The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

How did Rosecrans react to Stanton’s prodding?

General Rosecrans had taken his sweet time arranging things, but once he went into action, he did so with great skill. Rather than force his way past the outnumbered Army of Tennessee, Rosecrans and his corps commanders executed some very clever and tricky maneuvers, continually going around Bragg’s flanks. Given that this was Confederate territory, Bragg should have known the terrain better; instead, he looked like somewhat of a fool as the Federals continually outmaneuvered him. There were several skirmishes, but no battles, as the Army of the Cumberland made its way south.

Time and again, Bragg was caught off balance. Some of his errors were pardonable, but it was just plain stupid to yield the railroad town of Chattanooga. Three important Southern railroads ran through this locality, and its falling into federal hands brought about a crisis in Confederate supply systems and communications. A neutral observer—if such a person could be found—would have said this was the time to remove Bragg as commander, but Jefferson Davis kept him there and said that reinforcements were on their way.


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