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[263]

This statement by Bragg of the result to be anticipated from the siege of Chattanooga appears reasonable, and it was verified so far as the reduction of the army with Rosecrans to the verge of starvation. But the position assigned to or taken by Longstreet did not keep the Bridgeport route closed. Maj.-Gen. U. S. Grant, who had been given general control of Federal operations in the West, replaced Rosecrans with Thomas, arrived at Chattanooga over the mountains on the 20th of October, and about a week later, two corps from the Federal army in Virginia, Howard's and Slocum's, under Hooker, took possession of Bridgeport and the river almost up to Lookout mountain. Supplies immediately began pouring into Chattanooga. Generals Bragg and Longstreet examined the Federal operations from the summit of Lookout on the 28th, and Geary's division being seen approaching, the divisions of Jenkins and Law, four brigades, were sent against it to make a night attack. This was a failure, and the Federals remained in control up to within range of the guns on Lookout mountain. About the last of October, Longstreet, Hardee and Breckinridge were ordered to examine the situation on Lookout creek with a view to a general battle, but they decided that the difficulty of crossing the mountain prevented all hope of success. ‘Our position was so faulty that we could not accomplish that which was hoped for. We were trying to starve the enemy out by investing him on the only side from which he could not have gathered supplies,’ was Longstreet's expression of the situation after Hooker occupied Lookout valley.

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