THE BATTLE OF CHATTANOOGA
Following its defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, the Union Army, which was led by Major General William S. Rosecrans, went back to its base at Chattanooga. Reaching the safety of the town, they quickly created defenses before General Braxton Bragg's pursuing Army of Tennessee arrived. Moving his men onto Missionary Ridge to the east and Lookout Mountain to the south, Bragg soon commanded the approaches to the city and placed the Union troops under siege. With the situation worsening, President Lincoln made the Military Division of the Mississippi and placed Major General Ulysses S. Grant in command of all Union armies in the West. Moving quickly, Grant relieved Rosecrans, replacing him with Major General George H. Thomas, and engineer Major General William F. Smith to open a supply line to Chattanooga. After making a successful landing at Brown's Landing, west of the city, Smith was able to link up with Thomas and open a supply route in October, which was known as the "Cracker Line.” On the night of October 28 and 29, Bragg ordered Lieutenant General James Longstreet to sever the "Cracker Line." Attacking at Wauhatchie, the Confederate general was very mad. With a way into Chattanooga open, Grant began reinforcing the Union position by sending Major General Joseph Hooker with the XI and XII Corps and then an additional four divisions under Major General William T. Sherman. While Union forces were growing, Bragg reduced his army by sending Longstreet's force to Knoxville to attack a Union force that was under Major General Ambrose Burnside. Having consolidated his position, Grant began offensive operations on November 23, by ordering Thomas to go on from the city and take a string of hills near the foot of Missionary Ridge. The next day, Hooker was ordered to take Lookout Mountain. Crossing the Tennessee River, Hooker's men found that the Confederates had failed to defend a valley between the river and mountain....
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