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  4. Army of Tennessee | Description, Generals, Battles, & Facts |

Gary Donaldson , Western Kentucky University. It was a troubled command; Kirby Smith's insufficient army was pressed from the north by Brigadier General George Buell. Through a series of political maneuvers, Kirby Smith obtained a portion of Bragg's army and entered Kentucky on August 14, Bragg, with the remainder of his army, was to follow.

The plan was for the two Confederate armies to bring an indecisive Kentucky into the Confederacy, obtain Kentucky recruits, and combine to defeat Buell who was of course obligated to defend Kentucky against the invading armies. Kirby Smith moved rapidly northward, defeating a small Union force at Richmond Kentucky on August He continued on to capture Lexington and Frankfort on September 2 and 3.

Bragg--with Buell closely behind--marched toward Bowling Green, and on to Munfordville, turning eastward off the Louisville road to Bardstown.

In fact, some commanders attempted to stop the advance. As good soldiers often do, they took matters into their own hands. They also wished to redeem their failure at Chickamauga. One of the heroes of the day was year-old Arthur MacArthur of the 24 th Wisconsin. For his action that day he would receive the Medal of Honor and be brevetted to colonel of volunteers. He was, of course, also the father of Douglas MacArthur.

Braxton Bragg - Wikipedia audio article

Bragg had split his forces, putting half at the bottom of the hill with secret orders to fire a volley when the enemy got to within yards, and then to withdraw to the second defensive line. But many of the Rebel soldiers had not gotten the word and defended the first line even when others had pulled back. Then as they retreated, they masked the fires of the second defensive position.

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Unable to fire for fear of hitting their comrades, many of the defenders in the second line panicked and abandoned their positions. But much of the blame must fall on the Confederate engineer responsible for the final defensive line, who had taken his instructions literally when told to put the final line on the highest ground. Thus he chose the geographic or topographic crest instead of the military crest, which lies on the forward slope of a hill or ridge and enables the defenders to deliver constant grazing against the attackers. The Army of the Cumberland came forward over about six separate lines of approach, establishing footholds at various places, enabling them to deliver enfilade fire against any Confederate strong points that had been able to resist the frontal assault.

32nd Regiment, Kentucky Infantry

The result was a complete Confederates rout. One division of the Army of the Cumberland, that of Phil Sheridan, was able to pursue the defeated Rebels, capturing a large number of guns and prisoners and nearly capturing Bragg, Breckinridge, and other high-ranking officers. The final assault had lasted about an hour, resulting in 37 guns and 2, prisoners taken.

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Meanwhile Hooker was rolling up the left. Despite the rout, Grant was unable to pursue effectively. The Confederates rallied on a ridge about yards east of Missionary Ridge. Casualties for Chattanooga were relatively low, especially when compared to the two-day bloodletting at Chickamauga. Union losses totaled 5, while the Confederates lost 6, Grant pursued Bragg into northern Georgia, but soon returned to Chattanooga for the winter. Operations on both sides halted until the spring. After his victory at Chattanooga, Grant was elevated to command of all Union armies.

On the Confederate side, Bragg mercifully offered his resignation as commanding general of the Army of Tennessee, and Davis accepted. Davis was forced to turn to Joseph Johnston, with whom he had feuded since the beginning of the war. In , Johnston would reprise his performance on the Virginia Peninsula in the spring of , retreating toward Atlanta until that city was finally lost.

A much better choice for command would have been Cleburne, by far the finest officer in that unfortunate organization. Unfortunately for the Confederacy, this was not likely. First of all, Cleburne, a division commander, was junior to both Hardee and Breckinridge. But an even greater mark against him in the eyes of the Confederate hierarchy was his heretical view on slavery.

In , Cleburne, who had immigrated to Arkansas from Ireland, proposed granting freedom to slaves who enlisted in the Confederate army.

“The Shipwreck of Their Hopes”: From Tullahoma to Chattanooga

He asked, quite bluntly: are we more interested in independence or the institution of slavery? The Confederacy gave its answer.

His proposal caused scandal, both among his fellow general officers in the Army of Tennessee and politicians in Richmond when they got wind of it. If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong. Nonetheless he continued to serve loyally and effectively until he was essentially murdered by John Bell Hood in his blind frontal assault at Franklin, Tennessee in November of , the penultimate act in the final destruction of the unfortunate Army of Tennessee.

For even though appears in retrospect to be the decisive year of the war, war weariness in the North was becoming widespread, even with Union successes in the field. Dissent in the North was a major concern for Lincoln; indeed, he did not expect to win the election of Had Atlanta not fallen when it did, it is very possible that Democrat George McClellan would have been elected president, with the Copperhead Rep.

George H.

Pendleton of Ohio, as his vice president. A negotiated peace may well have followed.

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But before Atlanta could fall, Union forces had to penetrate the Appalachian barrier at Chattanooga, opening the road to Atlanta. Had Bragg prevailed at Chattanooga, or even delayed its loss to the Union, the outcome of the war may have been far different than it was.

Educating Teachers to Teach about America. Educating Citizens about America. September He moved to Texas in after securing a position as the chief engineer of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad, and later served as the chief railroad inspector for the state of Texas. Bragg died in Galveston, Texas, in at the age of But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Joseph E. Johnston was a U. John Bell Hood was a U. A graduate of West Point, Hood joined the Confederacy in and gained a reputation as a talented field commander during the Peninsula Campaign and the Second Battle Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a U.

Army of Tennessee | Description, Generals, Battles, & Facts |

A native of Louisiana, Beauregard resigned from the U. Army in February and ordered the first shots of the Civil War during Don Carlos Buell was a U. James Longstreet was a U. Army officer, government official and most famously a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War One of Robert E. Despite having no formal military training, Forrest rose from the rank of private to lieutenant general, serving as a cavalry officer at numerous engagements including the Battles of He demonstrated his capacity for command during assignments on the U.

When General Ulysses S. Grant assumed command of all Union Albert Sidney Johnston was a U. Army in He served in the Texas Army during the Texas