Breakthrough at Brotherton cabin

Situation overview:20 September 1863 11:00am:General William S. Rosecrans was trying to move his men north along the Lafayette Road to Chattanooga, which was protected from Rebel assault by entrenched Yankees Bragg launched a wave of attacks against the northern end of the Yankee entrenchments, looking for a weak spot in General George Thomas's line. General James Longstreet was preparing to do the same at the southern end of the Yankee line..

General James Longstreet [CS Bragg] was not the same type of fighter that Bragg tried to be. Rather than sending division after division at a fortified position, Longstreet amassed his army aiming at a single point (the Brotherton cabin). He had relied heavily on a secret weapon -- Tom Brotherton -- a Confederate officer who lived in the cabin before joining the army and knew the topographic features of the area.

Brotherton cabin was an excellent choice for the attack -- No nearby high ground, no creeks or rivers to impede the advance and some roads that could make it easier to move wagons forward. It also was directly in front of the Widow Glenn's house, where Major General William S. Rosecrans [US Lincoln] had set up headquarters after moving north from the town of Chickamauga. Longstreet's Corps, along with Bushrod Johnson's [CS Hood] men had moved into position directly in front of Thomas Wood [US] and began to drive forward just as Wood's men pulled back. The result was devastating.

As the attack rolled past the Yankee line there was little to stop the gray juggernaut. Thousands of men poured through a hole less than three hundred yards wide, widening it as they moved west. Line officers closely followed their men, and staff officers were not far behind. As General John B. Hood advanced he moved his division north to protect the Rebel flank.

John Brannan had been trying to stabilize the Union troops near the breakthrough and he called on John Croxton [US Thomas] to help. Croxton organized what best could be described as a resistance, antagonizing Henry Benning and his Georgians into action. They formed a line and began to move against Croxton. During the advance a bullet shattered Croxton's leg and his men joined the retreat north.

Of the staff officers closest to the breakthrough General Tom Crittenden was first to try and organize a line, but he was quickly forced to withdraw to a ridge where Union artillery had begun to answer the Rebel charge. As the center of the Rebel line completely crossed LaFayette Road, General Longstreet rode south and ordered additional attacks by Deas and Arthur Manigault.

Front
Introduction
Prelude (December, 1862 - September, 1863)
The Day Before (September 18, 1863)
First Contact
Early Fighting
The Conflict Widens
A Battleline is Drawn
A Bad Start
Rosecrans Moves North
Breakthrough at the Brotherton Cabin
Counterattack
Granger Reinforces Thomas




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