Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove - Chickamauga, GA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 34° 45.150 W 085° 21.257
16S E 650632 N 3846830
Quick Description: The Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove markers were erected by the Civil War Preservation Trust and are located on a short gravel road, on Hog Jowl Rd (GA 93), west of LaFayette, GA. There is a sign on Hog Jowl Rd (GA 93) pointing to the Civil War site.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 1/16/2011 2:26:44 PM
Waymark Code: WMAHCH
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 4

Long Description:
From the three markers erected by the Civil War Preservation Trust.
Sign on GA 93


Bragg Sees an Opportunity, September 9-11, 1863


With four railroads and access to several natural passes through the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga was the gateway to the deep South. The Union army's objective — to capture and destroy the Confederacy's industrial centers in central Georgia and central Alabama – could not be accomplished without securing Chattanooga. Throughout the fall of 1863, the Blue and the Gray clashed in bloody contests for control of Chattanooga.

In the early fall of 1863, Federal commander Major General William S. Rosecrans planned a three-column attack on the city where General Braxton Bragg's Confederate army guarded the railroad crossing. While Rosecrans and Major General Thomas L. Crittenden's columns maneuvered to confuse Bragg as to the Federals' true point of attack, the real threat was a third column made up of Major General George H. Thomas' 14th Corps and Major General Alexander McDowell McCook's 20th Corps. They moved up from the west and south to threaten the Western & Atlantic Railroad. Recognizing that his supply line was in peril, Bragg pulled his forces out of Chattanooga by September 9 and withdrew to LaFayette, Georgia, where they met reinforcements from Virginia and Mississippi. With the Union Army vulnerable — split into three columns and spread dangerously thin over 40 miles — Bragg decided to attack. His first opportunity occurred here, in McLemore Cove, September 9 - 11, 1863.

Confederate Plan of Attack, September 9 – 10, 1863


McLemore Cove is a sheltered valley located between the long finger of Lookout Mountain and the thumb-like spur of Pigeon Mountain. On September 9, the advance elements of the Federal 14th Corps, under the command of Major General James S. Negley, moved through the Cove toward Dug Gap in Pigeon Mountain directly in front of you. As they moved deeper into the Cove, Negley's forces risked being cut off from the rest of the 14th Corps, still on the western side of Lookout Mountain.

Confederate General Braxton Bragg acted quickly. He assigned Lieutenant General Daniel H. Hill and Major General Thomas C. Hindman to assault Negley's isolated force. Bragg ordered Hill to attack westward from Dug Gap while Hindman attacked south from his position at Lee and Gordon's Mill along the Chickamauga Creek. Bragg intended to corner Negley's division in the natural cul-de-sac of McLemore Cove and destroy it. Since Hill and Hindman's forces outnumbered Negley's by three to one, Confederate prospects for success seemed excellent.

Opportunity Lost, September 10-11, 1863


Map of the battle
Despite stout resistance by Confederate cavalrymen on the morning of September 10, Union Major General James Negley was able to deploy his men into a line of battle east of Davis' Crossroads (a few yards in front of you). However, the Federals prepared for an infantry attack that never materialized. The Confederate commanders stalled and vacillated, unable to coordinate an assault. Disappointed but still determined to strike the enemy, Confederate General Braxton Bragg sent orders the night of September 10 for a coordinated attack between Generals Hindman and Hill to begin as early as possible the next morning. The next day, as Hill's men (Patrick Cleburne's Confederate cavalry division) lay waiting in Dug Gap. Hindman again delayed his advance, wasting precious time by reorganizing his order of march. In the meantime, the Federals sent up reinforcements to relieve Negley's position. With fresh troops Negley set up a new line, supported by artillery, west of Davis' Cross Roads.

Finally, at 4 PM on September 11, Hindman and Hill attacked. Despite Confederate artillery fire that was "well-directed and terrific," Negley disengaged his forces and fell back in good order to Bailey's Cross Roads, where he set up another strong defensive position. The Confederates had waited too long. By the morning of September 12, all four divisions of Union General George H. Thomas' 14th corps occupied the Cove and Bragg's opportunity was lost. Frustrated, Bragg ordered his forces out of the Cove.

One week later, Bragg would take on Rosecrans' entire Union Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Chickamauga.

[This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.]
[The authors are the Civil War Preservation Trust.]


Name of Battle:
Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove - also known as - Skirmish at Davis Cross Roads


Name of War: American Civil War

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Parking: N 34° 45.145 W 085° 21.246

Date(s) of Battle (Beginning): 9/10/1863

Date of Battle (End): 9/11/1863

Visit Instructions:
Post a photo of you and/or your GPS in front of a sign or marker posted at the site of the battle.

In addition it is encouraged to take a few photos two of the surrounding area and interesting features at the site.
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Lat34North visited Skirmish at McLemore’s Cove - Chickamauga, GA 1/5/2011 Lat34North visited it