Historic Markers Across Georgia

Bailey's Crossroads

Marker ID: CHT 20
Location: On Georgia 193 at W Cove Rd, Chickamauga, GA
County: Walker
Coordinates: N 34° 46.247    W 085° 24.257
  34.77078333    -85.40428333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMAHAX
Bailey's Crossroads Marker  


At the base of Lookout Mountain, in 1863, there was a crossroads community known as Bailey's Crossroads. All three of these areas had considerable action during the Chickamauga Campaign in September 1863. The first of these to be entered by the Federal Army, however, was Bailey's Crossroads, and we will consider the action there first. Wiley Bailey lived here, and his father-in-law, William Hinnard operated a small store. The 1860 Federal Census shows that Bailey owned one young female slave and his father-in-law, William Hinnard, owned nine enslaved Africans. A neighbor named Amanuel Rogers owned a young female slave. In spite of being slave owners, they were loyal Union men who welcomed the coming of the Federal Army.

The first Federal Army troops to enter Bailey's Crossroads during the Chickamauga Campaign in September 1863 were elements of General James Negley's Division, the lead unit for General Thomas' 14th Army Corps. Disregarding intelligence reports that a full Confederate Corps was located just behind Pigeon Mountain, Negley pushed his division up rugged Lookout Mountain and down through Stephens' Gap on September 8. By the following day he had his men off the mountain at Bailey's Crossroads. The Federals camped on the Amauel Rogers farm, and Bailey and Rogers acted as spies for Negley.

"I am concentrating my division at this point," Negley reported, ''having selected strong positions in a concentric line, extending as far as Rodgers. My skirmishers are thrown forward to Bailey's Cross-Roads, occasionally exchanging shots with the enemy, who is in line of battle (about one regiment cavalry in sight) beyond Bailey's. Rosecrans was determined that his army would go on the attack. His Chief of Staff, General Garfield, issued these orders to Thomas: "The general commanding," Garfield wrote, "has ordered a general pursuit of the enemy by the whole army. General Crittenden has started to occupy Chattanooga and pursue the line of Bragg's retreat. Our force across the river from Chattanooga has been ordered to cross and join General Crittenden in the pursuit. General McCook has been ordered to move at once on Alpine and Summerville. The general commanding directs you to move your command as rapidly as possible to LaFayette and make every attempt to strike the enemy in flank, and, if possible, to cut off his escape."

Accepting the fact that he would have to move on LaFayette, Negley left Bailey's Crossroads around 10:00 a.m. on September 10, 1863. He met serious Confederate resistance at Davis' Crossroads and was forced to fall back to the foot of the mountain. At Bailey's Crossroads most of the Federal soldiers worked at constructing breastworks and digging rifle pits along a low ridge east of the Rogers farm. With the trains secure behind this strong defensive position, they bivouacked for the night. While Confederate losses are not known, Federal sources indicate that Negley's division lost around fifty men killed and wounded. The nightfall of September 11 brought an end to any serious fighting in the area around Bailey's Crossroads.

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail - Bailey's Crossroads #20


Bailey's Crossroads


This marker is part of the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail, Army of the Cumberland #20 - Bailey's Crossroads

For more information on the Battle of Chickamauga:
Civil War Historic Markers Across Georgia - Battle of Chickamauga
Wikipedia -