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[78] The whole force was on half rations, and had scarcely ammunition enough for a single battle. Three thousand wounded soldiers lay in the camps, suffering and dying for the want of medical supplies. Ten thousand horses and mules had died for want of forage; and even had a retreat been contemplated, all artillery and baggage must be abandoned. From their elevated position on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge the enemy was throwing shells into the town and the Union camps. The rebel forces, greatly increased and holding strong and commanding positions, were confident that they would soon possess and maintain this important strategic point, while the Union troops were daily becoming weaker and more dispirited.

Such was the condition of affairs when Grant assumed command. Besides the reenforcements which he had already ordered forward under Sherman, other troops were placed at his disposal, including the eleventh and twelfth corps from the army of the Potomac, under the command of General Hooker, and he was assured of the fullest support by the government. Although still lame and weak, Grant entered at once into the conduct of the campaign with his usual energy. He sent forward orders to hold Chattanooga at all hazards till he arrived, gave directions for Burnside's operations at Knoxville, prescribed the movements of reenforcements, ordered forward fresh provisions and medical supplies, studied the whole field, mastered its difficulties, and laid his plans. He hastened to Chattanooga as soon as possible over the precipitous mountain roads, which were rendered almost impassable by the heavy rain, but by which alone he could

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Ulysses S. Grant (2)
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