- Chattanooga, Battle of
- (1863)A Union victory in the American Civil War. Chattanooga, Tennessee, an important rail center and river port, is situated on the south bank of the Tennessee River Valley at Moccasin Bend where the Ridge and Valley Region of the Appalachian Mountains meets the Appalachian Plateau Region. Missionary Ridge runs southwest to northeast on the eastern side of the city and was occupied by Confederates. They also held the heights of Lookout Mountain, a great plateau on the west. After the Union defeat at Chickamauga, General Rosecrans was replaced by General Ulysses S. Grant. Opposing him were Confederates under the command of General Braxton Bragg. On November 23, Union forces captured Orchard Knob, a hill centrally located between Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge. The next day Union forces commanded by Major General Joseph Hooker scaled the walls of Lookout Mountain in the “Battle above the Clouds.” They then drove its Confederate defenders southward into Georgia. On November 25, assaults on Confederate positions on Missionary Ridge were repulsed until near dusk when Union forces commanded by Major General George H. Thomas attacked Confederate rifle pits at its base. The troops then spontaneously swept up the ridge without orders to attack. The dramatic assault by 23,000 men drove the Confederates off the ridge and back into Georgia. Confederate casualties were 6,600, Union losses at 6,000. Europe received news of the last of a long series of battles in 1863 with some boredom. It was more news of enormous and deadly conflicts that had not brought an end to the war. Still, the use of railroads for moving troops continued to impress some in Prussian military circles.FURTHER READING:Cozzens, Peter. The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.ANDREW JACKSON WASKEY
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.