The Battle of Chickamauga involved a Confederate attempt to retake Chattanooga and its rail system after having been pushed out of the region in early September 1963. The counter-attack lead by General Braxton Bragg, with the Confederate Army of Tennessee, successfully overtook the Union Army and pushed them out of Chickamauga and into Chattanooga.
The battery was held in reserve and placed under the cover of the nearby woods until the second day of the battle, September 20th. On that day, the Douglas Battery rained cannonade upon the Union rail system and log barricades in coordination with two other batteries, Semple’s Alabama Battery and Calvert’s Arkansas Battery. Succeeding in pushing the Union back, one piece of Douglas Battery was moved to the top of a ridge and the others to the front, where they continued to support Polk’s brigade. One piece of the battery was moved all the way to the Chattanooga Road before their role in the battle was concluded.
Douglas Battery would go on to fight in General John Bell’s Atlanta Campaign. At the Battle of Atlanta, the Confederates were defeated but Douglas captured four 12-pound Napoleon guns and integrated them into the unit. Amazed at his prize he stated, “I have much the finest battery I have ever had and perhaps the finest in our army.1
This Confederate victory was followed by a defeat of Confederate forces near Nashville in December of 1864. Covering the Confederate Army’s retreat, the Douglas Battery was overrun by Union soldiers and forced to abandon all six guns to the enemy. “Our fight at Nashville was so humiliating a defeat, Douglas recalled, that I [choose to] not dwell upon it.1
The monument itself is a recreation and not original artillery that were part of the Douglas Battery. The monument was erected by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park Commission, less than 30 years following the Battle of Chattanooga. This is one of eight similar sites erected by the Commission in the region, each located on the backtrails beside and accessible along Alexander Bridge Road.