September 19, 1863 – September 20, 1863
The Battle of Chickamauga was the prelude to The Battle of Chattanooga as both sides jockeyed for control of the Tennessee front. The Tennessee front was a valuable intersection between the north and south. Geographically, the army that could control the supply lines and the abundant natural resources of the Tennessee Valley would have a superior reach in the war.
Both sides knew this and both sides would fight to the death in order to achieve their missions. The battle started with General Rosecrans of the Union forces attacking the Confederate army positioned in the city of Chattanooga. Rosecrans plan was to launch a three-pronged attack with three different sections of his one army.
The troop strength of each section was around 5,000 with cavalry and other military support units comprising the attacking divisions. The Confederates were ready and waiting for the advancing armies of the Union and with General Bragg at the helm poised to give the Union all they could handle in Chattanooga.
The Union forces converged at Chattanooga and forced the Confederates to withdraw for the city limits. The bloody battles and skirmishes had take a toll on both sides and this was something that the north was already consumed with. The high loss of men experienced by the north, was an unpopular aspect during the war in general. Obviously, when men die, it is not seen as a positive sign for any populace.
For the north it was twice as hard to take since their mind set was a quick and essentially limited loss of life affair. The Battle of Chickamauga and subsequent Battle of Chattanooga sealed the deal in terms of a long a devastating loss of life war.
The Union army under Rosecrans followed Bragg and his retreating Confederate forces out of Chattanooga. The site of Davis Cross Roads would prove to be the next battle marker and the area where the Confederates would reclaim the battle. Bragg engaged Rosecrans and smashed through the Union lines with the assistance of General James Longstreet’s Calvary Division.
Violent and bloody, the two sides fought until the Union retreated back in to the city of Chattanooga and the south occupied the foothills on the outskirts of town. A temporary stalemate occurred with both sides deciding what their next moves would entail.
The Battle of Chickamauga is considered a Confederate victory for the sole reason that the south was still in the general vicinity of Chattanooga and the north knew that. The Union had wanted to be in full control, of the Eastern Tennessee area but the stubbornness of General Bragg and his “Low-Country Boys" kept that from coming to fruition.
The upcoming Battle for Chattanooga would prove to be a clinical survey of tactical brilliance. The stage was set for a spectacular foray into wartime activity. The South was angry the North was determined. The two would meet in the hilly, picturesque rolling- green of this Tennessee town.