began. According to historian Peter Cozzens, the fighting on this 109-acre tract—which the veterans themselves hoped would be part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park—"determined the course of the Battle of Chickamauga." And, in the words of Ed Bearss, this land is "one of the most significant tracts of ground that the Civil War Trust has saved in a long time."
Help us save Chickamauga!