Monday, November 18, 2013

Breaking the Siege

View from Lookout Mountain toward Missionary Ridge.  Bragg's Headquarters during the Siege of Chattanooga was near the gap in the center of this frame.  The Civil War City of Chattanooga lay mid fame to the left.

Once the"'Cracker Line" had been opened and Sherman's troops had arrived from their successful siege of Vicksburg, Grant's next objective was to break out of Chattanooga and attack The Army of Mississippi in their strong holds on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.

To this end, Bragg was being cooperative, having detached Longstreet's corps from their position on Missionary Ridge to Chickamauga Station.  There, they would entrain for Knoxville in a failed attempt to retake that city.  To further exacerbate his own problems, he would then order arguably his best field commander, General Patrick Cleburne to follow Longstreet.

Meanwhile, Granger's IV Corps (including the 17th Kentucky) was stretched along the southeast border of Chattanooga, parallel and opposed to Bragg's right which was defending the northern end of Missionary Ridge.  Wood's Division (including the 17th Kentucky) occupied a particularly suitable defensive position froning his headquarters on a large prominence.  Today, this area is called the Fort Wood Historic District and is about one mile northeast of Orchard Knob Military Reservation, our next scene.

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