Ulysses S. Grant did not share their certainty. For Grant, the job he had been sent to accomplish was only half-finished. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee still held Missionary Ridge, with other Rebels under James Longstreet threatening more Federals in Knoxville, Tennessee. Grant’s greatest fear was that the Rebels would slip away before he could deliver the final blows necessary to crush Bragg completely.
That blow landed on the afternoon of November 25. Each of Grant’s assembled forcestroops led by Union Generals William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, and Joseph Hookerall moved to the attack. Stubbornly, Bragg refused to retreat, and instead accepted battle. That decision would cost him dearly.
But everything did not go Grant’s way. Despite what Grant’s many admirers would later insist was his most successful, most carefully planned battle, Grant’s strategy failed himas did his most trusted commander, Sherman. Victory instead charged straight up the seemingly impregnable slopes of Missionary Ridge’s western face, as the men of the much-maligned Army of the Cumberland swarmed up and over Bragg’s defenses in an irresistible blue tide.
Caught flat-footed by this impetuous charge, Grant could only watch nervously as the men started up . . .
All Hell Can’t Stop Them: The Battles for ChattanoogaMissionary Ridge and Ringgold, November 24-27, 1863sequel to Battle Above the Cloudsdetails the dramatic final actions of the battles for Chattanooga: Missionary Ridge and the final Confederate rearguard action at Ringgold, where Patrick Cleburne held Grant’s Federals at bay and saved the Army of Tennessee from further disaster.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Grant Plans a Battle 1
Chapter 2 Sherman Stumbles 9
Chapter 3 Fatal Indecision 17
Chapter 4 Raid on Cleveland 25
Chapter 5 The Fight for Tunnel Hill 35
Chapter 6 Sherman Tries Again 51
Chapter 7 Storming the Ridge 63
Chapter 8 The Fight at Rossville 81
Chapter 9 Cleburne Saves the Army of Tennessee 95
Chapter 10 Grant Ascending 107
Touring the Battlefield 113
Appendix A The Best-Planned Battle? 129
Appendix B End-Game in East Tennessee 137
Appendix C A Monumental Struggle William Lee White 145
Appendix D A Corps is Formed Eric J. Wittenberg 151
Order of Battle 160
Suggested Reading 172
About The Author 176