National Geographic : 1961 Apr
Victory at Chickamauga, then disaster HC HICKAMAUGA... was one of the most brilliant victories ever gained by the South, though, unfortunately, not decisive in its results..." Vizetelly re ported from the battlefield. The war swept from the East to the Mis sissippi in the last six months of 1863. Lee's thrust into Pennsylvania was stopped at Gettysburg the same day Grant took Vicks burg. In September, action erupted at Chat tanooga, key to eastern Tennessee. When Vizetelly arrived, Confederates had crossed Chickamauga Creek north of Lee and Gordon's Mills (above), and soon the armies grappled in earnest. Vizetelly scoured 480 the woods for a vantage point, but found none, "not being able to see more than a hun dred yards either way...." Similarly handi capped, Confederates still managed to drive the enemy back into Chattanooga and bottle them up. At the battle's height, Gen. John Bell Hood, one of the Confederates Vizetelly delighted in spraying with pure essence of chivalry, fell (right) when "an Enfield ball passed through his right thigh, smashing the bone to pieces...." Hard luck for "the Bayard of the Confederate army, literally sans peur et sans reproche... " The bewildered Confederate victor, Gen. Braxton Bragg, let Federal forces regroup ("You are a coward," stormed his subordinate, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest), and soon the Federals counterattacked, winning back what had been lost, and more.