Following the Battle of Stones River (Dec. 31, 1862-Jan. 2, 1863), Union forces under Gen. William S. Rosecrans fortified at Murfreesboro while Confederate forces under Gen. Braxton Bragg fell back to positions around Tullahoma, TN.

In June, to prevent Bragg from reinforcing the Rebel defenses at Vicksburg, MS, Rosecrans moved southeast to engage Bragg. In a series of brilliant flanking maneuvers, Rosecrans forced Bragg south of the Tennessee River to Chattanooga. Crossing the Tennessee River at Bridgeport and threatening the Confederate supply lines, the Yankees forced Bragg to retreat from Chattanooga (Sept. 7) into northwest Georgia.

Rosecrans believed that the Rebel army was in full retreat, but Bragg was planning an ambush. Rebel forces would destroy the units of Rosecrans’ army as they emerged piecemeal from the mountain passes. However, these plans did not succeed due to the slow reaction of Bragg’s commanders and the alertness of Gen. Thomas. He had his scouts checking the passes.

Now both armies began to concentrate their forces near Lee and Gordon’s Mill, close to West Chickamauga Creek.

Next: Chickamauga Day 1 Note: The animation covers the Day 2 action.

Acknowledgement: Outstanding 3D map for the Day 2 animation is courtesy of Dr. Bill Drummond of Georgia Tech.