In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

To Murfreesboro in 1862

Only days after retreating back to East Tennessee from its Kentucky Campaign, the Army of Mississippi was on the move again on this date in 1862. Gen. Braxton Bragg, having departed for Richmond, left to Gen. Leonidas Polk the task of moving the army toward Nashville.

Heading south, the army moved through the gorge of Sand Mountain and then down the Tennessee River to Bridgeport, Alabama. At Bridgeport, the men were ferried across the river and put on trains again, headed north, up the Crow Creek gorge, through the Cumberland Mountain tunnel and into middle Tennessee. Their destination was the Stone's River Valley, only 30 miles south of the Federal bastion at Nashville.

Bragg's army will join forces with Gen. Breckinridge's Division, which Bragg had sent ahead without authorization from Richmond, and encamp around Murfreesboro, with its target in sight: William S. Rosecrans's army at Nashville. The 2 opposing armies will face one another again after chasing and fighting each other all year.

Red dotted line is Bragg's line of retreat to Murfreesboro
Source: Source: Civil War Maps by Hal Jespersen

Source:  Autumn of Glory: The Army of Tennessee 1862-1865, Thomas Lawrence Connely

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