Historic Markers Across Georgia

Crittenden's Corp at Lee and Gordon's Mills

Marker ID: CHT 
Location: at Lee and Gordon’s Mills on Red Belt Rd., Chickamauga, GA.
County: Walker
Coordinates: N 34° 53.005    W 085° 16.032
  34.88341666    -85.2672
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMAH36
Crittenden's Corp at Lee and Gordon's Mills Marker  


On September 11, the last Confederate forces withdrew around 4:30 PM across the creek to a stand of timber about a half mile east of the mills. Harker's Federals moved into position near the mills at that time.

After placing a "strong cordon of outposts and pickets" along the western side of the creek, the Federal Army occupied the site. Some of the soldiers explored the buildings around the mill complex. Colonel Emerson Opdyke, 125th Ohio Infantry Regiment, later wrote: "the mills here are good and there is a large amount of wheat stored but the rebels destroyed the machinery."

This advance party was joined at Lee and Gordon's Mills the next day by the other two divisions of General Thomas L. Crittenden's 21st Federal Army Corps. The divisions under General John M. Palmer and Horatio Van Cleve took up positions north of the mills, while Wood's brigades remained directly on the site. The 3rd Wisconsin Artillery Battery also arrived at the mills that afternoon. With orders from General Rosecrans on September 13th directing him "to try stoutly to maintain the position at Gordon's Mills, but if attacked by a superior force, to fall back slowly, resisting stoutly, to Rossville."

Throughout the day of September 12th, Confederate General Leonidas Polk received reports indicating a major Federal advance toward his position from the Lee and Gordon Mills area. Acting on the mistaken belief that he was facing an entire Federal corps, the Bishop general deployed his troops up a broad front facing northward. Nevertheless, except for a brief reconnaissance conducted by General Charles G. Harker with two regiments of the 14th, there was no further action of consequence in the vicinity of Lee and Gordon's Mills during the next few days. General Wood made his headquarters in James Lee's house, west of the mill, and his men remained in their fortified positions on the grounds.

The men of General Crittenden's corps remained in their fortified positions on the grounds of Lee and Gordon's Mills. Between 11 AM and noon on the 18th the advance of the Confederate skirmishers against the Federal right front began. Confederate infantry drove the Federal pickets back to the west side of West Chickamauga Creek, but made no effort at that time to follow the Federals across the stream.

Throughout the afternoon an artillery duel was fought. The Confederate infantry lay flat, and the Federal artillery shells did little damage. Many of the Federal shells, one Confederate officer, observed, passed over the heads of the prone infantrymen in burst in the rear. One ball, however, did strike the rear of Clarissa Hunt's house, piercing the wall, going through an inner wall and through another door before fragmenting.

That night, the Confederates crossed the creek in strength further north of the mills, and on the morning of September 19, the Battle of Chickamauga began. General Crittenden and the men of his corps were pulled north to join in the general fighting of the battle.

Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail - Crittenden's Corp at Lee and Gordon's Mills


Crittenden's Corp at Lee and Gordon's Mills


This marker is part of the Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail

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