River steamers could get to within only eight miles

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and ran through Confederate territory into town. River steamers could get to within only eight miles of Chattanooga; beyond, the Tennessee River was swift and narrow. Supplies therefore came over the mountains in wagons; but starting September 30, Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, one of Bragg’s cavalry commanders, raided as far north as Murfreesboro. Though heavily and effectively opposed in his effort to tear up the railroad, he managed to destroy many precious Union supply wagons. With the mountain roads breaking down under the heavy traffic in wet weather, rations in Chattanooga ran short. Men went hungry, and horses and mules began to die of starvation. Rose-crans prepared to reopen his line of communications by means of an overland route to the west. But this route was dominated by Confeder-ate troops on Raccoon and Lookout Mountains. Additional troops to clear these strong points were required if the Army of the Cumberland was to survive.Washington finally awoke to the fact that an entire Union army was trapped in Chattanooga and in danger of capture. In a midnight coun-Union Officers on Missionary Ridge,James Walker, 1864
THE CIVIL WAR, 1863275cil meeting on September 23, the President met with Secretary Stanton, General Halleck, and others to determine what could be done. As Gen-eral Meade was not active in the east at that time, they decided to detach two corps, or about 20,000 men, from the Army of the Potomac and send them by rail to Tennessee under the command of General Hooker, who had been without active command since his relief in June. The selected forces included ten artillery batteries with over 3,000 mules and horses. The 1,157-mile journey involved four changes of trains, owing to differing gauges and lack of track connections, and eclipsed all other such troop movements by rail up to that time. The troops be-gan to entrain at Manassas Junction and Bealton Station, Virginia, on September 25, and five days later the first trains arrived at Bridgeport, Alabama. Not all the troops made such good time: for the majority of the infantry the trip consumed about nine days. And movement of the artillery, horses, mules, baggage, and impedimenta was somewhat slower. Combined with a waterborne movement of 17,000 men under Sherman from Mississippi, the reinforcement of the besieged Rosecrans was a triumph of skill and planning.Chickamauga had caused Stanton and his associates to lose con-fidence in Rosecrans. For some time Lincoln had been dubious about Rosecrans, who, he said, acted “like a duck hit on the head” after Chick-amauga; but he did not immediately choose a successor. Finally, about mid-October, he decided to unify command in the west and to vest it in General Grant, who still commanded the Army of the Tennessee. In October Stanton met Grant in Louisville and gave him orders that allowed him some discretion in selecting subordinates. Grant was ap-pointed commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi, which embraced the Departments and Armies of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee and included the vast area from the Alleghenies to the Mississippi River north of Banks’ Department of the Gulf. Thomas

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