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[394] for a good road. In like manner, near Chattanooga on the left bank,. two great parallel ranges seventy miles long, Lookout Mountain and Sand or Raccoon Mountain, project their huge masses to the river's edge; but the engineer has found space for a single railway track between the point of Lookout Mountain and the water, and a wagon road climbs. a hundred feet or more above the railway. Between these ranges is Lookout Valley. At Chattanooga the railway from Atlanta turns abruptly south of west, crossing the Tennessee at Bridgeport. Thus the great barrier of Lookout Mountain, standing on one flank of Chattanooga, has forced the railway engineer to account with it as it will now interpose with its ponderous mass in all the calculations of the strategist.

Atlanta, 138 miles south and east of Chattanooga, was Bragg's base. His principal line of communication was the railway connecting these two points.

Rosecrans, with his army extending from McMinville to Winchester, in Middle Tennessee, with Nashville as his base, had in his movement on Chattanooga, to choose whether he would turn the right or the left of the Confederate position. Only sixty miles, as the crow flies, separated the two armies, but you must picture the intervening country to your mind's eye as a sea of mountains.

A mere front attack, following the line of railway, wedged in between the mountains and the river, was, of course, out of the question. Rosecrans has described the country through which he must have moved to turn Bragg's right as rough in itself, traversed by few roads, and almost destitute of supplies. Besides, each day's march would have taken him farther from the railway leading to Nashville. But, on the other hand, each day's march would have brought him nearer to Burnside's army, moving on Knoxville. The disadvantages mentioned seem to have outweighed in his mind the crowning advantage of concentration, and he chose the movement to turn Bragg's left.

Following the railway, he crossed the Tennessee at Bridgeport and three other points by the 4th of September, and by the 7th he concentrated the bulk of his forces in Lookout Valley. Lookout Mountain was now interposed as a great curtain between the two armies. Near its northern end nestles Chattanooga.

Over this precipitous range three roads were practicable for Rosecrans's army. One, following the railway over the point of Lookout Mountain where it rises abruptly from the river, leads directly to Chattanooga; the second passes through Stevens's and Cooper's gaps, some twenty-six miles south of Chattanooga, into a secluded valley, known as McLemore's Cove; the third crosses still farther south, at Winston's

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