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ROSEURANS ADVANCES ON CHATTANOOGA.
vance in force on their left at Shelby- undertaken during the month of Auville, while the mass of his army seized gust. The difficulties in the way of Hoover's, Liberty, and other Gaps, by pursuing the rebels were unusually hard fighting. They then moved on great. The Union army was now in Manchester, and having thus turned position from McMinnville to Win. the right of the enemy's defence of Duck chester, with advances at Pelham and River, directly threatened Bragg, who Stevenson; and in order to reach Chatwas forced to fall back to Tullahoma, tanooga from above, it had to cross the hotly pursued by Granger, after he had Cumberland Mountains to the upper brilliantly carried Shelbyville. Dispo- waters of the Tennessee River, while sitions were immediately made to turn the river, in its tortuous course, and a Tullahoma, and fall upon the rebel rear; continuation of the mountain passes, but Bragg abandoned his entrenched were interposed below.* camp, and rapidly fell back toward On the 16th of August, Rosecrans, Bridgeport, Ala., pursued as far as prac- having put the railroad to Stevenson ticable by our forces. “Thus ended,” in condition to procure supplies, comto use Rosecrans's words, “ a nine days' menced his advance across the Cumbercampaign, which drove the enemy from land Mountains, Chattanooga and its two fortified positions, and gave us pos- covering ridges on the south-east, being session of Middle Tennessee, conducted what is termed, in military language, his in one of the most extraordinary rains objective point. In order to command ever known in Tennessee, at that period and avail himself of the most importof the year, over a soil that almost be ant passes, the front of his movement comes a quicksand. Our operations extended from the head of Sequatchie were retarded thirty-six hours, at Hoo- Valley, in Tennessee, to Athens, Alaver's Gap, and sixty hours at and in bama, and thus threatened the line of front of Winchester, which alone pre- the Tennessee River from Whitsburg to vented us from getting possession of his Blythe's Ferry, a distance of over 150 communications and forcing the enemy miles
. The banks of the Tennessee were to a very disastrous battle. These re- reached on the 20th of August, and the sults were far more successful than was next day Chattanooga was shelled to anticipated, and could only have been some extent. Pontoon, boat, raft and attained by a surprise as to the direction trestle bridges were rapidly prepared at and force of our movements." The Caperton's Ferry, Bridgeport, the mouth losses, in all, were 560; 1,634 prisoners of Battle Creek and Shell Mound; and, were taken, together with six pieces of excepting the cavalry, the army made artillery, abundance of stores, etc. its way across the Tennessee in the very
The next step in following up the face of the rebels. Thomas, by the 8th enemy to their important position at Chattanooga, which was now fortified, * Rosecrans, in his report of the battle of Chickaand the approaches to which offered mauga, gives a carefully-prepared outline of the topoof September, hul moved on Trenton, From various reports of spies and seizing Frick's and Stevens's Gaps on deserters, and from the fact that Chatthe Lookout Mountain; McCook had tanooga was given up without a strug. advanced to Valley Head, and taken gle, it was supposed that Lee was reWinston's Gap; while Crittenden had ceiving reinforcements from Bragg; and crossed to Wauhatchie, was in commu- the authorities at Washington were nication on the right with Thomas, and seized with an apprehension that Rosethreatened Chattanooga by the pass crans might be drawn too far into the over the point of Lookout Mountain. mountains of Georgia, where he could
graphy of this region. It is well worth the reader's the best opportunities of defence, was attention and consultation.
Having thus passed successfully the not be furnished with supplies, and first mountain barrier south of the Ten- where also he might be attacked before nessee, Rosecrans decided to use his right Burnside could bring him any help. in threatening the rebel communica-In reply to Halleck's dispatch, cautions, while, with his centre and left, he tioning him on this subject, Rosecrans, should seize the gaps and commanding on the 12th of September, telegraphed points of the mountains in front. On to Washington that, although he was the 9th of September, Crittenden made sufficiently strong for the enemy then on a reconnaissance, and developed the im- his front, there were indications that port fact that the rebel force in Chatta- the rebels intended to turn his flanks nooga had evacuated that place on the and cut off his communications. He, day and night previous. While Crit- therefore, decided that Burnside should tenden's corps quietly took possession move down bis infantry toward Chatof Chattanooga, which was, as we have tanooga, on his left, and that Grant said, the objective point of the campaign, should cover the Tennessee River toRosecrans, with the remainder of his ward Whitsburg, to prevent any raid army, pressed forward through the dif- into Nashville. Rosecrans was of opificult passes of the Lookout and Mis- nion that no troops had been sent from sionary Mountains, apparently directing Bragg's army, but that Bragg was being his march upon Lafayette and Rome.* reinforced by Loring from Mississippi.
Burnside, as we have noted (see p. 347), * “A splendid opportunity was now presented to was directed to hurry forward his inBragg. The detached force in McLemore's Cove was Thomas's corps. Being immediately opposite Lafayette,
fantry, as rapidly as possible, toward at and near which Gen. Bragg had all his forces con- Chattanooga. Hurlbut at Memphis, centrated, it was completely at the mercy of the latter. and Sherman at Vicksburg, were order. It was only necessary that Gen. Bragg should fall upon it with such a mass as would have crushed it; then ed to send all tbe available forces at turned down Chattanooga Valley, thrown himself in those points to Corinth and Tuscumbia, between the town and Crittenden, and crushed him ; then passed back between Lookout Mountain and the to operate against Bragg, and to prevent Tennessee River into Wills's Valley, and cut off Mc- his turning the right flank of RoseCook's retreat to Bridgeport; thence moved along the
crans's Cumberland range into the rear of Burnside, and dis
army and recrossing the river posed of him.” This, apparently so easy of accom- into Tennessee. Schofield in Missouri, plishment, was not attempted, and owing to the delay of the rebels, Rosecrans was able to escape the risk were retreating.–See Pollard's “ Third Year of the which was run under the supposition that the rebels | War," p. 114.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE BATTLE.
and Pope in the North-west department, tle in the mountains of Georgia. It were directed to send forward to the had been reinforced by troops from Tennessee line every available man in Johnson in Mississippi, and by the pritheir departments; and the commanding soners released on parole at Vicksburg officers also in Indiana, Ohio and Ken- and Port Hudson and declared by the tucky, were ordered to make every pos- rebel authorities to have been exchang. sible exertion to secure Rosecrans's lines ed,*—a course of conduct, by the way, of communication. Meade, too, was which Gen. Halleck vigorously deurged to attack Lee, while his army nounced. The line of Rosecrans exwas in its present reduced condition, or tended, at this time, from Gordon's at least prevent him from sending off Mills to Alpines, a distance of some further detachments. It was deemed forty miles. By the 17th of Septemunadvisable to send any more troops ber, his troops were brought within into East Tennessee or Georgia, on ac- supporting distance, and the next day count of the impossibility of supplying a concentration was begun towards them in a country which the enemy bad Crawfish Spring. On the morning of nearly exhausted. Burnside's army was the 18th, Thomas's troops pressed on on short rations, and that of the Cum. toward Gordon's Mills, and McCook berland very inadequately supplied; moved up directly in his rear. During and in the case of Rosecrans, while he the forenoon, Granger made a reconhad a large number of animals in his naissance across the Chickamauga, at depots, the horses for the artillery, cav. Reid's Bridge; Cols, Minty and Wil. alry and trains were dying off for want der were sent, the former to watch of forage.*
Ringgold road crossing, and the latter On the 14th of September, the army to resist any advance from Napier Gap; of Rosecrans was occupying the passes and although heavy cannonading en. of Lookout Mountain, with the enemy sued, they held their ground until a
concentrating his forces near body of the enemy approaching their 1863.
Lafayette to dispute his fur rear, they were compelled to retire. ther advance. Bragg's threatened During the night, McCook's force, almovements, to the right and left, were though greatly fatigued, moved northmerely cavalry raids to cut the line of ward to Pond Spring, seventeen miles Rosecrans's supplies, and threaten his south of Chattanooga. Crittenden, who communications with Burnside. Bragg's
* Bragg, on the 17th of September, from his headmain army was only awaiting the ar- quarters in the field, at Lafayette, Georgia
, issued an rival of Longstreet's corps, to give bat order in very urgent terms, endeavoring to rouse thè
spirit of his troops. “Having accomplished,” he said,
our object in driving back the enemy's flank moveHalleck, in this connection, says, that hearing ment, let us now turn on his main force, and crush it nothing from Grant or from Sherman's corps at Vicks in its fancied security. Your general will lead you. burg, it was determined, on the 23d of September, to You have but to respond to assure us of a glorious detach the 11th and 12th corps from the Army of the triumph over an insolent foe. I know what your rePotomac, and send them by rail, under the command sponse will be. Trusting in God and the justice of our of Hooker, to protect Rosecrans's line of communica cause, and nerved by the love of dear ones at home, tion from Bridgeport to Nashville.
failure is impossible, and victory must be ours.”
VOL. IV. 45.
was ahead of Thomas, had placed Van enemy, when, by an unfortunate mistake Cleve's division on the left of Wood, a gap was opened in the line of battle, at Gordon's Mills, and Palmer on his of which the enemy took inright; Thomas, in consequence, pushed stant advantage, and striking still further to the left. Johnson's two Davis in the flank and rear threw his brigades were given to Thomas and whole division into confusion. Pourposted on Van Cleve's left, while Neg. ing in through this break in our line ley, who was already in position at the enemy cut off our right and right Owen's Gap, a little way south of centre, and attacked Sheridan's diviCrawfish Spring, thirteen miles from sion, which was advancing to support Chattanooga, was ordered to remain our left. After a gallant but fruitless there, temporarily attached to Mc- effort against the rebel torrent, he was
The whole of Rose-compelled to give way, but afterward crans's force was now on the west side rallied a considerable portion of his of the Chickamauga, within easy sup- force, and by a circuitous route joined porting distance.
Thomas, who now had to sustain the Bragg, moving his army by divi. whole force of the attack. Our right sions, crossed the Chickamauga at sev- and part of the centre had been comeral fords and bridges north of Gor-pletely broken, and fled in confusion don's Mills, near to which he endea from the field, carrying with them to vored to concentrate before giving Chattanooga their commanders, Mcbattle. This was on the morning of Cook and Crittenden, and also RoseSaturday, the 19th of September, Mc- crans, who was on that part of the line. Cook's corps forming the right of our Thomas, however, still remained imline of battle, Crittenden's the centre, movable in his position. About 3.30 and Thomas's the left. The battle was P.M., the
in the begun about ten o'clock, when the left hills in the rear of his right flank, and wing of Rosecrans was attacked by Longstreet commenced pouring his heavy masses, and vigorous efforts were massive column through the opening. made to turn our left, so as to occupy Granger, who had been posted with the road to Chattanooga. But in this his reserves to cover our left and rear, the rebels failed entirely of success. arrived upon the field at this critical The centre was next assailed, and tem- moment. Thomas pointed out to him porarily driven back, but, being the gap through which the enemy was promptly reinforced, maintained its debouching, when quick as thought he ground. As night approached, the threw upon it Steadman's brigade of battle ceased, and the combatants rest. cavalry, and broke the enemy.
We ed on their arms. The attack was held the gap, but the rebels again and furiously renewed, on the morning of again tried to retake it. About the 20th, against our left centre. Divi. sunset, they made their last sion after division was pushed forward charge, when our men, being out of to resist the attacking masses of the ammunition, moved on them with the
THE BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA.
bayonet, and they gave way to return Tennessee above Chattanooga, which no more. In the meantime the enemy destroyed a large wagon train in the made repeated attenipts to carry Tho- Sequatchie Valley, and captured Mc. mas's position on the left and front, Minnville and other points on the railbut were as often driven back, with road. By this means the rebels almost great loss. During the night, Thomas entirely cut off Rosecrans's army from fell back to Rossville, leaving the dead its supplies. Fortunately, however, the and most of the wounded in the hands line of railroad was well defended, and of the enemy;* and, on the night of the enemy's cavalry, being vigorously the 21st, he withdrew the remainder attacked by Col. McCook at Anderson's of the army within the defences of Cross Roads, on the 2d of October, by Chattanooga. The rebel loss was Mitchel at Shelbyville on the 6th, and estimated at about 18,000; our loss, by Crook at Farmington on the 8th of in all, was something over 16,000. October, were put to rout and mostly There were about 2,000 prisoners cap- captured. tured.
In the judgment of Rosecrans, "the Having retreated to Chattanooga, as battle of Chickamauga was absolutely above related, Rosecrans withdrew his necessary to secure our concentration forces from the passes of Lookout Moun- and cover Chattanooga. It was fought tain, which covered his line of supplies in a country covered with woods and from Bridgeport. These were immedi. undergrowth, and wholly unknown to ately occupied by the troops of Bragg, us. Every division came into action who also sent a cavalry force across the opportunely, and fought squarely, on
the 19th. We were largely outnum. * Secession critics are very energetic in denouncing bered, yet we foiled the enemy's flank Bragg's inactivity and neglect in pursuing our army movement on our left, and secured our in its retreat. According to them, it would have been an easy thing to have crushed utterly the Union forces
, position on the road to Chattanooga."* if Bragg, in consequence of the darkness and the den. It being deemed inexpedient to have sity of the forests, had not refused to move, contenting separate commands or armies operating himself with gathering up the fruits of victory on the battle field.
in the same field, the authorities at + Pollard asserts that the rebels took over 8,000 pri- Washington determined to place the soners, and that the Union loss was many thousands greater than that of the rebels. “Chickamauga,” he entire force in this region under a sin. says, “ conferred a briliant glory upon our arms, but gle commander, so as to secure both little else. Rosecrans still held the prize of Chattanooga, and with it the possession of East Tennessee.
unity of design and a more perfect coTwo thirds of our nitre beds were in that region, and operation than had heretofore been a large proportion of the coal which supplied
our foun. practicable Gen. Grant was, almost of dries. It abounded in the necessaries of life. It was one of the strongest countries in the world, so full of course, immediately fixed upon for this lofty mountains that it had been called, not unaptly, the Switzerland of America. As the possession of Switzerland opened the door to the invasion of Italy, * The defeat of Rosecrans was looked upon as disasGermany and France, so the possession of East Ten- trous, and its results as very alarming; he was, too, nessee gave easy access to Virginia, North Carolina, considered to be obstinate and impracticable.--Seo Georgia and Alabama.”—“ Third Year of the War,” | Col. Badeau's " Military History of Ulysses S. Grant,"
vol. i. pp. 421-424.