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*Includes pictures of the battle's important generals.
*Includes several maps of the battle.
*Includes accounts of the fighting written by important generals like Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Bragg, Longstreet, and more..
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

"When those fellows get started all hell can't stop them." - Union corps commander Gordon Granger during the Battle of Missionary Ridge

In late September 1863, the Confederates began laying siege to the Union Army of the Cumberland around Chattanooga in what would be their last gasp for supremacy in the West. Following the devastating Union defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20, the army and its shaken commander, General William S. Rosecrans, began digging in around the city and waiting for reinforcements to arrive. Meanwhile, the Confederate Army of Tennessee, under General Braxton Bragg, took the surrounding heights, including Missionary Ridge to the east and Lookout Mountain to the southwest, allowing them control over the vital rail and river supply lines needed by the Union forces in the city. Bragg planned to lay siege to the city and starve the Union forces into surrendering.

Having lost faith in Rosecrans after Chickamauga, Washington delegated Ulysses S. Grant with the task of lifting the siege by placing him in command of nearly the entire theater. Grant replaced Rosecrans with George H. Thomas, who had saved the army at Chickamauga, and ordered him to "hold Chattanooga at all hazards." Thomas replied, "We will hold the town till we starve." Meanwhile, President Lincoln detached General Hooker and two divisions from the Army of the Potomac and sent them west to reinforce the garrison at Chattanooga.

What followed were some of the most remarkable operations of the entire Civil War. Hooker and his reinforcements helped open up a vital supply line known as the "cracker line", effectively ensuring that enough supplies could reach Knoxville. With that, preparations turned to a pitched battle between the two sides, and in a series of actions in late November, Grant sought to lift the siege and drive back Bragg's Confederate army by attacking their positions on high ground.

Although the Chattanooga Campaign was months long and involved several battles, it has become mostly remembered for the Battle of Missionary Ridge, one of the most remarkable and successful charges of the war. As Thomas's men reached the base of the Missionary Ridge, they found that it had not afforded them protection from the Confederate defenders in their front. As a result, they began making impromptu charges up the hill, in defiance of Grant's orders, since Grant had only ordered them to take the rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge and believed that a frontal assault on that position would be futile and fatal. As the Union soldiers stormed ahead, General Grant caught the advance from a distance and asked General Thomas why he had ordered the attack. Thomas informed Grant that he hadn't; his army had taken it upon itself to charge up the entire ridge. To the amazement of everyone watching, the Union soldiers scrambled up Missionary Ridge in a series of uncoordinated and disorganized attacks that somehow managed to send the Confederates into a rout, thereby lifting the siege on Chattanooga. While Pickett's Charge, still the most famous attack of the war, was one unsuccessful charge, the Army of the Cumberland made over a dozen charges up Missionary Ridge and ultimately succeeded.

The Greatest Civil War Battles: The Battle of Missionary Ridge comprehensively covers the campaign and the events that led up to the climactic battle, the fighting itself, and the aftermath of the battle. Accounts of the fighting by important participants are also included, along with maps and pictures of important people, places, and events. You will learn about the Battle of Missionary Ridge like you never have before, in no time at all.

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  • Print Length: 56 Pages
  • File Size: 3,209 KB

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