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The Chattanooga Campaign

Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear

Publication Year: 2012

When the Confederates emerged as victors in the Chickamauga Campaign, the Union Army of the Cumberland lay under siege in Chattanooga, with Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee on nearby high ground at Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. A win at Chattanooga was essential for the Confederates, both to capitalize on the victory at Chickamauga and to keep control of the gateway to the lower South. Should the Federal troops wrest control of that linchpin, they would cement their control of eastern Tennessee and gain access to the Deep South. In the fall 1863 Chattanooga Campaign, the new head of the western Union armies, Ulysses S. Grant, sought to break the Confederate siege. His success created the opportunity for the Union to start a campaign to capture Atlanta the following spring.

Woodworth’s introduction sets the stage for ten insightful essays that provide new analysis of this crucial campaign. From the Battle of Wauhatchie to the Battle of Chattanooga, the contributors’  well-researched and vividly written assessments of both Union and Confederate actions offer a balanced discussion of the complex nature of the campaign and its aftermath. Other essays give fascinating  examinations of the reactions to the campaign in northern newspapers and by Confederate soldiers from west of the Mississippi River.

Complete with maps and photos, The Chattanooga Campaign contains a wealth of detailed information about the military, social, and political aspects of the campaign and contributes significantly to our  understanding of the Civil War’s western theater.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Jacket flaps

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Title page

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi

The editors would like to express their sincere gratitude for the consistent helpfulness and extraordinary patience of Southern University Press editor Sylvia Frank Rodrigue, as well as to the rest of the SIU Press staff for their help during the development of this project. The contributors deserve special recognition for their diligence and cooperation with this volume. ...


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pp. xii-xiii

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pp. 1-4

The Campaign for Chattanooga in the fall of 1863 was important in several respects. The city was a key strategic location, the gateway both to East Tennessee and to the Deep South. The campaign would determine whether the Confederacy would reap the fruits of its hard-fought victory at Chickamauga ...

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1. A Perfect Storm of Ineffectiveness: The First Corps and the Loss of Lookout Mountain

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pp. 5-21

At dawn on October 28, 1863, General Braxton Bragg, the commander of the Army of Tennessee, left his headquarters on Missionary Ridge to converse with one of his lieutenants, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, on the crest of Lookout Mountain. Longstreet’s force, which had arrived from Virginia the previous month, ...

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2. “Lookout Mountain Frowned Down upon Us”: The Union Army and the Struggle for Lookout Valley

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pp. 22-52

In the dark of night the men of the 73rd Ohio and 33rd Massachusetts Regiments struggled with the difficult terrain up the steep hill, as the bullets flew past. Holding their fire, they moved up through the dark shadows before them and in no time felt the hail of an enfilading volley that staggered the line, dropping men with each tortuous step. ...

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3. “The Very Ground Seemed Alive”: Sherman’s Assault on the North End of Missionary Ridge

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pp. 53-69

Grant planned to strike his main blow at the Confederate right and entrusted the job to William T. Sherman and his contingent of the Army of the Tennessee. Though Grant and Sherman both had high hopes for the attack, it failed to produce the results they expected. A careful study of the operation reveals why. ...

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4. Baptizing the Hills and Valleys: Cleburne’s Defense of Tunnel Hill

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pp. 70-83

On the morning of November 24, 1863, a courier from General Braxton Bragg informed Irish-born Major General Patrick Cleburne that he should send a brigade to protect the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad bridge over Chickamauga Creek. Bragg had just learned that Union forces had crossed to the south side of the Tennessee River ...

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5. What Happened on Orchard Knob? Ordering the Attack on Missionary Ridge

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pp. 84-105

Three times in thirteen years, the distinguished Civil War historian Bruce Catton had attempted to describe the course of events at the battle of Chattanooga on November 25, 1863. Three times he had tried to describe the situation facing Ulysses S. Grant that morning. ...

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6. This Grand and Imposing Array of Brave Men: The Capture of Rossville Gap and the Defeat of the Confederate Left

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pp. 106-131

The Union victory on Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, is a familiar story of unintended consequences. A diversionary attack against the center of the Confederate line on the ridge spontaneously became the ultimately successful effort, exposing the substantial weakness of the Confederate position and resulting in the Rebels’ disorganized retreat from the ridge. ...

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7. Saving the Army of Tennessee: The Confederate Rear Guard at Ringgold Gap

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pp. 132-150

Defeated and demoralized, Confederate General Braxton Bragg retreated toward Dalton, Georgia, on November 26, 1863. Primarily concerned with saving his fighting men, Bragg set his infantry in motion first with his wagon trains and artillery to follow. The soft November roads, still soggy from weeks of rain, made it difficult for the latter to keep up with the infantry. ...

Gallery of Illustrations

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8. From the Chickamauga with “Old Rosy” to Missionary Ridge with Grant: The Fall 1863 Struggle for Chattanooga and the Press

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pp. 151-184

The role the media can play in shaping popular perceptions of military operations has long been a source of consternation to those entrusted with command. The Civil War was no exception and produced its share of memorable quotes regarding the insidious effect newspapers supposedly had on the conduct of war. ...

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9. “What I Am Doing I Do Not Consider Desertion”: Trans-Mississippian Reactions to Chickamauga and Chattanooga

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pp. 185-202

The combined battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga transformed the Civil War in the western theater. More important, the events changed the way many Confederate soldiers felt about the conflict. Historians have chronicled the impact of Chickamauga and Chattanooga on the morale of Confederate soldiers throughout some parts of the South, ...

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10. A Chattanooga Plan: The Gateway City’s Critical Role in Civil War Battlefield Preservation

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pp. 203-218

It was a major occasion in Chattanooga that March 1902 day. The city had often seen notable visitors, but this one was far more exciting than most. Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of Germany’s emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II, son of Emperor Frederick III, and grandson of Queen Victoria of England, was in America ...

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pp. 219-220

Stewart Bennett received his PhD in interdisciplinary studies (history and political science) from the University of Maine. He is the chair of the department of social and behavioral sciences and an assistant professor of history at Blue Mountain College. ...


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pp. 221-226

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Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland

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The area west of the Appalachian Mountains, known in Civil War parlance as “the West,” has always stood in the shadow of the more famous events on the other side of the mountains, the eastern theater, where even today hundreds of thousands visit the storied Virginia battlefields. ...

Other Books in Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland Series

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Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809331208
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809331192

Publication Year: 2012