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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Great Grandfather Oakes turns 18

On today's date in 1863, my great grandfather, Nathan R. Oakes, a private in the Confederate Army of Tennessee, turned 18 years of age. Having enlisted in March 1862, Pvt. Oakes served in the 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment under Col. Mark P. Lowrey, in Patrick R. Cleburne's Division. To date he has seen action at Perryville, Murfreesboro, and Tullahoma. Within a month he will be in the midst of severe fighting on the Chickamauga battlefield.

Today though, Great Grandfather Oakes is stationed with his regiment at Blythe’s Ferry on the Tennessee River, building defensive entrenchments and digging rifle pits. The nervous troops are being observed by enemy cavalry scouts from the opposite side of the river.

Also on this date in 1863, Federals began firing on Chattanooga. Thirty miles upriver the enemy has also appeared across from Cleburne's Division. To counter the Federal movement, Gen. Cleburne distributed his remaining troops at Tyner's Station to guard every crossing from the mouth of the Chickamauga, 2 miles above Chattanooga, to Blythe's Ferry. Various units of his division along the river will engage the enemy in skirmishes over the next few days. Everyone expects that major fighting will start soon.

Sources: Company Reports of the 32nd Regiment; Official Records, Vol. 30, Pt. 4

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