Order of Battle
The organization of the armies that fought at Chickamauga is the most confusing and misunderstood of any major battle in the Civil War. Understanding the structure of the Union Army of the Cumberland is easy enough; it remained essentially unchanged throughout the campaign. However, the organization of the Confederate Army of Tennessee is consistently misunderstood and misrepresented. Chickamauga was the second largest battle of the war in terms of casualties, with only Gettysburg being larger, yet almost every source in print or on the web shows only the organization of the army on the second day of battle. They completely ignore the “formal” organization on the first savage day of the battle. In addition, they misplace an entire division and assign it to the wrong corps! Let that happen to Gettysburg and you'd hear the howls of outrage across the continent.
What follows is the most comprehensive and accurate order of battle for Chickamauga available in print or on the web. It is not perfect, and will be refined and updated as research continues. I’d love to go to the National Archives to continue the research one day!
Trying to piece together the strength of units that fought in a Civil War battle is a puzzle. A puzzle with pieces that are missing, don’t match, and there are even multiple pieces that are supposed to fit in the same place. Great battles such as Gettysburg, where the numbers are supposedly set in stone, are still open to interpretation. It’s not as easy as just opening a book and finding the exact numbers. In order to compare “apples to apples” for the two opposing forces you have to do some digging, and use a few mathematical equations and guesswork. Don’t let the last phrase scare you though. Even the most revered studies such as Livermore’s Numbers and Losses in the Civil War, that we take for granted with citing battle strengths, are a product of guesswork and mathematics when you actually look at the process behind it, not hard numbers gleaned from the Official Records.
A short description of each column is included in the respective Union and Confederate pages. The two armies had different methods of counting soldiers, but the closest that match are the Present For Duty numbers, or PFD. The equations I have used to get these numbers are in Steven Newton’s Lost for the Cause They work better for brigade level units and higher, but are still a good measure for regiments when nothing else is available.
Also, you can click on the name of the individual regiment for more information such as the unit commander, battle flags, sometimes more detailed soldier and casualty lists, as well as the sources for the information provided.
Union Order of Battle
Confederate Order of Battle
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