Chattanooga Campaign

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CHATTANOOGA CAMPAIGN (October–November 1863). After his victory at Vicksburg in July, Union General U. S. Grant advanced his army slowly eastward. In September, W. S. Rosecrans's Union army was defeated at Chickamauga. Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga, endured the siege of Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg, and awaited Grant's assistance. Grant, placed in general command of all Union forces in the West, replaced Rosecrans with G. H. Thomas and instructed him to hold Chattanooga against Bragg's siege "at all hazards." Food was running short and supply lines were constantly interrupted. Grant's first act was to open a new and protected line of supply, via Brown's Ferry. Reinforcements arrived. Vigorous action turned the tables on Bragg, whose only act was to weaken himself unnecessarily by detaching General James Longstreet on a fruitless expedition to capture Knoxville. Bragg then awaited Grant's next move. President Jefferson Davis visited the army and tried, unsuccessfully, to restore confidence.

On 24 November 1863 Union General Joseph Hooker captured Lookout Mountain on the left of Bragg's line. The next day Grant attacked all along the line. The Confederate center on Missionary Ridge gave way; the left had retreated; only the right held firm and covered the retreat southward into northern Georgia. A brilliant rear-guard stand at Ringgold Gap halted Grant's pursuit. The Union troops returned to Chattanooga; the Confederate Army went into winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia.


Cozzens, Peter. The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

McDonough, James L. Chattanooga: A Death Grip on the Confederacy. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1984.

Sword, Wiley. Mountains Touched with Fire: Chattanooga Besieged, 1863. New York: St. Martin's, 1995.

Thomas RobsonHay/a. r.

See alsoChickamauga, Battle of ; Civil War ; Lookout Mountain, Battle on ; Vicksburg in the Civil War .

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Chattanooga campaign

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