Davis Very Reluctantly Appoints Johnston to Command

December 16, 1863 (Wednesday) This was no easy decision. Confederate President Jefferson Davis respected and practically adored Braxton Bragg. Following the utter debacle at Chattanooga, however, he was not only forced to accept that his pet general was in over his head, but also to accept his resignation. Bragg had tried to resign before, moreRead More

‘…And Trust That I May Be Allowed to Participate’ – Davis Finally Relieves Bragg

December 2, 1863 (Wednesday) When last we left Confederate General Braxton Bragg, he was in command of the Army of Tennessee, retreating south. He had lost the Battle of Chattanooga – a feat that few expected he could accomplish. They had retreated thirty some miles southeast to Dalton, Georgia, crossing the muddied Ringold’s Gap –Read More

It Is All Poetry – Fighting on the Flanks at Chattanooga

November 24, 1863 (Tuesday) “The battle of Lookout Mountain is one of the romances of the war. There was no such battle, and no action even worthy to be called a battle on Lookout Mountain. It is all poetry.” – General Ulysses S. Grant. General Braxton Bragg had nearly deserted his left to fortify hisRead More

The Damnedest Review You Ever Saw – The Battles for Chattanooga Begin

November 23, 1863 (Monday) Across the still morning, Confederate General Patrick Cleburne oversaw the first of his two divisions entraining at Chickamauga Station, behind the lines. A multitude of trains were utilized, but only enough to load all of Bushrod Johnson’s Division, and part of Cleburne’s own. By the mid afternoon, the former would beRead More

‘Can’t You Spare Me Another Division?’ – Bragg Appeases Longstreet

November 22, 1863 (Sunday) Confederate General Braxton Bragg knew the Federals were up to something. An attack was immanent, that much was certain. Also certain, at least in the mind of General Bragg, was that his enemies would hit upon his left flank, anchored by Lookout Mountain. He knew that General Grant had been reinforcedRead More

‘I Have Never Felt Such Restlessness’ – Grant Longs to Make His Attack

November 21, 1863 (Saturday) Washington was growing worried. No word had come from Knoxville, where Ambrose Burnside’s Army of the Ohio was penned in by James Longstreet’s Confederates. Over the past couple of days, General Orlando Willcox, whose brigade was holding Cumberland Gap, had tried to make contact, but had failed due to the RebelRead More

‘This Army Looked Quite Unlike Our Own’ – East Finally Meets West

November 20, 1863 (Friday) With Ambrose Burnside holding tight in Knoxville, mostly hemmed in by James Longstreet’s Confederate Corps, Union General Grant was about to launch a series of attacks upon Braxton Bragg’s Rebel Army of Tennessee before Chattanooga. Grant’s sprawling army actually marched under three flags. Its bulk consisted of the Army of theRead More

‘Shall Hold this Position to the Last’ – Burnside’s New Determination

November 17, 1863 (Tuesday) It was a morning of apprehension. The day previous, Ambrose Burnside had held off James Longstreet’s Corps long enough to make his slip back into Knoxville. With the dawn, there was now only cavalry before the Confederates. “The enemy seems to have gone into Knoxville,” reported Longstreet to Braxton Bragg, whoRead More

Grant Tries to Avoid Burnside’s ‘Terrible Misfortune’

November 14, 1863 (Saturday) General Ambrose Burnside’s dread over being attacked and routed by Confederates under James Longstreet had not yet abated. Through the night, the Confederates had built a bridge and put at least a regiment across the Tennessee River. Rather than fight, Burnside pulled his troops back to Knoxville. Through the day, lightRead More

Burnside Wants to ‘Risk a Battle,’ but Promptly Decides to Retreat from Knoxville Instead

November 13, 1863 (Friday) Union General Ambrose Burnside’s career thus far in the war wasn’t exactly one that might be fondly recalled. His mistep as a corps commander at Antietam, plus the Battle of Fredericksburg – not to mention the Mud March – told many all they needed to know about this bewhiskered officer. Now,Read More