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.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Troop distribution on the Tennessee River | Pat Cleburne's Division

In the retreat from Tullahoma, Patrick Cleburne’s Division, in which Great Grandfather Oakes served, led the Army of Tennessee southward off the Cumberland Plateau, down the north bank of the Tennessee River, where it went into bivouac. The army reached the vicinity of Chattanooga by July 7. 

After arrival, Gen. Hardee turned over temporary command of the corps to Gen. Cleburne, while he left for Chattanooga for discussions with Bragg. On July 6 and 7, Cleburne coordinated the crossing of the river on the pontoon bridge at Kelly’s Ford, about 9 miles west of Chattanooga in Lookout Valley. He will distribute the corps along the line of the Knoxville Railroad, with Tyner's Station as the center.

Over the next week, the corps will move in stages by rail from Loudon to Chattanooga, then to Tyner’s Station east of the city. By August 1, Wood’s Brigade, including my great grandfather's 32nd Mississippi Infantry, will move further east to Harrison’s Landing, 12 miles upriver.

Sources: Stonewall of the West, Craig L. Symonds; The Army of the Cumberland, Henry Martyn Cist; Huntsville Historical Review, Vol 26, No. 2. 1999: Transcription of Capt. Daniel Coleman Diary, Univ. North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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