This Grand Spectacle: The Battle of Chattanooga (Civil War Campaigns and Commanders Series)

Overview


In the summer of 1863, Federal forces scored major victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, turning the tide of war in favor of the Union. President Lincoln and his advisors now focused attention on the small town of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The important railroad center offered a gateway to the Confederate heartland. But just as complete victory in the West appeared imminent, General Braxton Bragg’s reinforced Rebel army struck back at Chickamauga, driving the Federal invaders into Chattanooga, where they were ...
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Overview


In the summer of 1863, Federal forces scored major victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, turning the tide of war in favor of the Union. President Lincoln and his advisors now focused attention on the small town of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The important railroad center offered a gateway to the Confederate heartland. But just as complete victory in the West appeared imminent, General Braxton Bragg’s reinforced Rebel army struck back at Chickamauga, driving the Federal invaders into Chattanooga, where they were soon besieged. A desperate Lincoln now turned to the hero of Vicksburg, General U. S. Grant, who directed the relief of the beleaguered garrison and, with the help of reinforcements from Virginia and Mississippi, turned a possible disaster into a stunning victory—a victory that opened the door to the Deep South and sealed the Confederacy’s doom. In this picturesque setting along the Tennessee River, as Federal troops scaled the heights of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, one Confederate general beheld a scene “grand and imposing in the extreme.” Here Lincoln found the winning combination, the men who would lead his armies to ultimate victory—Grant, William T. Sherman, and Philip Sheridan.

For the Confederates, who invested such hope and so many resources, the disaster at Chattanooga would be a dark chapter, as veteran troops broke and ran before the Federal onslaught. It was a body blow from which the Army of Tennessee, and indeed the Confederacy, would never recover.

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Meet the Author


STEVEN E. WOODWORTH holds a Ph.D. from Rice University and is a Professor of History at Texas Christian University. He has received numerous awards including the Grady McWhiney Award presented by the Dallas Civil War Roundtable for lifetime achievement in Civil War history and preservation, the Society of Military History Distinguished Book Award, the Fletcher Pratt Award, and has had two books selected by the History Book Club as main selections. He is the author, co-author, or editor of twenty-six books, including A Deep Steady Thunder: The Battle of Chickamauga also from McWhiney Foundation Press. He can be reached for interview at S.Woodworth@tcu.edu.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2003

    rush job

    Woodworth whitewashes Sherman's and Grant's performance, dismisses Hooker's attack on Bragg's left on Missionary Ridge with 6 lines. Woodworth has probably never visited the battle site, and he certainly did not make use of the Stewart's Division's reports, now available in the Broadfoot Supplements. He could have profited from a more careful reading of the two most recent serious books on the battle by Cozzens and Sword.

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