The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, a city and the capital of Hamilton co., Tennessee, at the base of Lookout mountain, near where the S. boundary of the state touches Alabama and Georgia; pop. in 1870, 6,093, of whom 2,221 were colored. It is on the Tennessee river, 250 m. by water from Knoxville, and 150 m. S. E. of Nashville. The river is navigable by steamboats eight months of the year, and by small boats at all times. The Nashville and Chattanooga, East Tennessee and Georgia, Alabama and Chattanooga, and Western and Atlantic railroads connect here. There are two national banks, with $470,000 capital, and a discount and deposit bank. It is the shipping point for most of the surplus productions of East and of a portion of Middle Tennessee, and contains a number of mills and factories. The surrounding country is supplied with water power, well wooded, and rich in coal and iron.—During the civil war Chattanooga was an important strategic point for the operations in eastern Tennessee and Georgia. After the engagement at Stone River, near Murfreesboro (Dec. 26, 1862, to Jan. 2, 1863), the confederates, under Bragg, fell back to Chattanooga, which they abandoned Sept. 8, upon the approach of Rosecrans. The confederates, being reënforced by Longstreet's division from the army of Virginia, manœuvred to drive Rosecrans from Chattanooga, while he attempted to force them from their threatening position in the neighborhood. The result was the battle of Chickamauga, fought Sept. 19, 20, about 12 m. S. W. of Chattanooga. (See Chickamauga.) After his repulse, Rosecrans continued to occupy Chattanooga, but was superseded (Oct. 19) by Thomas, and Grant was placed in command of the military division of the Mississippi, comprising the four departments commanded by Sherman, Thomas, Hooker, and Burnside. Bragg had despatched Longstreet to operate against Burnside near Knoxville, and meanwhile, by commanding the lines of supply, held Thomas practically besieged at Chattanooga. Grant reached Chattanooga Oct. 23, and at once formed plans for raising the siege. By a series of successful operations the lines of supply were opened, and soon after the middle of November the Union force at Chattanooga was raised to about 80,000, while the confederates had not more than 50,000. Grant now resolved to force the enemy from his commanding position, which lay in a semicircular form on the heights overlooking Chattanooga, Lookout mountain being on the south and Missionary ridge on the east. The operations began Nov. 23, when the confederate picket line was forced back, and favorable positions secured. On the morning of the 24th Hooker with 10,000 men was sent to assail the confederate left, strongly posted on the Tennessee upon the slopes of Lookout mountain. A dense fog covered the sides, concealing the movement from the enemy; and the confederates, taken by surprise, abandoned the position, with a loss of 2,000 prisoners. Hooker's force encamped for the night upon the upper part of the slope which they had won. This engagement is generally designated as the battle of Lookout mountain, sometimes as the battle above the clouds. Sherman was ordered on the morning of the 25th to assault the confederate centre and right, which occupied a long line on the heights of Missionary ridge, in a position so strong, that, as Bragg says, “though greatly outnumbered, no doubt was entertained of our ability to hold it, and every disposition was made for that purpose.” Several determined attacks were repelled; but late in the afternoon three divisions of Thomas's army, under Sheridan, T. J. Wood, and Baird, stormed the ridge and broke the confederate line, when, says Bragg, “the enemy, having secured much of our artillery, soon availed themselves of our panic, and, turning our guns upon us, enfiladed our lines both right and left, rendering them wholly untenable. Fortunately it was now near nightfall, and the country and the roads in our rear were fully known to us, but unknown to the enemy. The routed left made its way back in great disorder. After informing myself of the full condition of affairs, it was decided to put the army in motion for a point further removed from a powerful and victorious army, that we might have some time to replenish and recuperate for another struggle.” This action is generally known as the battle of Missionary ridge. The confederates were pursued for a space on the 26th. The Union loss during the three days was 5,616, of whom 757 were killed, 4,529 wounded, and 330 missing. The confederate loss in killed and wounded was smaller, probably not more than 4,000; but 6,142 prisoners were taken, together with 40 guns and 7,000 stand of small arms. The results of this action were on both sides recognized as of great importance. In effect, it put an end to the war in Tennessee for a year, when it was resumed there by Hood in the battles of Franklin and Nashville.