History of the 42nd Indiana at Chickamauga


Source: Indiana at Chickamauga 1863. Report of the Indiana Commissioners, Chickamauga
 National Military Park
. Sentinel Printing Co., Indianapolis, 1900.  pp 184-186.

The 42nd Indiana Monument at Chickamauga
at McDonald House North, 1895


42nd Indiana Monument at Chickamauga - July, 1999
Note: The small stone visible to the left and back of the 42nd monument is
 the William M. Cockrum stone (see below for details)

Picture Courtesy of Dan Reigle

    The Forty-second Indiana reached Crawfish Springs in the afternoon of Friday, September 18, 1863, and went into bivouac with its brigade (First), commanded by Brig.-Gen. John Beatty, Second Division (Negley's), Fourteenth Corps (Thomas). About midnight of the 18th General Beatty was ordered to move to Glass' Mill, where there was a ford over the Chickamauga, about two miles in a south-easterly course from Crawfish Springs. This movement was made to relieve Colonel Grose's Brigade of the Second Division, Twenty-first Corps, then on duty guarding this ford, so that Grose's Brigade might rejoin its corps, then in position at Lee & Gordon's Mill, and extending northward along the Lafayette road as far as the Poe field, ready for the formation in line of battle on the morning of the 19th. Beatty's Brigade was in position in line on the higher ground on the west of Chickamauga Creek about 2 a.m. of the 19th, with a strong line of skirmishers in their front extending northward and southward along the creek. In this line when formed was the Forty-second Indiana and the Eighty-eighth Indiana. Early Saturday morning September 19th the enemy advanced in strong force, crossing his skirmishers to the west side of Chickamauga Creek and engaging the skirmishers of Beatty. This position was maintained until about 11 a.m., when the enemy opened with artillery, and a sharp artillery duel took place between two Confederate batteries and the battery attached to Beatty's Brigade. Although the enemy made numerous efforts to move their line of battle across the Chickamauga he was unable to do so, and the Union lines were held intact during the day. After 5 p.m. General Beatty was ordered to retire his brigade, and in obedience thereto he withdrew his command and moved northward to Crawfish Springs and from thence northward until it had reached a position on the road running north on the west of the woods between the Brotherton field and the Tan Yard; here the brigade bivouacked south of the Brotherton and Dyer road for the night. On the morning of Sunday, September 20th, at an early hour in the morning, Beatty's Brigade was again in motion, moving northward toward its corps, then on the left of Rosecrans' Army. General Beatty reported direct with his command to Gen. George H. Thomas, and was ordered by him to go into position on the left of Baird's Division, which at that time was on the extreme left of the Union lines. Beatty's orders were to form at right angles to Baird's left, so as to be in readiness to meet any force of the enemy attempting to turn General Baird's left. General Beatty formed as ordered, Baird's line being on the east Kelly field line, extending north and south and facing eastward, while General Beatty's line extended east and west across the Lafayette and Chattanooga road, facing north. The position on this first line of the Forty-second Indiana was near to and south of where the Kentucky monument now stands at the Lafayette road, south of the McDonald house and farm. General Beatty said in his report that this was a good position and a good line with connections with Baird's line complete. Skirmishers were thrown out and scarcely was the formation completed, but about fifteen minutes having elapsed, when orders were received by General Beatty to advance his line to the McDonald house, a distance of full a quarter of a mile. The order was imperative, and was obeyed. In making this change it left a gap between the left of Baird's Division and Beatty's Brigade. True it was stated to General Beatty that General Negley would close the gap, but Negley did not close it. The Eighty-eighth Indiana being on the left of the line and west of the road, moved up into its new position without much difficulty; its hard work was to come later. The Forty-second Regiment met with strong opposition from the enemy in getting into its position. The enemy was now pushing his lines in the attempt to envelope the left of Rosecrans' Army and get possession of the Chattanooga road, and so cut off the Union Army from Chattanooga. The two regiments on the right of the Forty-second Indiana were attacked by such heavy lines that they were compelled to halt in their advance and were finally forced back by the heavy assaults of the enemy, but contesting the ground as they retired. When the right was forced back it left a gap on the right of the Forty-second Indiana then heavily engaged with a force in its front. The enemy at this critical time then attempted to press in behind the right of the Forty-second, and then with this force in front, on the right and in the rear to capture or destroy the Forty-second. General Beatty seeing the beginning of this movement and realizing what it meant, quickly got his artillery into position and opened on the enemy's lines with grape and canister with such vigor that their troops were driven back in disorder. When this was done it gave Colonel McIntire, commanding the Forty-second, an opportunity to fight his way to the left, which he did, joining his left with the Eighty-eighth Indiana. The battle now raged along the lines about the McDonald house with great fury. The men of this regiment were suffering terribly in the storm and many of their men were falling. It was at this critical moment, and in the midst of the hardest of the fight about the McDonald house that Capt. W. M. Cockrum, afterward Lieutenant-Colonel, of the Forty-second Regiment was most severely wounded, and from which wounds he lay where he fell until two days afterward, when he was taken in charge by the Confederate surgeons and finally was sent South a prisoner of war. Finally the lines being broken to the right and rear of the regiment, it was forced to make a detour and move backward, and they, with the Eighty-eighth Indiana, were soon engaged in supporting a battery, and were finally ordered to fall back toward Rossville. The regiment was placed on picket duty that night about a mile south of Rossville Gap. The next day (September 21st) the Forty-second Indiana with its brigade was formed in line of battle on Missionary Ridge, east of Rossville, and while holding this position were attacked by a brigade of Confederate Mounted Infantry, and after nearly an hour's hard fighting by the Forty-second Indiana and the Fifteenth Kentucky Infantry, the enemy were repulsed, and withdrew from the field leaving their dead and wounded. At 12 o'clock on the night of September 21st the Forty-second Indiana and the Fifteenth Kentucky were withdrawn and retired to Chattanooga. A monument is erected to commemorate the heroic and gallant service of this regiment on the east of the Lafayette road and just north of the McDonald house. The monument bears on the bronze tablet the following legend (on back of 42nd monument):


Lieut.-Col. W. T. B. McIntire.
First Brigade (John Beatty). 
Second Division (Negley).
Fourteenth Corps (Thomas).

    On September 19th this regiment was at Owen's Ford below Crawfish Springs, skirmishing all day to keep a Confederate division from crossing the Chickamauga. At 5 p.m. went to the relief of troops that were pressed near the Brotherton house. Lay west of the Brotherton field that night.
    Sunday, September 20th, at an early hour, with its brigade, moved north on the Lafayette road and reported to General Thomas; was ordered to a position on the left of General Baird; was then ordered to this position and was immediately attacked by troops of Breckinridge's Division with an overwhelming force. Having no support, fell back and re-formed on the hills west of this position, and thence withdrew to Rossville under orders from General Negley. Loss: Killed, 4; wounded, 52; missing, 53; total, 109.

Picture Taken July, 1999
Courtesy of Dan Reigle

A marker has been placed for the Forty-second Indiana, west of the Glenn and Kelly road, near the Tan Yard, and west of the Brotherton field. On the tablet is the following inscription:

Forty-second Regiment Infantry
First Brigade (J. Beatty).
Second Division (Negley).
Fourteenth Corps (Thomas).

Saturday, September 19, 1863, 6:30 p. m. 
until 7:30 a. m. Sunday, September 20, 1863.

Pictures Taken July, 1999
Courtesy of Dan Reigle

Also a marker east of the Lafayette road, Kelly field north, south of the McDonald house. Same form of tablet. The time-September 20, 1863, 8:45 a. m. to 9 a. m.

A marker has also been placed by the survivors of the Forty-second Indiana and authorized by the War Department, to mark the spot where Lieutenant-Colonel Cockrum fell, wounded on Sunday, September 20, 1863. This marker is south of the monument erected by the State to the regiment, between the monument and the McDonald house.

Picture Taken July, 1999
Courtesy of Dan Reigle

The Cockrum marker reads as follows:

September 20, 1863.
9:20 A.M.
Captain later Lieut. Col.
W. M. Cockrum
Forty Second Indiana Inf.
was desperately
wounded at this point.
Erected by the soldiers of  the
Forty Second Indiana Inf.


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