This study is a historical analysis of Major General Patrick R. Cleburne’s Division during the Battle of Chickamauga. Cleburne’s Division earned a reputation as one of the best divisions in either army. This reputation also carried with it lofty expectations. This study analyzes how Cleburne’s Division performed at Chickamauga and what the effects of its actions were on the overall outcome of the battle.
The Battle of Chickamauga has suffered its share of historical neglect. Fought in the forests and mountains of northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, the battle has not been immortalized by any stirring fictional works, nor has it inspired any feature films, but the story of the men who fought there is worth studying.
Cleburne’s Division did not distinguish itself at Chickamauga. It launched a confused, disjointed night attack to close out the first day of the battle, but determined leaders succeed in capturing their objectives. Day two of the battle saw Cleburne’s Division attack four hours late. It was quickly repulsed while suffering horrific casualties. While the Confederate left wing routed the Union Army, Cleburne’s Division nursed their wounds before finally advancing at sunset, as the Union withdrew from the battlefield.