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.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cleburne's force on reconnaissance

In early June, Confederate General Braxton Bragg became concerned that his Union counterpart, Gen. Rosecrans, might be preparing to advance south in Tennessee or sending a portion of his army to Grant in Mississippi to add pressure to the beleaguered Confederate forces at Vicksburg.

On today's date in 1863, Bragg ordered a reconnaissance toward Murfreesboro by Hardee’s Corps to determine the enemy’s intention. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne, in whose division my great grandfather, Nathan Oakes served, moved 2 columns over a narrow muddy road in hard rain, through the 4-mile length of Hoover’s Gap, to within 4 miles of Murfreesboro. The gap was guarded by a regiment from Gen. John A. Wharton's Calvary Division, in which Great-Great Grandfather David C. Neal was serving. Cleburne's men drove in Federal pickets, had light skirmishes with the enemy, then returned to Wartrace the next day.

Source: Pat Cleburne: Confederate General, Howell and Elizabeth Purdue; Autumn of Glory: The Army of Tennessee, 1862-1865, Thomas Lawrence Connelly; Huntsville Historical Review, Vol 26, No. 2. 1999: Transcription of Capt. Daniel Coleman Diary, Univ. North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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