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Maps of Chickamauga

Map Legend

The Battle
     The Campaign
     Sept. 18th, 1863
     Sept. 19th, 1863
     Sept. 20th, 1863

Then and Now

Order of Battle


Wargaming Chickamauga



Here is a quick legend defining the different military symbols and terrain features shown on the maps, as well as the concepts behind the size and placement of units, and measuring time on a Civil War battlefield.

1. Map Legend
2. Units
3. Time

Map Legend

skirmisher icon

Ten companies make up a regiment, and can consist of anywhere from 1-100 soldiers.  Most companies by 1863 had far less.  On the Chickamauga maps, this “company” icon is used to depict skirmishers and not necessarily individual companies.

infantry icon

The regiment was the basic maneuver element of both armies during the Civil War.  By late 1863 the average regiment in both armies was between 200 and 400 soldiers.  In both armies, two or more regiments were grouped together into a brigade.  Two or more brigades were formed into divisions.  Two or more divisions formed a corps, and two or more corps were grouped together to form an army.
Dismounted cavalry units that no longer have mounts, a common situation in the Confederate army, are represented by standard infantry icons.

mounted infantry icon

Mounted infantry was standard infantry mounted on horses or mules.  They did not ride or charge into combat, but rather used their mounts to travel to the battlefield, dismounted, and fought on foot.  Examples include the Lightning Brigade and the 39th Indiana Mounted Infantry.

cavalry icon

Cavalry was the eyes and ears of the army.  It was used to scout and gain information, as well as deny that information to the enemy cavalry.  They were used to delay the movements of the enemy, dismounting and fighting on foot.  If necessary, they would charge on horseback.

brigade icon

The brigade is a unit organization of two or more regiments.  The brigade icon is used on larger scale maps to show the rough position of units and the placement of the armies as a whole.  It is also used occasionally when the exact formation of a brigade is unknown, or unimportant.

artillery icon

Artillery was a major component of both Civil War armies.  Each icon represents a full battery unless otherwise noted.  If a battery is split up into sections, then the number of individual cannons represented by each icon is included in parentheses ( ).

building icon
crops Cultivated fields, either corn, wheat, or other planned crop.
fields Open or fallow fields that can range from grass to heavy underbrush.
cut forest Recenty cleared forest, with the trees and underbrush still present.
fences Fences
road icon
trail icon
woods icon
river icon
Streams and Rivers
black arrow
A black arrow indicates planned or purposeful movement under orders such as an attack, or an ordered retreat.
red arrow
A red arrow indicates unplanned movement, such as a disordered retreat or rout.


            A basic understanding of the use of the symbols on the map pages of this website is necessary for a good interpretation of the battle.  First, the regiment icons do not represent the real size and frontage of the unit in combat.  After taking into account casualties, stragglers, coffee coolers, and those detached under orders it would be almost impossible to determine the actual size of a unit at any one time during the battle.  However, some care was taken to insure that all the units are accurately sized in relation to one another.  What this means is, a 400 man regiment is going to have an icon that is twice as large as the icon of a 200 man regiment.  Even then, some variations were made in order to “fit” all the units necessary on the map.  For example, the Union lines around Kelly Field on the second day of the battle very tightly packed.  Making every icon an accurate size, fitting them on the map, and making them legible would be almost impossible. So, some compromises were made.  Overall, though, the look and basic positions of the units are accurate.

            On the brigade level maps, no attempt was made to represent actual brigade frontages or sizes.  The intent on the larger maps is to show an overview of the battle, instead of worrying about unit sizes.

      If you find the position of a unit to be inaccurate, please use the Contact Us page and let me know.  I’d love to see more research and am more than willing to change any errors.


Let's talk a little bit about the maps and the times listed on them.  First, keeping track of time was very subjective during the Civil War.  Few soldiers, or even officers, had watches.  Those officers that did have watches were generally higher level field officers; colonels and generals.  The watches were unreliable, not because of any poor construction, but because there was no standard time synchronization.  An officer might set his watch to a local town clock, or another officer, which in turn could be different from an officer in another unit.  Add to this the fact that the watch could run down and need rewinding before it slows down the hands and you can see the problems in everyone keeping track of the same time.  Now add to this the enemy and his attempts to keep track of time and report it, and you can see the problems with making a timeline for a battle and the units moving around on the field.

The times listed on the maps are approximates, based on the reports and writings of the two combatants in the opposing armies.  What is important is the chronology- the sequence in which events happened.  One regiment moving on the 10:45 AM map may have actually started moving at 10:33 AM and finished moving at 10:48 AM.  The important thing to consider is that when it moved, it moved after the events shown on the 11:30 AM map but before those on the 11:00 map.

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