Tullahoma Campaign Capture of Chattanooga

june 24 - september 9 1863

of the Confederates by all three corps. Bragg,

Following its defeat at Stones River (called Murfreesboro by the Confederacy) in January 1863, General Braxton Bragg's Confederate Army of Tennessee withdrew to a defensive line which had been established northwest of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Weak and easily turned, Bragg's position nevertheless permitted him to retain control of a rich agricultural area for the Confederacy. For six months, General Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland remained in its camps around Murfreesboro, reorganizing and refitting before resuming its advance toward Chattanooga on June 23.

Feinting toward Bragg's left at Shelby-ville, Rosecrans used the bulk of his infantry to outflank the Confederate right beyond Wartrace. Undeterred by massive rainstorms, within two days the Army of the Cumberland had broken through Confederate forward defenses at Hoover's Gap. Learning that his right was turned, Bragg fell back on his base at Tullahoma. Again Rosecrans feinted directly toward Tullahoma while simultaneously turning Bragg's right. In response, Bragg again withdrew, this time all the way to Chattanooga, while Rosecrans halted to consolidate his gains. Rosecrans's masterful campaign had secured virtually all of Tennessee's most productive region at a cost of only 560 Federal casualties. Confederate losses are unknown, but are estimated at more than 1,600.

On August 16, the Army of the Cumberland resumed its advance. Feinting north of Chattanooga to distract Bragg's attention, Rosecrans sent his army across the Tennessee River at four places. Once across, the Federals began a broad-front advance through rugged mountainous terrain toward the southeast. While XXI Corps threatened Chattanooga directly, forty miles to the south XX Corps and the Cavalry Corps drove toward Bragg's railroad lifeline to Atlanta. In the center, XIV Corps attempted to maintain a tenuous connection between Rosecrans's wings.

By September 8 much of the Federal army was crossing Lookout Mountain, outflanking Bragg, and forcing him to evacuate the city. While the Confederates withdrew southward, XXI Corps entered Chattanooga on September 9. Believing that Bragg's army was in hasty retreat toward Rome, Georgia, Rosecrans brushed aside suggestions to pause and consolidate his scattered units. Instead, he ordered a general pursuit meanwhile, had retreated no farther than La Fayette, Georgia, where he concentrated his urfreesboro units for a possible counterstroke.

Confede Union crrvT serviceabl of the Confederates by all three corps. Bragg,

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A Confederate officer in communication with à Federal correspondent.

""\"\7"7hen your Dutch General

W Rosencranz [sic] commenced his forward movement for the capture of Chattanooga, we laughed him to scorn. We believed that the black brow of Lookout Mountain would frown him out of existence... and that the northern people and the goverment at Washington would perceive how hopeless were their efforts when they came to attack the real South."

A Confederate officer in communication with à Federal correspondent.

The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad bridge at Bridgeport, destroyed by Bragg's retreating Confederates en route to Chattanooga (right). The Union army was prepared for such eventualities and a serviceable pontoon bridge over the Tennessee River was constructed in about two days.

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