Though not a sanguinary nor decisive struggle, few occurred during the war that were more creditable to the generalship or the soldierly qualities of either army.
continued his pursuit, and in due time beleaguered the city,1
though he can hardly be said to have invested it. That lie intended, and expected, and tried, to carry it, is true; and there was very spirited and pretty constant fighting around it, mainly on its west side; but the day of rushing naked infantry in masses on formidable earthworks covering heavy batteries was nearly over with either side.
The defenses were engineered by Capt. Poe
, and were signally effective.
Directly on getting into position, a smart assault was delivered on our right, held by the 112th Illinois, 45th Ohio, 3d Michigan, and 12th Kentucky, and a bill carried; but it was not essential to the defenses.
Our loss this day was about 100; among them was Gen. W. P. Sanders
, of Kentucky
Shelling and skirmishing barely served to break the monotony for ten weary days, when — having been reenforced by Sam Jones
, and one or two other small commands from Virginia
delivered an assault,2
by a picked storming party of three brigades, on an unfinished but important work known as Fort Sanders
, on our left.
but was bloodily repelled by Gen. Ferrero
, who held it — the loss of the assailants being some 800, including Col. McElroy
, 13th Mississippi, and Col. Thomas
, 16th Georgia, killed; while on our side the entire loss that night
And now — Bragg
having been defeated by Grant
, and a relieving force under Sherman
being close at hand — Longstreet
necessarily abandoned the siege, and moved rapidly eastward unassailed to Russellville
: our entire loss in the defense having been less than 1,000; while his must have been twice or thrice that number.
's advance reached the city, and Burnside
officially announced the raising of the siege, Dec. 5th.
had been thoroughly aroused to the peril of Rosecrans
just too late to do any good.
On his first advice that Longstreet
had been dispatched southward from Virginia
— it was said, to Charleston
— he had telegraphed3
, to Hurlbut
, and to Grant
, to move troops to the support of Rosecrans
; and the orders to Burnside
were reiterated next day. Schofield at St. Louis
in the northwest were likewise instructed respectively to forward to Tennessee
every man they could spare.
And it now occurred to Halleck
— or did the day after Chickamauga
— that two independent commands on the Tennessee
would not be so likely to insure effective cooperation as if one mind directed the movements of both armies; so — Rosecrans
being made the necessary scapegoat of others' mistakes as well as his own--Gen. Grant
was selected for chief command; Rosecrans
being relieved, and instructed to turn over his army to Gen. Thomas
But was about 100; only 15 of these in Grant
was now sick in New Orleans, the fort.
out of reach by telegraph; and Sherman