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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 57
the town and controls it and the valley. Rosecrans was besieged and penned up in that town, with the Tennessee river in his rear.
  On October 19, Secretary Stanton met Gen. Grant for the first time, in Louisville, Kentucky. That night Charles A. Dana, an assistant to Mr. Stanton, wired the secretary that Rosecrans intended to retreat, and advised peremptory orders against his doing so. Then and there Grant was appointed commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi, and that night relieved Rosecrans and appointed Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas the commander at Chattanooga. He also directed Thomas to hold Chattanooga "at all hazards," and Thomas' usually prompt reply came that he would "till we starve, " a very significant answer, as the army had been in a state of siege for almost a month, and food was extremely scarce, Bragg being able to control all roads to the north.
    On October 22d Grant reached Thomas, and on the 24th directed that an old river boat which had been discovered at Chattanooga be repaired to carry food and supplies from Bridgeport. It was soon put in service, and after that food and supplies were ample, which was the first defeat for Bragg. The steamboat was known as the "Cracker Line, " and Company C was in the besieged city, in the trenches between the city and Missionary Ridge.
    Chattanooga is located on the south side of the big bend in the Tennessee river. Missionary Ridge lays north and south, three miles east of the city. The brow of Lookout Mountain runs to the river, two and a half miles west of the city. These ridges are parallel with a valley four miles in width. Missionary Ridge is from 500 to 800 feet in height, with a declivity of forth-five degrees. Lookout Mountain is higher. Gen. Bragg had his artillery and troops on both ridges, with a battle line and some fortifications along the base of Missionary Ridge and across the valley to Lookout Mountain. The west side of Lookout Mountain was rugged, heavily timbered, and full of chasms; farther up the mountain the ground became more even and level. On the east side the slope was more gradual, and a road led from the summit to the town.
    On the morning of November 23, 1863, Thomas' old Fourteenth Corps (Co. C), now under Palmer, were in the valley, facing Missionary Ridge. At 2 p. m. they made an attack on the enemy's line of battle at the base of the ridge, captured it,


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Created: 16 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors