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The Battle of Taylor's Ridge

November 27, 1863 in Taylor's Ridge, Georgia

Union Forces Commanded by:
Brig. Gen. Peter J. Osterhaus
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - -

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- - - -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory


Gen. Braxton Bragg's retreat from Chattanooga carried his Army of Tennessee through Missionary Ridge to Ringgold, Georgia. On November 26th, he continued his southeastward withdrawal toward Dalton, leaving outside Ringgold a strong force, the division of Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne.
Lending Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's pursuit was Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas' Army of the Cumberland. That army's XII Corps, under Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, drove toward Cleburne's position by way of Rossville. While elements of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Army of of the Tennessee operated northeast of Ringgold against Confederate communications, part of Sherman's XV Corps marched to Ringgold to dislodge Bragg's rear guard and reopen the road to Dalton.
First to reach Ringgold, about 8:00 A.M. on the 27th, was the 1st Division/XV Corps of Brig. Gen. Peter J. Osterhuas'. Finding the Confederate strongly entrenched on Taylor's Ridge, below the town, the Prussian-born commander promptly attacked, driving in the skirmishers of Brig. Gen. Mark P. Lowrey's brigade. After an unsuccessful attempt to skirt the Confederate north flank, Osterhaus launched an offensive against the left, his men clambering up the steep ridge although doused by rifle and cannon fire. A Confederate counterattack finally halted the effort.
While the fighting raged, Hooker arrived and dispatched the division of Brig. Gen. John W. Geary to Osterhaus' aid. Geary in turn sent Col. William R. Creighton's brigade to the Prussian's left in another attempt to flank Cleburne from above. Bereft of artillery support, Creighton was mortally wounded and most of his men became casualties or fled. Soon afterward, another of Geary's brigades, under Col. George A. Cobham, formed behind Osterhaus' right, steadying tthe Union south flank. When that sector still seemed endangered, Geary threw in Col. David Ireland's brigade, which, in the division leader's words, compelled Cleburne "to recoil in the zenith of (Ireland's) audacious charge..."
The battle was decided early in the afternoon when several Union batteries, delayed in crossing West Chickamauga Creek, reached the field. Concentrating their fire against the Confederate left, the cannon swept the ridge and cleared the gorge outside Ringgold through which ran the Western & Atlantic Railroad. About 1:00 P.M., Cleburne's men began to waver. Soon afterward, Osterhaus' troops scaled the heights and Ireland's occupied the gorge, precipitating a general retreat.
The resumption of the Union pursuit proved short-lived. No longer considering Bragg's army a threat to Tennessee, grant soon shifted his attention to raising the Seige of Knoxville.
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