Battle of Chickamauga: Characters



1) Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans (Union)
  • brusque, outspoken manner and willingness to quarrel openly with superiors

  • Career: was an inventor, coal-oil company executive, diplomat, politician, and United States Army officer.

  • Family life - At his graduation, he met Anna Elizabeth (or Eliza) Hegeman (1823–1883) of New York City and immediately fell in love. They were married on August 24, 1843. Their marriage lasted until her death on December 25, 1883. They had eight children.

  • His military career was effectively ended following his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.

  • Rosecrans was a graduate of West Point who served as a professor at the Academy and in engineering assignments before leaving the Army to pursue a career in civil engineering.
2) Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas (Union)
  • Nicknames for Thomas included: “Rock of Chickamauga” (earned from his stout defense that saved the Union army from being completely routed), “Sledge of Nashville” and “Slow Trot Thomas”

  • Served in the Mexican-American War.

  • Despite his heritage as a Virginian. He won one of the first Union victories in the war. Thomas struggled with the decision but opted to remain with the United States. His Northern-born wife and his dislike of slavery probably helped influence his decision. In response, his family turned his picture against the wall, destroyed his letters, and never spoke to him again.

  • He developed a reputation as a slow, deliberate general who shunned self-promotion and who turned down advancements in position when he did not think they were justified.

  • Growing up his family had 24 slaves. Father died in a farm accident when George was 13.

  • A traditional story is that Thomas taught his family's slaves to read, violating a Virginia law that prohibited this, although not all historians agree that this was true.


3) Gen. Braxton Bragg (Confederate)
  • a native of North Carolina, was educated at West Point and became an artillery officer.

  • He established a reputation as a strict disciplinarian, but also as a junior officer willing to publicly argue with and criticize his superior officers, including those at the highest levels of the Army.

  • Bragg fought almost as bitterly against some of his uncooperative subordinates as he did against the enemy, and they made multiple attempts to have him replaced as army commander.

  • Marriage/Civilian Life: Married Eliza Brooks, a wealthy sugar heiress in 1849.
4) Lt. Gen. James Longstreet (Confederate)
  • Lt. Gen. James Longstreet (Confederate) led the eight-brigade assault through the gap Rosecrans (Union) caused.
  • Principal subordinate to General Robert E. Lee, who called him his "Old War Horse."

  • James was a poor student academically and a disciplinary problem at West Point, ranking 54th out of 56 cadets when he graduated in 1842. He was popular with his classmates.

  • Married Maria Louisa Garland in 1848. Although their marriage would last for over 40 years and produce 10 children, Longstreet never mentioned Louise in his memoirs and most anecdotes about their relationship came to historians through the writings of his second wife, Helen Dortoh Longstreet, whom he married in Atlanta when she was age 34.

5) Maj. Gen. Simon B. Buckner (Confederate)
  • Became a subordinate of Braxton Bragg when Buckner’s Department of East Tennessee merged with Braxton’s troop. Buckner's attitude was colored by Bragg's unsuccessful invasion of Buckner's native Kentucky in 1862, as well as by the loss of his command through the merger.

  • After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Buckner became an instructor there.

  • He resigned from the army in 1855 to manage his father-in-law'sreal estate in Chicago

  • Buckner married Mary Jane Kingsbury on May 2, 1850, at her aunt's home in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
6) Confederate Soldier from Crawford Springs (Confederate)
  • Some Confederate Troops arrived the morning of the fight having finished an all-night march from Crawfish Springs, GA.

  • Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood (Confederate)

  • On Day 2 of the battle as he reached his former unit, a bullet struck him in his right thigh, knocking him from his horse. He was taken to a hospital near Alexander's Bridge, where his leg was amputated a few inches from the hip.

  • Hood had a reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on recklessness.

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