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The Chattanooga Campaign

The Chattanooga Campaign

Following the Battle of Stones River the armies of Braxton Bragg and William Rosecrans sat 30 miles apart in central Tennessee for six months idle except for cavalry raids on each others supply lines.  Bragg who had been defeated at Perryville and Stones River was now the most maligned general in the Confederacy. The soldiers of his Army of Tennessee resented his severe discipline his officers questioned his competence and the public despised him for his retreats. It was said that Bragg retreated whether he won or lost; a Confederate joke had it that he would never get to heaven because the moment he was invited to enter he would fall back.

As winter changed to spring Rosecrans too drew criticism–for his failure to take his Army of the Cumberland on the offensive. Despite goading from the Union high command it was not until June that Rosecrans bestirred himself. When he did to the surprise of many Rosecrans acted with boldness and confidence. Maneuvering skillfully he threatened to outflank Bragg and forced the Confederates to retreat again this time to Chattanooga.
Geography and the Southern rail system dictated that Chattanooga an otherwise unremarkable settlement of 3500 people play a key role in the War. But when the Federal troops closed around this transportation hub on September 6 186 the Confederates evacuated it without a fight. Again Bragg was outmaneuvered and had to move his army south or risk being cut off.
Convinced that the Confederates were fleeing Rosecrans swiftly pursued them into Georgia. But rather than retreat Bragg stood and fought at Chickamauga Creek inflicting a stunning blow and sending the Federals reeling. Bragg declined to pursue the Union army. His men were exhausted and both sides had suffered heavy casualties–the Rebels lost 18454 and the Yankees 16179 in the bloodiest two days of the War. When Rosecrans forces withdrew into Chattanooga Brag bottled them up and severed their supply lines imposing a state of siege.
Now it was Rosecrans turn to be discredited. Remarking that the general was stunned and confused like a duck hit on the head Lincoln relieved him of command and placed the perilous situation in the hands of the Norths most trusted leader Ulysses S. Grant. Losing no time Grant launched assaults that cleared the Confederates form their positions on the heights of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. The South would never recover from the loss of Chattanooga which brought Braggs dismissal and opened the gateway to the Confederate heartland.

 

Source:  Echoes of Glory Civil War Battle Atlas published by Time Life Books.

Battle Timeline Presents the timeline of the campaign from Sept 26 63
Battle Map Shows where the lines were.
Battles of Chattanooga Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge A very good description of these battles with a definite Union slant.  Taken from The Army Of The Cumberland By Henry M. Cist Brevet Brigadier-General U. S. V.
Campaign Summary Great campaign description written by a fine modern day historian.
The Cracker Line Operations One of the finest supply efforts in any war.
The Battle of Lookout Mountain Description of this part of the campaign.
The Battle of Missionary Ridge Description of one of the most famous battles in the war.
Missionary Ridge–Triune Disaster   From Reminiscences Of The Civil War ByJohn B. Gordon Maj. Gen. CSA

 


 

From The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion 

Summary of the Principal Events        

From the Official Records a list of the actions from Nov. 2 thru Nov. 27 186.

Order of Battle (Confederate)

The organization of the Confederate forces commanded by Braxton Bragg.

Order of Battle (Union)

The organization of the Union forces commanded by  U.S. Grant.

 

Official Reports

Union Reports
Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (Overall Chattanooga Campaign)
Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas (Overall Chattanooga Campaign)
Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman (Overall Chattanooga Campaign)
Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen (Action at Browns Ferry)

Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker (Action at Wauhatchie)
Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker (Overall Chattanooga Campaign)
Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs
(Action at Missionary Ridge)
Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan (Action at Missionary Ridge)
Brig. Gen. William F. Smith (Action at Browns Ferry)
Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas (Action at Browns Ferry)

Confederate Reports
Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne (Action at Missionary Ridge)
General Braxton Bragg (Action at Missionary Ridge)
Brig. Gen. E. McIver Law (Action at Browns Ferry)
Brig. Gen. John K. Jackson (Overall Chattanooga Campaign)

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