Chickamauga Campaign Heritage Trail
Glass's Mill was a multi-story frame structure that stood on the southeastern bank of West Chickamauga Creek about two miles from Crawfish Spring, providing the grain grinding needs for a number of families living in the surrounding area. Glass's Mill ford located a short distance downstream from the mill, was one of the major crossing places on the creek, and the road was heavily traveled.
"At daylight of the 18th," Confederate division commander Major-General John C. Breckinridge, in D. H. Hill's Corps, wrote, "my command moved from Catlett's Gap and that neighborhood in the Pigeon Mountain, and the same afternoon took position on the east bank of the Chickamauga, near Glass's Mill."
On the west side of the creek, at 2:00 A.M. on September 19th General Beatty's Brigade relieved Colonel Grose. At daylight the skirmishers of Helm's Brigade of Breckinridge's Division advanced from Glass's Mill and engaged the skirmishers of Beatty's Brigade midway between the lines. Soon after five pieces of Cobb's and next four pieces of Slocomb's Battery of that brigade, supported by his infantry, took position on the west side of the creek near the mill. The batteries opened fire and were responded to by Bridges' Battery this line, soon reinforced by three pieces from Battery M, 1st Ohio, of Stanley's Brigade of Negley's Division. The fighting was confined to the batteries and the skirmishers, and continued about three hours, when Helm's Brigade was withdrawn to the east bank of the creek and marched towards the Confederate right. About 5 o'clock p.m. Beatty's Brigade was withdrawn to Crawfish Spring to join the rest of Negley's Division.
There was some brief activity near Glass's Mill on the following day, September 20. General George Crook, with the Cavalry Corps, reported that: "At this point [Crawfish Spring] I found General Mitchell, who ordered me to take post at once in front of the fords of the Chickamauga and to hold that point at all hazards. The only point I could occupy was a thick, rocky woods with heavy underbrush. The enemy were already across the river occupying a very strong position. About 11 o'clock I was attacked by Hindman's Division of infantry, a battalion of sharpshooters, and a large body of cavalry. They drove us back steadily, contesting every inch of ground, about 200 yards, where we held our ground. At this time I received an order from General Mitchell to fall back to the hospital, 1 miles distant."
Glass's Mill continued to function for many years. When Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was created in 1890, the veterans identified the road from Crawfish Spring to Glass's Mill as one of the important approaches to the battlefield. The Park Commission purchased the right-of-way of the road, maintained it, and erected one or more cast-iron tablets to commemorate the role of the forces engaged at Glass's Mill. At some point, probably in the 1930's, ownership and control of the approach road was returned to Walker County.
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