The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Battle of Missionary Ridge

Was this planned?

Absolutely not. Grant’s plan was for the men of the Army of the Cumberland to take the rifle pits and hold their position. When he saw them moving up the ridge, he barked to General Thomas, asking who had ordered this assault. Thomas replied, just as curtly, that he had not. Chomping on a cigar—he sometimes consumed twenty a day—Grant muttered that someone was going to be court-martialed if the attack failed. When he took a second look, Grant was transfixed. It was not only the few regiments that led the attack; it seemed as if the entire Army of the Cumberland was ascending Missionary Ridge.

After winning the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Grant continued to pursue Southern forces, who made a stand at Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga. The Confederate defeat there marked the beginning of an inevitable end for the South.


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