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.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Rosecrans slowly prepares his army

Following the Battle of Murfreesboro/Stones River, December 31 through January 3, Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, commanding the renamed Army of the Cumberland, remained in the Murfreesboro area for nearly 6 months. To counter the Federals, Gen. Braxton Bragg, commander of the Army of Tennessee, established a fortified line along the Duck River from Shelbyville to Wartrace. On the Confederate right, infantry and artillery detachments guarded Liberty, Hoover's, and Bellbuckle gaps through the mountains. 

Rosecrans's superiors, fearing that Bragg might detach some of his own units to oppose Grant in Mississippi, pressured him throughout the winter and spring to attack the Confederates at Tullahoma. Rosecrans argued that if he attacked Bragg, Bragg would withdraw to Mississippi. Therefore, he reasoned, by not attacking Bragg in Tennessee, he actually was aiding Grant in Mississippi.

Rosecrans will finally yield to Washington's pressure, but not before June 24th, when he will begin moving his troops to begin the Tullahoma Campaign. He will force Bragg to withdraw to Chattanooga.

Source: The Army of Tennessee, Stanley F. Horn

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