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He, therefore, decided to make an attempt to recover
Chattanooga.


BATTLE OF CHICKAMAUGA.

The Confederates crossed the Chickamauga, and, on the morning of the
19th, Rosecrans opened the battle by attacking the enemy's right wing.
The entire armies were soon involved, and the fighting lasted until
nightfall, with the result in favor of the Confederates. Although forced
from several positions, they gained and held the road leading to
Chattanooga, and the Union troops were driven almost to the base of
Missionary Ridge.

Late that night, Longstreet arrived with his fire-seasoned veterans. He
was one of Lee's best lieutenants, and it was arranged that the battle
should be renewed the next morning at daybreak, with Longstreet
commanding the left wing. From some cause, the Confederate attack was
delayed until ten o'clock, the delay giving the Federals time to throw
up a number of breastworks. Against these Bragg repeatedly charged with
his right wing, but was repulsed each time.

Thomas, in command of the Union left, also repelled a sharp attack, but
Longstreet routed Rosecrans, and, discerning a gap caused by the
transfer of the Union centre to strengthen the left, Longstreet led his
men impetuously into the opening, thus splitting the Union army in two.
Striking in both directions, he threw the two divisions into such
disorder and confusion that the frightened Rosecrans galloped in hot
haste to Chattanooga to secure his supply train and the pontoon-bridges
over the Tennessee. At the same time, he telegraphed the terrifying
tidings to Washington that the whole Union army had been beaten.


"THE ROCK OF CHICKAMAUGA."

At a crisis in the tremendous battle, General Hood, one of the
Confederate leaders, was wounded, and a halt was made until another
officer could be brought up to take his place. Short as was the delay,
it gave the Unionists time to rally and strengthen their endangered
points. Despite this advantage, the telegram of Rosecrans would have
been verified and the magnificent army destroyed except for one man. He
was George H. Thomas, the heroic commander of the Union left. Longstreet
launched his veterans against him again and again, but he beat them back
in every instance. Never did men fight more bravely than those
Americans, arrayed against each other, and never was finer generalship
displayed than by General Thomas, whose wonderful defense that day won
for him the name by which he will always be remembered--"The Rock of
Chickamauga."

[Illustration: GEORGE H. THOMAS.

"The Rock of Chickamauga."]

Holding his heroes well in hand, Thomas was ready to renew the battle
the next day, but Bragg did not molest him. The Confederates, however,
had won a victory, for they drove the Federals from the field and
retained possession of it. Thomas fell slowly back toward Chattanooga,
presenting a firm front to the enemy.

Chickamauga ranks as one of the great battles of the war. The Union
losses were: killed, 1,656; wounded, 9,749; missing, 4,774; total,
16,179. The Confederate losses were: killed, 2,268; wounded, 13,613;
captured and missing, 1,090; total, 16,971.


SUPERSEDURE OF ROSECRANS BY THOMAS.

Rosecrans' conduct of this battle caused his supersedure by Thomas,
while several division commanders were suspended, pending an inquiry
into their course. President Davis removed General Leonidas Polk, who
was thought to have shown hesitancy of action at critical points. Bragg,
however, was the most blamable, for, with the advantage overwhelmingly
in his favor, he refused to permit Longstreet to follow up his success.
One of the peculiarities of the Confederate President was his strong
likes and dislikes. He was a personal enemy of Jo Johnston, and more
than once humiliated him, but he was also a friend of Bragg, and, in the
face of indignant protests, retained him in chief command in the
southwest.

As soon as the Union army reached Chattanooga intrenchments were thrown
up. Bragg appeared before the town on the 23d, and, finding the position
too strong to be carried by assault, he laid siege to it. The situation
of the army became so dangerous that great uneasiness was felt in
Washington, where the wise step was taken of sending General Grant
thither, with his appointment to the command of the entire West.
Abundant reinforcements were hurried to the imperiled point, the entire
Eleventh and Twelfth Corps from the Army of the Potomac forming the
principal commands. The Federals became much the stronger, but Bragg did
not abandon his siege of Chattanooga.

Recalling the advance of Burnside from the Ohio to the relief of
Rosecrans, it should be stated that he did not arrive in time to take
part in the battle of Chickamauga, but occupied Knoxville on the 9th of
September. Bragg sent Longstreet with a strong force to attack Burnside,
the Confederate commander thereby weakening his army, which could ill
stand it. Grant arrived at Chattanooga on the night of October 20th, and
telegraphed Burnside to hold Knoxville at all hazards, while he gave his
attention to Bragg.

Sherman came up with his troops November 15th, and a week later Grant
had an army of 80,000 men on the ground, while the removal of Longstreet
left Bragg with only 50,000. His line, twelve miles long, embraced two
elevations commanding a view of Chattanooga Valley. Lookout Mountain was
on the south, while Missionary Ridge on the east was not quite so high.
The Confederate left wing rested on the former, and the right on
Missionary Ridge, with the Chattanooga flowing between. Bragg was
justified in considering his position impregnable.


THE BATTLE ABOVE THE CLOUDS.

Grant, however, held a different opinion. On the night of the 23d the
enemy's picket lines were forced back and an improved position secured.
The following morning, Hooker, having already crossed the river, was
ordered to attack the position on Lookout Mountain. His movements were
hidden for a time by a dense fog, and it was his intention to stop as
soon as the enemy's rifle-pits at the base were captured; but, when this
was accomplished, the men were carried away by their enthusiasm, noting
which Hooker ordered them to charge the Confederate position. Up the
mountain the cheering, eager fellows swept with irresistible valor. The
Stars and Stripes was planted on the crest and 2,000 of the fleeing
Confederates were made prisoners. The fog still lay heavy in the valley
below, a fact which has led to the battle being called the "Battle above
the Clouds."


DEFEAT OF THE CONFEDERATES.

The following morning was also foggy, but, when it lifted, Sherman's
corps was seen advancing against the Confederate right, close to
Chickamauga station. In the face of a heavy artillery fire the Federals
pressed on, but at the end of an hour they were compelled to retreat. By
order of Grant the attack was renewed, but another severe repulse
followed. Next a general movement against the left centre was ordered,
and this was successful. The enemy was driven in confusion toward
Ringgold, to the southeast, while a large number of prisoners and a vast
amount of supplies were captured.

General Hooker pursued and drove the Confederates out of Ringgold, but
they assumed so strong a position at Taylor's Ridge that Grant ordered
him not to attack, but to remain and hold Ringgold, Sherman, in the
meantime, marching against Longstreet. Bragg had blundered so much in
conducting this disastrous campaign that President Davis was forced to
replace him with Hardee.


RAISING OF THE SIEGE OF KNOXVILLE.

Meanwhile, Longstreet was besieging Burnside at Knoxville, where the
15,000 Union troops were threatened with starvation. The town was
invested November 17th, and the next day some of the outworks were
carried. Well aware that Grant, after his defeat of Bragg, would hurry
to the relief of Knoxville, Longstreet attacked on the 29th, but
suffered a bloody repulse. He stubbornly held his ground until he
learned that Sherman was close upon him, when he withdrew and started on
his march to Virginia. The campaign soon ended in Tennessee, which was
virtually recovered to the Union.

The reader will note that we have described the leading events in the
West and Southwest from the opening of the year to its close. Once more
it is necessary to return to January, 1863, in order to give a history
of the most important campaign of all--that against Richmond, which was
defended by the formidable Army of Northern Virginia, under the command
of General Robert E. Lee.


BURNSIDE SUPERSEDED BY HOOKER.

Burnside's management of the attack on Fredericksburg in December, 1862,
was so incompetent and disastrous that it was impossible for him to
retain the chief command. Knowing that several of his generals had
severely criticised him, Burnside sent a list of names to Washington,
giving the government the choice of removing them or accepting his
resignation. Prominent on Burnside's "black list" was the name of
Hooker. On the 26th of January Burnside's resignation was accepted, and
Hooker was made his successor.

The morale of the grand organization had been injured by its wretched
leadership, but the material itself could not have been finer. Hooker
set resolutely to work, and, by the 1st of May, the army was well
trained and disciplined, and numbered 130,000 men, of whom fully 12,000
were cavalry. Lee had about half as many troops.

Knowing it would not do to remain idle when the beautiful spring weather
came, Hooker had been carefully planning for another campaign against
Richmond. He had won a fine reputation for himself as a fighter and
skillful corps commander, and the hopes were high that he would lead his
superb army directly into the rebel capital. Everything seemed to be in
his favor, and the campaign opened promisingly.


THE NEW CAMPAIGN AGAINST RICHMOND.

Hooker's plan was to assail Lee at two points. The Rappahannock and
Rapidan were to be crossed a short distance west of Fredericksburg, and
the left wing attacked. While this was going on, Hooker's own left wing
was to occupy the heights and secure possession of the Richmond
Railroad.



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