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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A brief truce

Beginning on today's date in 1863, the opposing sides reached a temporary truce for a couple of days in order to recover Federal soldiers who had been wounded in the Battle of Chickamauga. Gen. Braxton Bragg allowed a train of ambulances and hospital supplies to relieve thousands of wounded soldiers that were now under control of the Confederates. It was both a humane decision and also a way to shift the burden of care for the wounded to the Federal army at Chattanooga.

The truce also provided an opportunity for soldiers on both sides to meet and interact with their opponents. A general understanding soon spread throughout the lines that soldiers on picket wouldn't fire on their counterparts unless provoked into a fight. Common soldiers took the opportunity to trade for coffee and tobacco, share newspapers, and exchange information. Some even played games together.

Whatever the scene in the informal "neutral zone" along the lines, there was no truce between the artillery batteries of the opposing sides. Guns continued to roar back and forth, constantly reminding the soldiers of a looming battle.

Source: Mountains Touched With Fire, Wiley Sword

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