Thursday, September 20, 2012

Victory at Chickamauga…at a heavy price.

Breckenridge placed his men to the right of General Patrick R. Cleburne’s division and consequently became the extreme right flank of the Confederate line of battle; the Kentucky Brigade forming the left, the division moved forward in search of the enemy. “We charged their works, but receiving a very heavy enfilading fire from both artillery and musketry on the left and severe fire from the front. 

The 6th and 4th Kentucky and several companies from the 41st Alabama were successful and passed to the right and clear of the works. Steadily they drove the enemy back to within 100 yards of the Chattanooga road. 

The left-hand regiments reformed and made a second charge that drove the first line of the enemy from their entrenchments. The advanced position could not be maintained, however, due to heavy fire from their left, and they were forced back. For the third time the Confederates advanced to the charge, under heavy fire. Word was received that General Helm was mortally wounded, and that Lt. Colonel Lewis of the Second Kentucky would take over the Brigade.

Late in the evening, reinforced by several additional brigades, the shattered remnant of the 1st Kentucky Brigade charged once more. This time they drove the enemy from their fortifications towards the Chattanooga road taking a considerable number of prisoners. As darkness fell, a welcome halt was called to this bloody day of fighting.

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