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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/159

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lahoma, Bragg had posted bodies of troops for the double purpose of defense and of threatening the union base at Murfreesboro. Bragg believed that he had sufficient men in this vicinity to guard the narrow defiles through which most of the roads ran.

Without going into detailed accounts of movements of troops, Rosecrans's plan may be briefly stated. Realizing the strength of Bragg's left at Shelbyville, the union general resolved to attempt what his opponent evidently considered well-nigh impossible—to get his forces on Bragg's right in such a position as to threaten the latter 's line of communication and compel him to evacuate his strong position.

PSM V65 D159 Tennessee river breaking by a gorge through the mountains.png

The Tennessee breaking by a Steep Gorge through the 'Mountains.' Owing to the swift current it is there called the 'Suck.'

A strong union force with several days' rations in wagons and on hoof was detached for this movement. A vigorous attack on Bragg's left partly concealed the plan of Rosecrans and prevented him from sending reinforcements from here. The movement was successful and the defiles or 'gaps' were secured by which the troops could pass to the level of the plateau on which Tullahoma was situated. The confederate general, not waiting for his line of supplies to be destroyed, retired to the Tennessee, burning the bridges and destroying the railroad as he went. A pursuit was attempted which was entirely ineffectual. The passage of the confederate army had left the roads almost impassable and their rear guard had little trouble in defending the defiles through which their columns had passed. Bragg crossed the Tennessee and leisurely led his army into Chattanooga.