Bataille de Chattanooga

Bataille de Chattanooga

Après les événements de Chickamauga, les forces confédérées de Braxton Bragg sont retournées dans la région de Chattanooga et ont pris position dans les collines au sud de la ville. Les approvisionnements étant coupés, il est apparu que les forces de l'Union pourraient faire face à la possibilité de mourir de faim.Chattanooga est devenu une priorité pour les planificateurs de guerre à Washington, qui ont envoyé Grant et une partie de sa force occidentale. Lookout Mountain est tombé aux mains des forces de l'Union dans la célèbre bataille au-dessus des nuages ​​avec le général Thomas Hooker performant. Missionary Ridge est tombé aux mains des efforts combinés de Philip Sheridan, William T. Sherman et George Thomas (dont les soldats cherchaient à se venger de la défaite précédente à Chickamauga). Les pertes confédérées ont totalisé 7 000 et l'Union, 6 000. Avec Chattanooga fermement entre les mains de l'Union, la porte a été ouverte pour une avance en Alabama et en Géorgie (qui deviendrait la punition de la Marche vers la mer de Sherman).


Guerre de Sécession : Bataille de Chattanooga

La bataille de Chattanooga s'est déroulée du 23 au 25 novembre 1864, pendant la guerre de Sécession (1861-1865). Après avoir été assiégée après sa défaite à la bataille de Chickamauga, l'armée de l'Union du Cumberland a été renforcée et revigorée par l'arrivée du major général Ulysses S. Grant. Après avoir rouvert les lignes d'approvisionnement de la ville, Grant a commencé une campagne pour repousser l'armée confédérée du Tennessee. Cela a culminé le 25 novembre lorsque les assauts de l'Union ont brisé les forces confédérées et les ont envoyées vers le sud en Géorgie.


Bataille de Chattanooga - Histoire

Les confédérés ont commencé un siège de l'Union occupée Chattanooga, mais l'Union a couru le renfort par chemin de fer et a défendu avec succès la ville. Ils ont mené la bataille contre les confédérés lorsque leurs forces sous le commandement du général Grant ont attaqué et capturé Look Out Mountain.


Après la bataille de Chickamauga, les confédérés ont commencé un siège de Chattanooga occupé par l'Union. Rosencrans a télégraphié à Washington que sans renforts, il serait incapable de le tenir très longtemps. Washington a donc donné au renforcement de Chattanooga sa plus haute priorité. La question était d'où les troupes pourraient être amenées pour sécuriser la mission. L'armée du Potomac était la réponse. Les chemins de fer étaient le véhicule. Dans un mouvement logistique remarquable, 20 000 hommes et tout leur équipement ont été transférés à Chattanooga en onze jours. Ce fut le mouvement de troupes le plus long et le plus rapide du XIXe siècle.

Cependant, l'envoi de troupes seul n'était pas suffisant. Il a été décidé qu'un nouveau commandant était également nécessaire. Ainsi, la Division du Mississippi a été créée, s'étendant du Mississippi aux Alleghenies. U.S. Grant a été nommé commandant de la nouvelle unité. Grant a eu la possibilité de maintenir Rosnecrans en tant que commandant de l'armée du Cumberland, ou de le remplacer. Grant a décidé de remplacer Cumberland par Sherman. Une fois arrivé à Chattanooga, le premier objectif de Grant était d'ouvrir la route d'approvisionnement vers Chattanooga. Grant l'a fait avec une action bien planifiée - dans laquelle, des éléments du corps avançant de Hooker, se sont combinés avec des troupes de Chattanooga pour s'emparer des passages de la rivière Tennessee près des montagnes Raccoon. Cela est devenu connu comme la ligne Cracker. Une fois cette action accomplie, les lignes d'approvisionnement ont été rétablies et les forces de Grant ont pu recommencer à recevoir des rations régulières.

Le succès futur de Grant a été encore aidé, par la dissension dans les rangs confédérés. Les subordonnés de Bragg ont tous demandé son renvoi. Le président confédéré Davis a été contraint de se rendre au siège de Bragg pour essayer de régler les différends. C'est une tâche qu'il n'a pas réussi à accomplir. La seule chose que Davis accomplit fut de recommander le détachement de Longstreet pour reconquérir le quartier général de Little Rock.ilitia à Booneville. La milice a été mise en déroute et les unionistes contrôlaient fermement l'État.

Avec le départ de Longstreet, l'élan s'est déplacé inextricablement vers Grant. À la mi-novembre, Sherman était arrivé de Vicksburg avec 17 000 hommes supplémentaires. Grant ordonna à Burnside, qui se trouvait à l'extérieur de Little Rock, d'occuper Longstreet le plus longtemps possible. C'est ce qu'il a fait, en évitant la bataille et en forçant à la place Longstreet à commencer un siège de la ville.

Grant était maintenant prêt à attaquer les forces confédérées qui l'entouraient à Chattanooga. Son plan prévoyait une attaque sur les deux flancs des lignes confédérées, tout en utilisant les forces récemment défaites de Thomas comme une simple feinte au centre. Ainsi, le 24 novembre, les forces de Hooker attaquèrent Lookout Mountain. Avec des pertes relativement légères (moins de 500 soldats tués), les forces de Hooker ont réussi à gravir Lookout Mountain.

Les forces Sherman, en revanche, avaient plus de mal. Le 24, ils remontèrent avec succès l'autre extrémité des lignes confédérées, seulement pour découvrir qu'il ne faisait pas partie de Missionary Ridge, mais d'une colline séparée. Le lendemain matin, le 25, les forces de Sherman ont tenté d'attaquer la fin de Mission Ridge, avec peu de succès. Enfin, un Grant exaspéré ordonna aux forces de Thomas de faire un assaut limité au centre, pour soulager une partie de la pression sur Sherman. L'assaut des vétérans de Chickamauga a réussi au-delà de toute attente. Les forces de Thomas ont sprinté dans la plaine ouverte, directement sur la première ligne des forces confédérées et les ont surmontées rapidement. Grant, et les autres commandants qui regardaient d'en bas à Orchard Knob, ont été choqués de voir les soldats de l'Union avancer depuis la première ligne de fortification confédérée et se diriger directement vers la colline sans ordre. Les défenseurs ont été également choqués et se sont repliés dans un désarroi total. En quelques minutes, toutes les positions confédérées étaient envahies et Missionary Ridge était aux mains de l'Union. Les forces confédérées se retirent de près de 30 milles en direction d'Atlanta.


Bataille de Chattanooga

Pas besoin de chercher bien loin pour trouver des traces de Patrick Cleburne dans le Tennessee.

Pure Chaos : les subordonnés de Braxton Bragg ont saboté la victoire à Chickamauga

Fait révélateur, après la victoire durement gagnée des confédérés à Chickamauga, les principaux subordonnés de Braxton Bragg ont demandé à Davis de le relever de son commandement. .

Héros méconnus: 10 généraux de l'Union qui ont gagné sans tous les gros titres

Il doit y avoir plus d'historiens de la guerre civile qu'il n'y avait de généraux qui la combattaient », a déclaré David Herbert Donald dans son livre Lincoln Reconsidered : Essays on the Civil War Era, ajoutant sèchement : « Des deux groupes, les historiens sont les.

La guerre dans leurs mots : ‘No Man Wavered’

La 1ère brigade confédérée du Missouri a payé un prix élevé à Allatoona Pass et Franklin Dans la préface de In Deadly Earnest, Phil Gottschalk's 1991's history of the 1st Missouri Brigade, C.S.A., Ed Bearss, historien en chef à la retraite de la.

Critique de livre CWT : la campagne Chattanooga

La campagne de Chattanooga Édité par Steven E. Woodworth et Charles D. Grear, Southern Illinois University Press Les entrées de ce nouvel hommage précieux à la campagne de Chattanooga de 1863 fournissent une contribution essentielle à une série d'événements.

Ambrose Bierce et les histoires de la première grande guerre des États-Unis

L'auteur et vétéran de la guerre civile Ambrose Bierce a écrit sur une guerre horrible, et non sur la version romancée que l'on trouve dans la plupart des écrits de ses collègues vétérans. Sa guerre était menée au plus profond de la conscience du soldat individuel et était souvent masquée.

Ressources : août/septembre 2009

P. 22, Military Manuals of the Civil War Lisez An Elementary Treatise on Advanced-Guard, Out-posts… de Dennis Hart Mahan en ligne avec Google Book Search. P. 24, Field Guide Daryl Black a récemment été nommé directeur exécutif du.

Trompé pendant la guerre civile américaine : déception militaire de l'Union

Trompé pendant la guerre civile : tromperie militaire de l'Union.

Le capitaine de l'Union Judson Kilpatrick

Garçon de ferme inconnu, il a fréquenté West Point. Intimiste, il avait une ribambelle de maîtresses. Commandant inepte, il est devenu général de division. Quel était le secret de Judson Kilpatrick.

Critique de livre: Echoes of Battle: The Struggle for Chattanooga (Richard A. Baumgartner.

ÉCHOS DE BATAILLE : LA LUTTE POUR CHATTANOOGA Echos de bataille : La lutte pour Chattanooga, par Richard A. Baumgartner et Larry M. Strayer, Blue Acorn, Huntington, Virginie-Occidentale, 43,75 $. Comptes de 450 soldats de l'Union et confédérés.

Guerre civile américaine : mars 2000 de l'éditeur

De l'éditeur America's Civil War Ulysses S. Grant pourrait remercier le secrétaire adjoint à la guerre Charles A. Dana pour son nouveau commandement à Chattanooga. Lorsque le major-général Ulysses S. Grant est arrivé à Chattanooga pour prendre le commandement de l'Union assiégée.


Une photo de Chattanooga, TN, prise par George N. Barnard alors qu'il accompagnait le général Sherman lors de sa campagne d'Atlanta. Voir le document source original : WHI 79118

Les hommes nettoient les ruines d'une maison après la bataille au-dessus des nuages. Voir le document source original : WHI 74487

Lieu : Chattanooga, Tennessee (Google Map)

Campagne : Campagne Chattanooga-Ringgold (novembre 1863)

Sommaire

Les forces de l'Union ont brisé le siège confédéré de Chattanooga le 25 novembre 1863, ouvrant la porte pour envahir le Grand Sud. La ville est devenue la base d'approvisionnement et de logistique pour prendre Atlanta, en Géorgie, en 1864.

À la fin de septembre 1863, les troupes de l'Union se sont retirées à travers les frontières de l'État jusqu'à Chattanooga, Tennessee, après leur défaite à la bataille de Chickamauga, en Géorgie. Pendant les huit semaines suivantes, ils ont été bloqués à l'intérieur de la ville, qui était un centre ferroviaire et maritime confédéré vital. Les renforts de l'Union arrivent le 20 novembre et, après deux jours de fortes pluies, la bataille de Chattanooga commence.

Dans l'après-midi du 23 novembre, les forces de l'Union avaient capturé les hauteurs d'Orchard Knob et utilisé la colline comme quartier général. Le lendemain, ils chassent les troupes confédérées de Lookout Mountain, au sud de la ville. Le brouillard a couvert les pentes pendant une grande partie de ce combat, lui donnant le surnom de « La bataille au-dessus des nuages ».

Le 25 novembre, les troupes de l'Union attaquent les confédérés retranchés sur Missionary Ridge, sur les hauteurs à l'est de la ville. Dans l'un des engagements les plus dramatiques de la guerre, un essaim de soldats chargea spontanément vers le haut et à travers les lignes ennemies. À la tombée de la nuit, ils poursuivent les troupes confédérées en retraite, capturant des centaines après un bref combat à Rossville Gap, à l'extrémité sud de Missionary Ridge. Lorsque les forces confédérées se retirèrent le 27 novembre 1863, les dirigeants de l'Union firent de Chattanooga la base de planification de la bataille d'Atlanta et du déplacement vers l'est à travers la Confédération en 1864.

Le rôle du Wisconsin

Quatorze unités du Wisconsin étaient actives dans et autour de Chattanooga : les 1er, 10e, 15e, 18e, 21e, 24e et 26e régiments d'infanterie du Wisconsin, les 3e, 5e, 6e, 8e, 10e et 12e batteries d'artillerie légère du Wisconsin et le 1er Wisconsin Artillerie lourde.

Liens pour en savoir plus
En savoir plus sur les expériences des unités du Wisconsin
Lire un récit détaillé de la bataille
Afficher les images associées
Afficher les documents originaux
Afficher les cartes de bataille

[Source : Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields (Washington, 1993) Estabrook, C. Records and Sketches of Military Organizations (Madison, 1914) Love, W. Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion (Madison, 1866).]


Chronologie du dernier jour

La bataille du 25 novembre

  1. Le 25 novembre 1863, la bataille finale commence avec Hooker signalant qu'il est prêt à 9 h 20. Thomas pousse Grant pour l'alerter de l'état de préparation de Hooker, tandis que des parties de l'armée de Sherman marchent toujours vers le nord sur la crête de Lookout Mountain.
  2. A 9h30, l'ordre est donné à Hooker de se déplacer.
  3. Hooker commence à bouger à 10h00.
  4. Toujours à 10h00, les troupes de Sherman commencent à attaquer à Tunnel Hill.
  5. Bragg rapporte le mouvement de Hooker à 11h00.
  6. Bragg reçoit un rapport sur l'activité à Chattanooga Creek à 12h30. et ordonne aux « premiers stringers » de s'y rendre.
  7. A 13h35. Hooker annonce qu'il a besoin d'une heure de plus pour terminer le pont sur le ruisseau Chickamauga, alors que Rossville Gap est sécurisé par l'Union.
  8. Également à 13 h 35, des tirs de fusil sont entendus par Grand et Thomas et sur la crête ainsi que Rossville Gap est sous le feu.
  9. Les hommes de Sherman prennent également Tunnel Hill depuis l'ouest à 13h35.
  10. Hooker commence à tirer des canons sur le ruisseau Chattanooga à 14h30.
  11. Au même moment, Grant revient du déjeuner pour entendre des tirs de canon venant du sud et suggère à Thomas de déplacer ses troupes vers les fosses de tir puis de s'arrêter.
  12. Le combat de Sherman conduit à la capture de prisonniers, alors il arrête.
  13. A 15h00 Hooker et d'autres dirigeants de l'Union poussent l'ennemi le long de l'arrière de la crête sans rencontrer d'opposition.
  14. De 15 h 15 à 15 h 30, les troupes de l'Union continuent de se déplacer depuis le sud-ouest, poursuivant le centre nord sans aucune opposition.
  15. À ce moment, Grant peut clairement entendre la bataille de la direction de Hooker et est clairement entendu répéter l'ordre à Thomas de se déplacer vers les fosses de fusil et de s'arrêter.
  16. Les confédérés paniqués fuient vers le milieu et le côté est de la crête alors que les hommes de Hooker sont à ses trousses à 15h40.
  17. Toujours à 15 h 40, six canons sont tirés des 4e et 14e corps de Thomas vers la crête.
  18. À 16 h 50, l'armée de l'Union se trouve maintenant directement derrière le quartier général de Bragg.
  19. Également à 16 h 50, l'une des divisions de Thomas franchit l'éperon de Sharp.
  20. A 17 heures, 2 000 confédérés sont faits prisonniers.
  21. Grant dit à Sherman d'attaquer également à 17h00.
  22. A 18h00, les deux versants convergent vers le sommet de la crête.
  23. Hooker fait la fête sur la crête.
  24. A la dernière heure, des hommes de l'Union sont tués, poursuivant l'ennemi dans l'obscurité.

Contenu

Situation militaire Modifier

Chattanooga était une plaque tournante ferroviaire vitale (avec des lignes allant au nord vers Nashville et Knoxville et au sud vers Atlanta) et un important centre de fabrication pour la production de fer et de charbon, situé sur la rivière navigable Tennessee. En septembre 1863, l'armée de l'Union du Cumberland dirigée par le major-général William S. Rosecrans exécuta une série de manœuvres qui forcèrent le général confédéré Braxton Bragg et son armée du Tennessee à abandonner Chattanooga et à se retirer dans le nord de la Géorgie. Rosecrans poursuit Bragg et les deux armées se heurtent à la bataille de Chickamauga les 19 et 20 septembre. Bragg a remporté une victoire majeure lorsqu'une brèche a été ouverte par erreur dans la ligne de l'Union et qu'une forte force d'assaut commandée par le lieutenant-général James Longstreet l'a traversée par hasard et a mis en déroute une bonne partie de l'armée de l'Union. Une position défensive déterminée du major-général George H. Thomas sur Snodgrass Hill a sauvé l'armée d'une destruction totale, ce qui lui a valu le surnom de "Rock of Chickamauga" et a permis à la plupart de l'armée de Rosecrans de se retirer à Chattanooga. Bragg n'a pas coupé les voies d'évacuation vers Chattanooga et n'a pas organisé de poursuite qui aurait pu sérieusement endommager l'armée de l'Union avant qu'elle ne puisse se regrouper et préparer ses défenses dans la ville. Les forces de l'Union ont profité des précédents travaux confédérés pour ériger de solides positions défensives dans un demi-cercle étroit de 3 milles de long autour de la ville. [8]

Bragg avait trois plans d'action. Il pouvait déborder Rosecrans en traversant le Tennessee au-dessous ou au-dessus de la ville, attaquer les forces de l'Union directement dans leurs fortifications ou affamer les fédéraux en établissant une ligne de siège. L'option d'accompagnement a été jugée impraticable parce que l'armée de Bragg était à court de munitions, ils n'avaient pas de pontons pour traverser la rivière et le corps de Longstreet de Virginie était arrivé à Chickamauga sans wagons. Un assaut direct était trop coûteux contre un ennemi bien fortifié. Recevant des informations selon lesquelles les hommes de Rosecrans n'avaient que six jours de rations, Bragg choisit l'option du siège, tout en essayant d'accumuler une capacité logistique suffisante pour traverser le Tennessee. [9]

L'armée de Bragg a assiégé la ville, menaçant d'affamer les forces de l'Union jusqu'à ce qu'elles se rendent. Les confédérés s'établirent sur Missionary Ridge et Lookout Mountain, qui offraient tous deux d'excellentes vues sur la ville, la rivière Tennessee coulant au nord de la ville et les lignes d'approvisionnement de l'Union. Bragg était également peu enclin à prendre des mesures offensives contre l'armée fédérale parce qu'il était occupé à des querelles de leadership au sein de son armée. Le 29 septembre, Bragg a relevé du commandement deux de ses subordonnés qui l'avaient déçu lors de la campagne de Chickamauga : le major-général Thomas C. Hindman (qui n'avait pas réussi à détruire une partie de l'armée de l'Union à McLemore's Cove) et le lieutenant-général Leonidas Polk (qui avait retardé l'attaque le 20 septembre à Chickamauga). Le 4 octobre, douze de ses plus hauts généraux envoyèrent une pétition au président confédéré Jefferson Davis, exigeant que Bragg soit relevé de son commandement. Davis a personnellement visité Chattanooga pour entendre les plaintes. Après avoir décidé de conserver le commandement de Bragg, Bragg a riposté contre certains de ces généraux en relevant le lieutenant-général D.H. Hill et le major-général Simon B. Buckner. [dix]

Capitaine George Lewis, 124e Ohio [11]

À Chattanooga, Rosecrans a été stupéfait par la défaite de son armée et est devenu psychologiquement incapable de prendre des mesures décisives pour lever le siège. [12] Le président Abraham Lincoln a fait remarquer que Rosecrans semblait " confus et abasourdi comme un canard frappé sur la tête ". [13] Les soldats de l'Union ont commencé à ressentir l'effet des rations extrêmement courtes et beaucoup de leurs chevaux et mulets sont morts. La seule ligne de ravitaillement qui n'était pas contrôlée par les confédérés était un rond-point, un parcours tortueux de près de 60 milles de long au-dessus de Walden's Ridge depuis Bridgeport, en Alabama. De fortes pluies ont commencé à tomber fin septembre, emportant de longs tronçons de routes de montagne. Le 1er octobre, la cavalerie confédérée du major-général Joseph Wheeler a intercepté et gravement endommagé un train de 800 wagons - brûlant des centaines de wagons et tirant ou sabrant des centaines de mules - au début de son raid d'octobre 1863 à travers le Tennessee pour rompre l'approvisionnement de Rosecrans ligne. Vers la fin octobre, les rations typiques des soldats fédéraux étaient « quatre galettes de pain dur et un quart de livre de porc » tous les trois jours. [14]

Siège de Grant et Thomas, 23 octobre.

Le haut commandement de l'Union a commencé des préparatifs immédiats pour soulager la ville. Quelques heures seulement après la défaite de Chickamauga, le secrétaire à la Guerre Edwin M. Stanton ordonna au major-général Joseph Hooker de se rendre à Chattanooga avec 20 000 hommes répartis en deux petits corps de l'armée du Potomac en Virginie. Même avant la défaite de l'Union, le major-général Ulysses S. Grant avait reçu l'ordre d'envoyer sa force disponible pour aider Rosecrans, et elle est partie sous les ordres de son chef subordonné, le major-général William T. Sherman, de Vicksburg, Mississippi. Le 29 septembre, Stanton a ordonné à Grant de se rendre lui-même à Chattanooga, [15] en tant que commandant de la division militaire du Mississippi nouvellement créée, amenant tout le territoire des Appalaches au fleuve Mississippi (et une grande partie de l'État de l'Arkansas) sous un seul commandant pour la première fois. Grant a eu la possibilité de remplacer les Rosecrans démoralisés par Thomas. Bien que Grant n'ait pas eu de bonnes relations personnelles avec Thomas, il avait précédemment déterminé qu'il « ne pouvait pas obliger [Rosecrans] à faire ce que je souhaitais » en tant que subordonné. Grant choisit Thomas pour commander l'armée du Cumberland. En entendant un rapport inexact selon lequel Rosecrans se préparait à abandonner Chattanooga, Grant télégraphia à Thomas : « Tenez Chattanooga à tous les risques. Je serai là dès que possible. » Le Rocher de Chickamauga répondit immédiatement : « Je tiendrai la ville jusqu'à ce que nous mourions de faim. Grant a voyagé sur les routes dangereuses de la ligne d'approvisionnement des montagnes et est arrivé à Chattanooga le 23 octobre. [16]

Réouverture de la rivière Tennessee Modifier

Ouverture de la ligne de crackers Modifier

L'ingénieur en chef de l'armée du Cumberland, le brigadier. Le général William F. "Baldy" Smith avait conçu un plan avec Rosecrans pour ouvrir une ligne de ravitaillement plus fiable aux troupes de Chattanooga. Le général Thomas mit le plan à exécution immédiatement après avoir pris le commandement. Smith a informé Grant immédiatement après l'arrivée du nouveau commandant et Grant a approuvé avec enthousiasme le plan. Brown's Ferry a traversé la rivière Tennessee depuis Moccasin Point où la route suivait une brèche à travers les contreforts, a tourné vers le sud à travers Lookout Valley jusqu'à la gare de Wauhatchie, puis vers l'ouest jusqu'à Kelley's Ferry, un point navigable sur le Tennessee qui pouvait être atteint par les bateaux de ravitaillement de l'Union. Si l'armée du Cumberland pouvait s'emparer de Brown's Ferry et rejoindre la force de Hooker arrivant de Bridgeport, en Alabama, via Lookout Valley, une ligne d'approvisionnement fiable et efficace - bientôt connue sous le nom de "Cracker Line" - serait ouverte. De plus, une force à Brown's Ferry menacerait le flanc droit de tout mouvement confédéré dans la vallée. [17]

Hooker a laissé le major-général Henry W. Slocum avec l'une de ses divisions du XIIe Corps pour garder la ligne de chemin de fer de Murfreesboro à Bridgeport. La division restante de Slocum, sous le commandement du brigadier. Le général John W. Geary et les deux divisions du XIe corps du major général Oliver O. Howard reçurent l'ordre de se déplacer rapidement vers Lookout Valley. Cependant, les conditions météorologiques ont retardé le mouvement, alors Grant a décidé d'aller de l'avant avec l'opération Brown's Ferry avant même que Hooker puisse arriver. Le plan de Smith pour l'assaut sur Brown's Ferry était d'envoyer la plupart d'une brigade (Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen's) voyager furtivement en aval sur des pontons et un radeau la nuit pour capturer l'écart et les collines sur la rive ouest du Tennessee tandis qu'un la deuxième brigade (celle du général de brigade John B. Turchin) a traversé Moccasin Point en soutien. [18]

Braxton Bragg n'avait aucune idée que cette opération était planifiée, mais il était au courant de la traversée imminente de la rivière par Hooker à Bridgeport, il était donc préoccupé par son flanc gauche. Il a ordonné à Longstreet de déplacer des unités supplémentaires dans Lookout Valley, mais, à l'insu de Bragg, l'ordre a été ignoré. De plus, le manque de diligence de Longstreet a permis aux confusions de commandement de ne laisser que deux régiments près de Brown's Ferry. [19]

Tôt le matin du 27 octobre, les hommes de Hazen flottaient inaperçus au-delà de la position confédérée sur Lookout Mountain, aidés par un faible brouillard et l'absence de clair de lune. Ils ont réussi à s'emparer du sol au-dessus de Brown's Ferry à 4 h 40. Une contre-attaque du 15th Alabama Infantry, commandée par le colonel William C. Oates (de la renommée de Little Round Top) a été repoussée et Oates a été blessé. Le commandant de la brigade d'Oates, le brigadier. Le général Evander M. Law place sa brigade en bloquant la route au-dessus de Lookout Mountain et rapporte le succès de l'Union à Longstreet. Longstreet a rejeté l'importance du rapport, considérant que la décision de l'Union n'était qu'une feinte, et n'a pas pris la peine de transmettre l'information à Bragg. Lorsque Bragg l'apprit, il ordonna à Longstreet de reprendre le terrain immédiatement, mais Longstreet encore une fois ne fit rien et les hommes de Smith passèrent la journée à consolider leur tête de pont sans interférence. [20]

La colonne de Hooker a traversé Lookout Valley et s'est jointe à Hazen et Turchin à Brown's Ferry à 15 h 45, le 28 octobre. "dans quelques jours pour être assez bien approvisionné." [21]

Modifier

Après avoir ignoré plusieurs ordres directs de Bragg d'attaquer Brown's Ferry, Longstreet reçut l'ordre de Bragg d'attaquer la concentration de Hooker à Wauhatchie à la place. Là, Hooker avait négligé d'organiser ses forces dans des positions défensives efficaces, leur demandant simplement de trouver une bonne couverture pour les troupes et le bivouac. Il a détaché le brigadier. La division du général John W. Geary à la gare de Wauhatchie, un arrêt sur le chemin de fer de Nashville et Chattanooga, pour protéger la ligne de communication vers le sud ainsi que la route vers l'ouest jusqu'à Kelley's Ferry. Longstreet fut stupéfait de voir les soldats bivouaquer de Geary avec leur grand wagon garé juste devant lui. [22]

Longstreet a ordonné une attaque de nuit, un événement relativement rare dans la guerre civile, [23] en utilisant seulement la brigade de Brig. Le général Evander M. Law et le brigadier. La division du général Micah Jenkins de Lookout Mountain, beaucoup moins de troupes que Bragg ne l'avait autorisé. L'attaque était prévue à 22 heures. le 28 octobre, mais la confusion l'a retardé jusqu'à minuit. Bien que Geary et ses officiers s'attendaient à une attaque et aient jeté des piquets de grève, sa soudaineté les a pris par surprise. Enveloppés du nord par la brigade du colonel John Bratton, les défenseurs de l'Union formèrent une ligne de bataille en forme de V, face au nord et à l'est. Le fils de Geary Edward, un lieutenant d'artillerie, a été tué dans la bataille, mourant dans les bras de son père. [24]

Entendant les bruits de la bataille, Hooker, à Brown's Ferry, envoya le major-général Oliver O. Howard avec deux divisions du XIe Corps en renfort. Les ordres de marche étaient confus et retardaient le mouvement. Hooker a déployé par erreur des unités des deux divisions du XIe Corps contre Law's et Brig. Les brigades du général Henry L. Benning, ne laissant personne pour secourir Geary. Les 2 000 hommes de Law étaient largement inférieurs en nombre à ceux de Hooker, mais la position au sommet de la colline était naturellement forte et plusieurs assauts vigoureux de l'Union furent repoussés. [25]

Recevant un rapport erroné selon lequel Bratton battait en retraite, Law décida de se retirer. Juste au moment où ses hommes quittaient leurs retranchements, la brigade du colonel Orland Smith (division du général de brigade Adolph von Steinwehr) s'est déversée sur eux, capturant quelques retardataires et dispersant un régiment qui n'a pas obtenu l'ordre de battre en retraite. Pendant ce temps, Hooker a accepté de laisser Howard se rendre à Wauhatchie avec de la cavalerie. Les hommes de Geary ont continué à tenir bon, même s'ils ont commencé à manquer de munitions. Juste au moment où Bratton commençait à sentir la victoire, il reçut une note de Jenkins pour battre en retraite parce que des renforts de l'Union arrivaient à ses arrières. Il se retira à Lookout Mountain, couvert avec succès par la brigade de Benning. [26]

Les deux parties avaient mal planifié la bataille. La négligence de Hooker à placer ses hommes les avait mis en danger. Grant était dégoûté de la performance de Hooker et envisagea de le soulager. Longstreet engagea trop peu d'hommes pour un assaut de cette importance et Bragg était également dégoûté de son subordonné. La biographe de Bragg, Judith L. Hallock, a écrit que Wauhatchie était, pour Longstreet, une "attaque mal conçue, mal planifiée et mal coordonnée" qui "a abouti à une pagaille". [27]

Longstreet part Modifier

La vue de Peter Cozzens, Le naufrage de leurs espoirs [28]

L'ouverture de la ligne de crackers a complètement changé la donne stratégique. Bragg savait que le siège était effectivement rompu. Considérant ses options - se retirer de la zone attaquant les fortifications de l'Union à Chattanooga en attendant que Grant attaque en essayant de contourner le flanc droit de Grant en essayant de contourner le flanc gauche de Grant - Bragg s'est rendu compte que le mouvement autour du flanc gauche de Grant était la seule option prometteuse. Cela lui permettrait potentiellement de rétablir une ligne d'approvisionnement ferroviaire supplémentaire (vers la Virginie via Knoxville) et d'unir ses forces avec environ 10 000 hommes opérant dans le sud-ouest de la Virginie sous le commandement du major-général Samuel Jones. Un obstacle à ce plan était l'opération de l'armée de l'Union de l'Ohio du major-général Ambrose Burnside, occupant actuellement Knoxville et bloquant le chemin de fer. Le 17 octobre, Bragg avait ordonné à la division du major-général Carter L. Stevenson et à deux brigades de cavalerie d'étendre son flanc droit vers Knoxville. Le 22 octobre, Bragg a ajouté la division de Brig. Le général John K. Jackson à l'expédition, portant le total à environ 11 000 hommes, et envisage d'envoyer également le commandant du corps de Stevenson, John C. Breckinridge. Début novembre, Bragg ordonna des renforts supplémentaires et modifia les ordres d'étendre simplement le flanc droit à repousser réellement Burnside loin de Knoxville et rétablir les communications avec la Virginie. [29]

Mais les événements en Virginie ont amené Bragg à changer son plan. Répondant à une suggestion du président Davis, Bragg a annoncé lors d'un conseil de guerre le 3 novembre qu'il envoyait Longstreet et ses deux divisions dans l'est du Tennessee pour s'occuper de Burnside, remplaçant la force Stevenson/Jackson. Davis avait suggéré Longstreet pour cette mission parce qu'il avait l'intention que les divisions de Longstreet retournent dans l'armée de Virginie du Nord à la fin de la campagne et Knoxville était sur la route du retour vers la Virginie. Face à une force ennemie en expansion rapide, Bragg choisit de diviser son armée et de diminuer sa force défensive nette d'environ 4 000 hommes (moins de 10 %) afin de faciliter le mouvement sur Knoxville. L'historien de la campagne Steven E. Woodworth a cependant jugé que « même la perte totale du nombre de bons soldats dans les divisions de Longstreet aurait été un gain pour l'armée en la débarrassant des querelles et des gaffes de leur général ». [30]

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Grant avait deux semaines après Wauhatchie avant l'arrivée de Sherman, et il chargea Thomas et Smith de la responsabilité de planifier un assaut contre Bragg, en commençant par une attaque de Sherman sur le flanc droit confédéré, soulignant qu'il n'approuverait le plan que lorsque Sherman eu l'occasion de l'examiner. Après une reconnaissance considérable, les deux généraux présentèrent leur plan le 14 novembre. Les troupes arrivées de Sherman utiliseraient des routes nouvellement améliorées pour traverser les collines au nord de Chattanooga, empruntant une route qui n'était pas visible depuis Lookout Mountain, espérant que Bragg ne saurait pas avec certitude si Sherman visait Chattanooga ou Knoxville. Smith assemblerait tous les bateaux et pontons disponibles pour permettre au corps de Sherman de traverser la rivière Tennessee près de l'embouchure du ruisseau South Chickamauga et d'attaquer le flanc droit de Bragg sur Missionary Ridge. Si l'attaque réussissait, l'Union contrôlerait les deux principales lignes de chemin de fer qui approvisionnaient l'armée de Bragg, le forçant à se retirer. L'armée de Thomas épinglerait simultanément le centre confédéré sur Missionary Ridge. Le plan prévoyait également que Hooker attaque et s'empare de Lookout Mountain, le flanc gauche de Bragg, et continue jusqu'à Rossville, où il serait positionné pour couper une retraite confédérée potentielle vers le sud. [31]

Sherman est arrivé avant ses troupes dans la soirée du 14 novembre. Il a observé la fin de Missionary Ridge qu'il était désigné pour attaquer et a fait remarquer qu'il pouvait la saisir avec succès avant 9 heures du matin le jour assigné. Grant a approuvé le plan de Thomas et Smith, bien qu'il ait retiré son soutien à l'attaque de Hooker sur Lookout Mountain, avec l'intention que la masse de son attaque soit celle de Sherman. Sherman's men were still a considerable distance from Chattanooga because they had been under orders from Halleck to repair the railroad as they marched the 330 miles from Vicksburg (an order countermanded by Grant on October 27) and their commander had ignored advice from Thomas that he march rapidly without the impediment of his trains, as Hooker had done. Although Grant had hoped to begin offensive operations on November 21, by November 20 only one of Sherman's brigades had crossed over Brown's Ferry and the attack had to be postponed. Grant was coming under pressure from Washington to react to Longstreet's advance against Burnside at Knoxville. [32]

Bragg, having dispatched most of his cavalry, had little means of gathering intelligence. He assumed that Sherman's corps would be heading toward his department's extreme right flank at Knoxville, not Chattanooga. Therefore, he believed that the main Union assault would occur on his left flank, Lookout Mountain. On November 12, Bragg placed Carter Stevenson in overall command for the defense of the mountain, with Stevenson's division placed on the summit. The brigades of Brig. Gens. John K. Jackson, Edward C. Walthall, and John C. Moore were placed on the "bench" of the mountain (a narrow and relatively flat shelf that wrapped around the northern end of the mountain approximately halfway to the summit). Jackson later wrote about the dissatisfaction of the commanders assigned to this area, "Indeed, it was agreed on all hands that the position was one extremely difficult to defense against a strong force of the enemy advancing under cover of a heavy fire." [33] Thomas L. Connelly, historian of the Army of Tennessee, wrote that despite the imposing appearance of Lookout Mountain, "the mountain's strength was a myth. . It was impossible to hold [the bench, which] was commanded by Federal artillery at Moccasin Bend." Although Stevenson placed an artillery battery on the crest of the mountain, the guns could not be depressed enough to reach the bench, which was accessible from numerous trails on the west side of the mountain. [34]

Dissatisfaction also prevailed in the Chattanooga Valley and on Missionary Ridge, where Breckinridge, commanding Bragg's center and right, had only 16,000 men to defend a line 5 miles long. Brick. Gen. Patton Anderson, whose division was assigned to the Confederate works along the western base of the ridge, wrote "This line of defense, following its sinuosities, was over two miles in length—nearly twice as long as a number of bayonets in the division could adequately defend." [35] Bragg exacerbated the situation on November 22 by ordering Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne to withdraw his and Simon B. Buckner's divisions from the line and march to Chickamauga Station, for railroad transport to Knoxville, removing 11,000 more men from the defense of Chattanooga. This move was apparently made because, as Grant had hoped, Bragg concluded that Sherman's troops were moving on to Knoxville, in which case Longstreet would need the reinforcements, for which he had been constantly clamoring since he was first given the assignment. [36]


Battle Of Chattanooga

Battle Of Chattanooga Facts
Emplacement: Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hamilton County
Dates: November 23-25, 1863
Generals: Union: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant | Confederate: Gen. Braxton Bragg
Soldiers Engaged: Union: 56,400 | Confederate: 46,200
Important Events:
Battle of Lookout Mountain
Battle Above the Clouds
Battle of Missionary Ridge
Cracker Line
Siege of Chattanooga
Outcome: Union Victory
Casualties: Union: 5,800 | Confederate: 6,700

Battle Of Chattanooga Summary: The Battle Of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was an important Union victory in the The Civil War. The city was a vital rail hub that, once taken, became the gateway for later campaigns in the Deep South, including the capture of Atlanta and Sherman’s March to the Sea. A Confederate soldier called the Battle of Chattanooga “the death knell of the Confederacy.”

Following the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, when Major General William S. Rosecrans’ Union Army of the Cumberland routed back into Chattanooga, General Braxton Bragg positioned his Confederate Army of Tennessee on the heights above the city: Lookout Mountain to the south, Missionary Ridge to the east, and—interdicting Union supply lines—on Raccoon Mountain to the west. Bragg did not have adequate troop strength, nor did he efficiently position the men he did have, to entirely cut the Army of the Cumberland off from resupply, but the siege was effective enough to starve to death hundreds of artillery horses in Chattanooga and to reduce the soldiers there to half rations.

Morale among Bragg’s soldiers had been diminished by his failure to follow up on their stunning victory on Chickamauga Creek it was similar to the Kentucky campaign of the previous autumn, when his men won a tactical victory at Perryville only to have Bragg order them to withdraw back into Tennessee. The thorny general’s abrasiveness and his actions after Chickamauga, or lack thereof, had also alienated many of his subordinates. Several of his key officers, buttressed by Lieutenant General James Longstreet, whose corps was on loan to Bragg from the Army of Northern Virginia, petitioned Confederate president Jefferson Davis to relieve Bragg of command.

In response, Davis visited the army’s headquarters in October but rather than relieving his old friend Bragg, Davis sided with him and relieved or reassigned several subordinate commanders. He also successfully urged Bragg to send Longstreet’s corps to capture Knoxville. All in all, the president’s visit served only to further reduce the morale and troop strength in the Army of Tennessee.

On October 18, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was given overall command of the Union armies in the west—the armies of the Tennessee, the Ohio, and the Cumberland. He accepted the opportunity offered by the War Department to relieve Rosecrans of command of the Army of the Cumberland and replace him with George H. Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga,” who had gathered an ad hoc force that withstood repeated assaults after the rest of the army had fled at Chickamauga, thereby saving the army. Grant left for Chattanooga himself. Though still recovering from a fall with his horse, he traveled by rail as far as he could, then made the rough, 60-mile trip through the mountains to arrive in Chattanooga on the rain-soaked evening of October 23.

Recognizing that resupply was the first order of the day—the men were down to just a few days’ rations—he accepted a plan devised by Chief Engineer of the Army of the Cumberland, William F. “Baldy” Smith, to open the rail line. A column of Thomas’ men advanced to the west along the railroad while a corps under Maj. Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker—sent from the Army of the Potomac—advanced eastward. Five days after Grant reached Chattanooga, the “cracker line” was open to bring food, new uniforms and a combined total of nearly 40,000 reinforcements from Hooker’s corps and Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s XV Corps from the Army of the Tennessee. Before those reinforcements arrived, there had been 45,000 Federals in Chattanooga Bragg had 70,000 on the high ground above them.

Bragg then reduced that 70,000 by dispatching Longstreet and his men to capture Knoxville, as Davis wished. It was a fourth of his strength. Grant learned of the move on November 5. He wanted to attack immediately, but Thomas pointed out that he had no horses to pull artillery into position, and Grant relented. Resisting suggestions from the War Department that he send Sherman to reinforce the troops at Knoxville, he began planning with Thomas to break out of Chattanooga instead, which would open the road to Atlanta, sever Longstreet’s line of supply and communication, and force him to fall back into Georgia.

Sherman arrived at Chattanooga in mid-November. Grant planned to fight his way out of the siege by having him attack the northern flank along Missionary Ridge while Joe Hooker captured Lookout Mountain, the southern flank. Thomas would distract Bragg and prevent him from reinforcing his flanks by feigning an attack on the center of the Confederate line. They would then roll up the Confederate line from north to south.

Sherman had problems from the outset, mainly due to heavy rain and the road conditions it created. He had to delay his attack on Tunnel Hill, at the northern end of Missionary Ridge, by three days, not reaching his jump-off position until late on November 23.

While Sherman was trudging toward Tunnel Hill, Grant ordered Thomas to extend his lines toward Missionary Ridge to see what Bragg would do. Thomas made a full-scale assault with all 14,000 of his troops, driving some 600 Confederate skirmishers from their rifle pits on Orchard Knob, a rocky mound about a mile from the base of Missionary Ridge. There, they entrenched and waited. Orchard Knob became headquarters for Grant and Thomas for the remainder of the battle. The next day, Sherman began his assault, only to find he was on a detached spur of Missionary Ridge, with a deep ravine between him and his objective.

To the south, under cover of a heavy fog that would remain through most of the day, Hooker’s troops advanced up the slopes of Lookout Mountain unopposed until they reached Confederate emplacements around 10 a.m. Confederate major general Carter Stevenson only had about 1,200 men defending the mountain, no match for Hooker’s 12,000. Confederate artillery was not positioned well for defense against Hooker’s line of attack. Some intense fighting took place at the Cravens House, but Stevenson’s men slowly withdrew toward the crest. Reinforced that afternoon, they held till after nightfall before retreating as they had been ordered to do. Hooker waited until the next morning to capture Point Lookout, the very top of Lookout Mountain.

Because much of the battle was obscured from Union troops below by the heavy fog, it became known as the “Battle Above the Clouds” after the war. It had been an easier victory than anticipated, so much so that Hooker been overly cautious in his advance, adding to the delay and confusion of the overall battle.

Bragg reinforced his right during the night, and on November 25, Sherman’s men faced those of Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne, “Stonewall Jackson of the West.” Sherman ended up on the defensive, rather than the offensive, and would be stalled at Tunnel Hill for the entirety of the battle. Six hours of fighting and 2,000 Union casualties had failed to dislodge the Rebels by afternoon.

To the south, Hooker was stymied because the retreating Confederates had burned a bridge over Chattanooga Creek. Grant, frustrated by the delays and overcomplicated implementation of a simple plan, ordered Thomas to attack the center of the Confederate line on Missionary Ridge, hoping to at last distract Bragg from Tunnel Hill so Sherman would be able to turn the Confederate line.

The 60 regiments of Thomas’ command, nearly 24,000 men, surged forward, artillery shells from 112 guns atop the ridge bursting among them. Instead of merely distracting Bragg—who had already shifted reinforcements to Tunnel Hill because the fighting was so intense—the Union soldiers took the rifle pits at the foot of the ridge and out of necessity continued advancing as the Confederate line gave way. Thorough a second line of pits and then over the crest of the ridge they swarmed. First to break through was the 24th Wisconsin Regiment Captain Arthur MacArthur—father of the future general of World War II and the Korean War—planted the Stars and Stripes atop the ridge. Among the Confederates, a rout began that rivaled the Union skedaddle at Chickamauga, abandoning a third of their army’s artillery and 7,000 muskets.

Grant and Thomas watched in disbelief as the Union line advanced beyond their orders. Also watching in disbelief from his headquarters at the top of Missionary Ridge, Bragg was stunned as his line broke and his troops were routed. He had to make a hurried retreat of his own to Dalton, Georgia, where he was able to eventually reorganize his demoralized troops. Cleburne was left to fight a rear-guard retreat that prevented the complete destruction of the Army of Tennessee.

Grant pursued for two days before halting to send troops to aid Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, besieged by Longstreet at Knoxville. Before the reinforcements arrived, however, the Confederate corps had battered itself against Knoxville’s defenses—which included an early use of barbed wire in warfare—and had withdrawn northward, back to Virginia. Burnside exhibited a competence of command at Knoxville that had eluded him at Antietam and Fredericksburg.

Following the Battle of Chattanooga, Bragg resigned on November 29 and Davis immediately accepted, replacing him with General Joseph E. Johnston, who would face Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign. During that campaign, Chattanooga became a vital supply hub for Sherman, who was given command of Union troops in the Western Theater when Grant was placed in command of all Union armies in the spring of 1864.


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Military situation Edit

After their disastrous defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, the 40,000 men of the Union Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga. Confederate General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee besieged the city, threatening to starve the Union forces into surrender. Bragg's troops established themselves on Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, both of which had excellent views of the city, the Tennessee River flowing north of the city, and the Union supply lines. [5]

Heavy rains began to fall in late September, washing away long stretches of the mountain roads. On October 1, Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler's Confederate cavalry intercepted and severely damaged a train of 800 wagons—burning hundreds of the wagons, and shooting or sabering hundreds of mules—at the start of his October 1863 raid through Tennessee to sever Rosecrans's supply line. Toward the end of October, typical Federal soldiers' rations were "four cakes of hard bread and a quarter pound of pork" every three days. [6]

The Union Army sent reinforcements: Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker with 15,000 men in two corps from the Army of the Potomac in Virginia and Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman with 20,000 men from Vicksburg, Mississippi. On October 17, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant received command of three Western armies, designated the Military Division of the Mississippi he moved to reinforce Chattanooga and replaced Rosecrans with Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas. [7]

Thomas launched a surprise amphibious landing at Brown's Ferry on October 27 that opened the Tennessee River by linking up his Army of the Cumberland with Hooker's relief column southwest of the city, thus allowing supplies and reinforcements to flow into Chattanooga over what was called the "Cracker Line". In response, Bragg ordered Lt. Gen. James Longstreet to force the Federals out of Lookout Valley. The ensuing Battle of Wauhatchie (October 28–29) was one of the war's few battles fought exclusively at night. [5]

Sherman arrived with his 20,000 men of the Army of the Tennessee in mid-November. Grant, Sherman, and Thomas planned a flanking attack on Bragg's force, with an assault by Sherman against the northern end of Missionary Ridge, supplemented by two of Thomas' divisions from the center. Hooker, instead of attempting to capture Lookout Mountain and then move across the Chattanooga Valley to the break in the ridge at Rossville, Georgia, was to do nothing besides forwarding troops toward the center. [8]

Running behind schedule, Sherman's force was ready to cross the Tennessee River early on November 24. The day before, Grant ordered Thomas to advance halfway to Missionary Ridge on a reconnaissance in force to determine the strength of the Confederate line, hoping to ensure that Bragg would not withdraw his forces and move in the direction of Knoxville, Tennessee, where Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was being threatened by a Confederate force under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet. Thomas sent over 14,000 men toward a minor hill named Orchard Knob, and overran the Confederate defenders. Grant changed his orders and instructed Thomas's men to dig in and hold the position. [9]

Surprised by Thomas's move and realizing that his center and right might be more vulnerable than he had thought, Bragg quickly readjusted his strategy. Bragg assigned Col. Warren Grigsby's brigade of Kentucky cavalry to picket the Tennessee River northeast of Chattanooga and ordered Brig. Gen. Marcus Joseph Wright to bring his brigade of Tennessee infantry from Cleveland, Tennessee, by train to Chickamauga Station. He recalled all units he had recently ordered to Knoxville if they were within a day's march. Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne's division returned after dark from Chickamauga Station, interrupting the process of boarding the trains. Bragg began to reduce the strength on his left by withdrawing Maj. Gen. William H. T. Walker's division from the base of Lookout Mountain and placing them on the far right of Missionary Ridge, just south of Tunnel Hill. He assigned Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee to command his now critical right flank, turning over the left flank to Maj. Gen. Carter L. Stevenson. Bragg's concern for his right proved justified and his decisions were fortuitous. In the center, Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge ordered his men to begin fortifying the crest of Missionary Ridge, a task that Bragg had somehow neglected for weeks. Unable to decide whether to defend the base or the crest of the ridge, the divisions of Brig. Gens. William B. Bate and J. Patton Anderson were ordered to move half of their divisions to the crest, leaving the remainder in the rifle pits along the base. James L. McDonough wrote of the upper entrenchments, "Placed along the physical crest rather than what is termed the military crest . these works severely handicapped the defenders." [dix]

November 24 was dark, with low clouds, fog, and drizzling rain. Sherman's force crossed the Tennessee River successfully in the morning, then took the set of hills at the north end of Missionary Ridge, although he was surprised to find that a valley separated him from the main part of the ridge. Alerted by Grigsby's cavalry that the enemy had crossed the river in force, Bragg sent Cleburne's division and Wright's brigade to challenge Sherman. After skirmishing with the Confederates, Sherman ordered his men to dig in on the hills he had seized. Cleburne, likewise, dug in around Tunnel Hill. [11]

At the same time, Hooker's command succeeded in the Battle of Lookout Mountain and prepared to move east toward Bragg's left flank on Missionary Ridge. The divisions of Stevenson and Cheatham retreated behind Chattanooga Creek, burning the bridges behind them. [12]

On the night of November 24, Bragg asked his two corps commanders whether to retreat or to stand and fight. Cleburne, concerned about what Sherman had accomplished, expected Bragg to retreat. Hardee also counseled retreat, but Breckinridge convinced Bragg to fight it out on the strong position of Missionary Ridge. Accordingly, the troops withdrawn from Lookout Mountain were ordered to the right wing to assist in repelling Sherman. [13]

Union Edit

Grant's Military Division of the Mississippi assembled the following forces at Chattanooga: [14]

  • Les Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, consisting of the XV Corps under Maj. Gen. Francis Preston Blair Jr., and the 2nd Division of the XVII Corps under Brig. Gen. John E. Smith.
  • Les Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas, consisting of the IV Corps under Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, and the XIV Corps under Maj. Gen. John M. Palmer.
  • Les command of Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, which had become part of the Army of the Cumberland by this point, consisting of the XI Corps under Maj. Gen. Oliver Otis Howard and the 2nd Division of the XII Corps under Brig. Gen. John W. Geary. (Starting with the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Hooker effectually commanded Geary's division of the XII Corps and a division each detached from the IV and XV Corps.)

Confederate Edit

Bragg's Army of Tennessee had the following forces available in Chattanooga: [15]

  • Hardee's Corps, under Lt. Gen.William J. Hardee, consisting of the divisions under Brig. Gen. John K. Jackson (Cheatham's Division), Brig. Gen. James Patton Anderson (Hindman's Division), Brig. Gen. States Rights Gist (Walker's Division), and Maj. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner (detached November 22 to Knoxville).
  • Breckinridge's Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, consisting of the divisions of Maj. Gens. Patrick Cleburne, Alexander P. Stewart, Carter L. Stevenson, and Brig. Gen. William B. Bate (Breckinridge's Division). During the battle, Cleburne's division operated under Hardee's control.

On November 5, Bragg had seriously weakened his forces by sending Longstreet's Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, with the divisions of Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws and Brig. Gen. Micah Jenkins (Hood's Division), against Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside near Knoxville. On November 22, Bragg had further weakened his forces by ordering Buckner's division to reinforce Longstreet at Knoxville. [16]

On November 25, Grant's plan concentrated on the attack by Sherman against Bragg's right flank at Tunnel Hill. He gave a supporting role to Thomas:

I have instructed Sherman to advance as soon as it is light in the morning, and your attack, which will be simultaneous, will be in cooperation. Your command will either carry the rifle pits and ridge directly in front of them or move to the left, as the presence of the enemy may require. [18]

Grant had no particular expectation for Hooker other than to divert Bragg's attention by continued demonstrations on Lookout Mountain, which had been evacuated by the Confederates. However, Thomas wanted support on his flank and called Hooker to cross the valley and demonstrate against Bragg's left flank directly at the Rossville Gap. [19]

Sherman at Tunnel Hill Edit

In a letter to his brother, Sherman wrote:

The whole philosophy of the battle was that I should get, by a dash, a position on the extremity of the Missionary Ridge from which the enemy would be forced to drive me, or allow his depot at Chickamauga Station to be in danger. I expected Bragg to attack me at daylight, but he did not, and to bring matters to a crisis quickly, for the sake of Burnside in East Tennessee, Grant ordered me to assume the offensive. [20]

Sherman had about 16,600 men in the three divisions of Brig. Gens. Morgan Lewis Smith, John E. Smith, and his foster brother and brother-in-law Hugh Boyle Ewing, and three regiments of Col. Adolphus Buschbeck's brigade from the XI Corps. Sherman also had Jefferson C. Davis's division guarding his rear. Around ten o'clock that morning, Grant dispatched the rest of Howard's XI corps from Thomas to Sherman. Hardee had about 9,000 Confederates in the divisions of Cleburne and Walker with another 4,000 soon to arrive in Stevenson's division. On Hardee's left, Benjamin F. Cheatham's decimated division occupied the ridge between Thomas' and Sherman's fronts. However, at dawn, when Sherman was supposed to attack, he was opposed by just three small brigades under Cleburne—about 4,000 men—and only the Texas brigade of Brig. Gen. James A. Smith was actually positioned on Tunnel Hill. But seemingly unnerved by his incorrect positioning, Sherman delayed until about 9:00 o'clock. He selected just two brigades from Ewing's division to attack. Brick. Gen. John M. Corse would approach from the north, Col. John M. Loomis from the northwest, across the open fields between the railroads. [21]

Sherman ordered Corse's brigade, with a detachment from Joseph A.J. Lightburn's brigade, to attack along the narrow length of Tunnel Hill. Col. John M. Loomis's brigade, supported by Buschbeck, would move across the open fields on the west of the ridge while Brig. Gen. Giles Alexander Smith's brigade would move through the valley on the east side of the ridge. The brigades of Brig. Gen. Charles L. Matthies and Col. Green Berry Raum were held in reserve to follow up any successful attack the brigades of Cols. Joseph R. Cockerill and Jesse I. Alexander would hold the heights seized the day before. [21]

Corse drove off the Confederate skirmish line and seized some half-built defensive works at the north end of Tunnel Hill. Continuing over the crest of the hill, Corse charged Cleburne's main position but was repulsed. [22] After several attempts, Sherman gave up on attacking from Corse's position and the fighting shifted to the west side of the ridge. [23] Loomis had advanced to the railroad in front of the ridge where he skirmished with Walker's division. Buschbeck, followed by Matthies and then Raum were sent up the west slope of Tunnel Hill between Loomis and Corse. Cleburne's salient began to feel the pressure and it came close to breaking. Hardee fed in reinforcements from Stevenson's division, and Cleburne ordered a general counterattack. Charging down the hill at 4 p.m., the Confederates routed Sherman's men, who were too tired and low on ammunition to resist, and captured numerous Federal prisoners. [24]

Sherman's attack came to a halt, a tactical failure in which he lost almost 2,000 casualties [25] but committed only a fraction of his available force in a direct assault on a strong position, rather than attempting to outflank Bragg. Military historian David Eicher called this Sherman's "worst experience as a commander, first miscalculating the terrain and then stumbling through a prolonged, unsuccessful, and needless attack." On the other hand, Steven E. Woodworth judged that "Cleburne was in fine form today, deftly shifting troops around his hilltop position and skillfully judging when and where to launch limited counterattacks—often leading them himself." [26]

An alternative view has been expressed by B. H. Liddell Hart, who contends that Sherman did not commit his entire force because he was expecting Bragg to attack him to dislodge the Union force from a threatening position. He "gave the Confederates several hours in which to attack them and when he saw that they showed no signs of accepting the invitation, he made it more pressing by launching three brigades against their position. But his real desire is unmistakably established by the fact that he kept three brigades to hold his own ridge, with five more in reserve behind." [27]

Thomas's assault on the Confederate center Edit

At around 2:30 pm, Grant spoke with Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, his classmate from West Point. "General Sherman seems to be having a hard time," Grant observed. "It seems as if we ought to go help him." [29] He decided to send Wood's and Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's divisions against the Confederate rifle pits at the base of the ridge, hoping to concern Bragg and relieve the pressure on Sherman. Grant suggested his idea to Thomas, but personal relations between the two generals were chilly during the campaign [30] and Thomas rebuffed Grant's idea—he had no intention of attacking until he was assured that Hooker was successfully attacking the enemy's flank. Meanwhile, IV Corps commander Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger was nearby, completely absorbed in the activities of a battery of artillery. [31]

Irritated, Grant asked Thomas to order Granger to "take command of his own corps. And now order your troops to advance and take the enemy's first line of rifle pits." [32] At 3:00 pm, Thomas passed the order to Granger, but incredibly, Granger ignored the order and resumed commanding the battery of artillery. After a further scolding from Grant, Granger finally issued orders to Wood and Sheridan. Messengers also went to Brig. Gens. Absalom Baird and Richard W. Johnson of Maj. Gen. John M. Palmer's XIV Corps, ordering them to move upon hearing the rapid, successive discharge of six artillery pieces. [33]

Thomas deployed 23,000 men in four divisions with brigades in line—from left to right (north to south), the divisions of Baird (brigades of Col. Edward H. Phelps, Col. Ferdinand Van Derveer, and Brig. Gen. John B. Turchin), Wood (brigades of Brig. Gens. Samuel Beatty, August Willich, and William Babcock Hazen), Sheridan (brigades of Brig. Gen. George D. Wagner, Col. Charles Garrison Harker, and Col. Francis Trowbridge Sherman), and Johnson (brigades of Col. William L. Stoughton and Brig. Gen. William Carlin). Each brigade consisted of two lines, one behind the other, with skirmishers leading the way. [34]

About 20,000 Confederates were defending the center of the ridge against which Thomas's men marched, overlapping the Union approach on both ends. From right to left (north to south) were Cheatham's division (brigades of Brig. Gens. Edward C. Walthall, John C. Moore, and John K. Jackson), Hindman's division (commanded by Brig. Gen. J. Patton Anderson, brigades of Brig. Gens. Alfred J. Vaughan, Zachariah C. Deas, and Arthur M. Manigault), Breckinridge's division (commanded by Brig. Gen. William B. Bate, brigades of Brig. Gen. Joseph H. Lewis, Col. R. C. Tyler, and Brig. Gen. Jesse J. Finley), and Stewart's division (brigades of Col. Randall L. Gibson, Brig. Gen. Otho F. Strahl, Brig. Gen. Marcellus Augustus Stovall, and Col. James T. Holtzclaw). [35]

Around 3:40 pm, [36] the signal guns fired before Baird could brief Turchin. Some regimental officers claimed to get conflicting orders from the same brigadier. When asked where he was to stop, Willich told one officer, "I don't know. At Hell, I expect." [37] Sheridan sent an orderly back to Granger inquiring whether the objective was the base or the top of the ridge, but the signal guns fired before he got an answer. Wagner, Turchin, and Carlin thought they were supposed to carry the ridge top. Most officers were guided only by what the units on either side of them did. [38]

The 9,000 Confederates [39] holding the rifle pits at the base of the ridge were also plagued by conflicting orders. Some were ordered to fire a volley then retreat, others to hold their ground. Those who stayed to fight were swamped by the superior Union numbers. The Union tide was irresistible, with charging men shouting, "Chickamauga! Chickamauga!" [40] Many of the Confederates were captured, while the rest started the 300– to 400-ft climb to the ridge top in fear of being shot in the back. Those who escaped were completely winded by the effort and in no shape to defend themselves for several minutes. [41]

The 100 Confederate cannons lining the top of the ridge [42] initially hit few of their enemies during the Union rush, but once the Union soldiers stopped at the rifle pits, they began to zero in on them. The Confederate riflemen also poured in their fire causing several Union casualties. After several minutes, some Union unit commanders moved their men forward to get out of the worst fire. Willich's skirmishers started advancing up the ridge without orders. Deciding that following them was preferable to being massacred in the rifle pits, Willich gave orders to advance, although several of his units were already doing so. Seeing this, Hazen and Beatty also ordered their first lines up. When Wood reached the rifle pits, the men in the second line begged him to order them up, as well. Wood sent them forward. [43]

Peter Cozzens, The Shipwreck of Their Hopes [44]

Grant was shocked when he saw the Union troops climbing the ridge. He asked first Thomas then Granger who had given the orders. Neither general claimed responsibility, but Granger replied, "When those fellows get started, all hell can't stop them." [46] Granger then sent a courier to Wood allowing him permission to take the ridge top, if he thought it possible. Several messengers went out at about this time with differing orders, leading to more confusion. [47]

On the far left, Phelps and Van Derveer captured the rifle pits and held their position. Having negotiated some rough ground, Turchin's brigade lagged behind, but as soon as his men overran the rifle pits, the "Mad Russian" immediately urged his men up the ridge. Before Baird could send his other two brigades, he received an order to halt. [48]

Wagner and Harker's men started climbing soon after Wood's brigades. Wagner got halfway up before he received an order that he was to stop at the base of the ridge. He ordered his men to pull back. As they did, they suffered heavy losses from the elated Confederate defenders. Wagner's brigade suffered more casualties, around 22%, than any other brigade in the assault. [49] When Wagner and some of Harker's men returned to the rifle pits, they saw that Wood's division on their left and units of their own division on the right were still moving uphill. Disgusted that a rival division was getting ahead, Wagner sent his second line up the ridge. Sheridan soon ordered Harker back up, also. To their right, Francis Sherman's brigade faced an entrenched line about half of the way up the ridge, and had hard going. On the far right, Johnson's two brigades faced determined resistance at the rifle pits, and were slow in starting up the ridge. [50]

The Confederate line first cracked at Bird's Mill Road, at about 5 pm. [51] One of Willich's regiments, joined by two of Hazen's, worked its way within 50 yards of the Confederate breastworks. Protected by a roll of ground, they crept closer, then with a rush they leapt over the works belonging to Col. William F. Tucker's brigade. Surprised, the nearest defenders surrendered or fled for their lives. Alertly, the Union field officers swung their regiments to the right and left and began rolling up the Confederate line. Tucker bravely rallied his men, but by this time, Willich and Hazen's men were flooding over the breastworks. [52]

Since Bragg had not provided for a tactical reserve and the narrow ridgetop left no place for one, his defenses were only a thin crust. To seal off the breach, the Southern generals were placed on the horns of a dilemma. When they found Union troops on their flank, they had to pull regiments out of their defense line for a counterattack. This weakened the main line of resistance just as the Union brigades to their front were swarming up to the crest. [53]

Once atop the ridge, Hazen swung his brigade south. The Confederate lines in this direction were held by Brig. Gen. Alexander W. Reynolds's brigade, whose men had to endure a hard climb from the base of the ridge. Hit in front and flank, most of Reynolds's tired men melted away. Continuing south, Hazen flanked Col. R. C. Tyler's brigade of Bate's division out of position, allowing Wagner's brigade to reach the crest. Bate's Florida brigade was soon driven away, allowing Harker's men to reach the top. Col. Randall L. Gibson's brigade was defeated by Francis Sherman's men. Dogged by tough resistance and very steep slopes, Johnson's two brigades took the longest to climb the ridge, Carlin's men finally reaching the top around 5:30 pm. Seeing that his position was hopeless, Stewart pulled the brigades of Brig. Gens. Otho F. Strahl and Marcellus A. Stovall off the ridge. [54]

Meanwhile, Willich wheeled to the north and began crushing the flank of Anderson's division. Willich's success assisted Beatty's brigade to get to the top. The two brigades first drove off Brig. Gen. Arthur M. Manigault's men and continued rolling north. As they came up the ridge, the Union brigades of Turchin, Van Derveer, and Phelps (who was killed near the crest) added their weight to the assault against the Confederate brigades of Brig. Gens. Zachariah C. Deas, Alfred J. Vaughan, and John K. Jackson. Some Confederate soldiers resisted stubbornly, but many panicked and ran when they realized that Union troops were bearing down on them from the flank. Often, the Southern infantry fled before the supporting artillerists could escape with their cannons. In this manner, Anderson's entire division and Cheatham's left flank brigades of Brig. Gens. Jackson and Moore were routed. The northward Federal advance was only stopped by the stout fighting of Walthall's brigade and nightfall. Cheatham, Gist, Stevenson, and Cleburne were able to get their divisions away more or less intact, although the Confederate soldiers were demoralized and chagrined by their defeat. [55]

The Army of the Cumberland's ascent of Missionary Ridge was one of the war's most dramatic events. Military historians Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones contend that the Battle of Missionary Ridge was "the war's most notable example of a frontal assault succeeding against entrenched defenders holding high ground." [56] A Union officer remembered that

Little regard to formation was observed. Each battalion assumed a triangular shape, the colors at the apex. . [a] color-bearer dashes ahead of the line and falls. A comrade grasps the flag. . He, too, falls. Then another [57] picks it up . waves it defiantly, and as if bearing a charmed life, he advances steadily towards the top . [58]

By 6:00 pm, the center of Bragg's line had broken completely and fled in panic, requiring the abandonment of Missionary Ridge and a headlong retreat eastward to South Chickamauga Creek. The sole exception to the panicked flight was Cleburne's command, his division augmented by two brigades from another division. As the only command not in complete disarray, it was the last unit to withdraw and formed the rear guard of Bragg's army as it retreated eastward. Only Sheridan tried to pursue beyond Missionary Ridge, but he finally gave up late that night when he clearly was being supported by neither Granger nor Thomas. [59]

Hooker at Rossville Gap Edit

After Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's command left Lookout Mountain around 10:00 am and moved east, they encountered a significant obstacle. The bridges across Chattanooga Creek, about a mile from Rossville Gap, had been burned by the Confederates as they withdrew the night before, and the creek was running high. Brick. Gen. Peter Joseph Osterhaus assigned a 70-man pioneer unit to start rebuilding one bridge, while men of the 27th Missouri created a rickety footbridge and began crossing one by one. Hooker decided to leave his guns and wagons behind so that all of his infantry could cross first, but his advance was delayed about three hours and the bulk of his force did not reach Rossville Gap until 3:30 pm. [60]

Breckinridge was absent while the Union attack wrecked his corps. Worried about his left flank, he rode to the end of his line in the early afternoon. At 3:30 pm, about the time Thomas launched his four-division attack on Missionary Ridge, Breckinridge visited Stewart's left flank brigade of Col. James T. Holtzclaw, whose commander pointed to the southwest, where Hooker's men were busily bridging Chattanooga Creek. Concerned about Rossville Gap, which lay undefended beyond his left flank, Breckinridge ordered Holtzclaw to send a couple of regiments to hold the position. It was too late by the time the Southerners reached the gap, Osterhaus's division had already marched through. Lt. J. Cabell Breckinridge, the general's son and aide-de-camp, rode into a group from the 9th Iowa and was captured. [61]

Hooker quickly faced his troops to the north and organized a three-pronged attack. He sent Osterhaus along a trail east of Missionary Ridge, Cruft onto the ridge itself, and Geary along the western face of the ridge. Holtzclaw faced his men south and put up a fight, but Cruft and Osterhaus soon began herding the outnumbered Confederates north along Missionary Ridge. Hearing a tremendous racket to the north, Breckinridge finally rode off to find out what was wrong. As Holtzclaw retreated before Hooker's command, he eventually bumped into Col. Anson G. McCook's 2nd Ohio of Carlin's brigade, now astride the ridge. Surrounded by superior forces on four sides, about 700 of Holtzclaw's men surrendered, along with soldiers from the other brigades of Stewart's division. [62]

During the night, Bragg ordered his army to withdraw toward Chickamauga Station on the Western and Atlantic Railroad (currently the site of Lovell Air Field) and the following day began retreating from there toward Dalton, Georgia, in two columns over two routes. [63] The pursuit ordered by Grant was effectively thwarted by Cleburne's rearguard defense at the Battle of Ringgold Gap. [64]

Casualties for the Union Army during the Battles for Chattanooga (Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge) amounted to 5,824 (753 killed, 4,722 wounded, and 349 missing) of about 56,000 engaged Confederate casualties were 6,667 (361 killed, 2,160 wounded, and 4,146 missing, mostly prisoners) of about 44,000. Southern losses may have been higher Grant claimed 6,142 prisoners. In addition, the Union Army seized 40 cannons and 69 limbers and caissons. When a chaplain asked General Thomas whether the dead should be sorted and buried by state, in the new military cemetery, Thomas replied "Mix 'em up. I'm tired of states' rights." [65]

The Confederate enthusiasm that had risen so high after Chickamauga had been dashed at Chattanooga. [66] One of the Confederacy's two major armies was routed. The Union now held undisputed control of the state of Tennessee, including Chattanooga, the "Gateway to the Lower South." The city became the supply and logistics base for Sherman's 1864 Atlanta Campaign, as well as for the Army of the Cumberland, [67] and Grant had won his final battle in the West prior to receiving command of all Union armies in March 1864. [68]


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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02881.29 Author/Creator: Currier & Ives Place Written: New York, New York Type: Print Date: circa 1863 Pagination: 1 lithograph : col. 31.3 x 42.8 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02881.29 Author/Creator: Currier & Ives Place Written: New York, New York Type: Print Date: circa 1863 Pagination: 1 lithograph : col. 31.3 x 42.8 cm.

Hand colored lithograph published by Currier & Ives at 152 Nassau Street, New York. Subtitle is: "Between the Union forces under Genl. Grant, and the Rebel Army under Genl. Bragg." Caption under title says: "This great conflict began on Monday Novr. 23d. and has lasted until Thursday the 26th but the main battles were fought on the 24th & 25th, resulting in a complete victory for the Union Arms. The battlefield extended six miles along Missionary Ridge, and several miles on Lookout Mountain, but the battle was so well ordered by Genl. Grant, and so heroically fought by his gallant Army, that at last the Rebels broke in utter and total confusion, throwing away their guns, and leaving artillery, caissons, ammunition and every thing of value behind them reckless of all, save safety." Picture dominated by a triangle of furious hand-to-hand fighting where Union and Confederate troops are meeting. Background shows rows of troops charging behind them. Lithograph is mounted.

From the last days of September through October 1863, General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army laid siege to the Union army under Major General William Rosecrans at Chattanooga, cutting off its supplies. On 17 October, Major General Ulysses S. Grant received command of the Western armies he moved to reinforce Chattanooga and replaced Rosecrans with Major General George Thomas. A new supply line was soon established. Major General William T. Sherman arrived with his four divisions in mid-November, and the Federals began offensive operations. On 23-24 November, Union forces struck out and captured Orchard Knob and Lookout Mountain. On 25 November, Union soldiers assaulted and carried the seemingly impregnable Confederate position on Missionary Ridge. One of the Confederacy’s two major armies was routed. Les fédéraux tenaient Chattanooga, la « passerelle vers le sud inférieur », qui devint la base d'approvisionnement et de logistique de la campagne d'Atlanta de Sherman en 1864.


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