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[359] beef ‘dried on the hoof.’ Had Bragg held on to Chattanooga when he fell back to fight at Chickamauga, his position might have been that of the Federals, with no great armies to summon to his relief.

General Grant, the conqueror at Vicksburg, was called to meet at Louisville Secretary Stanton, and they decided that a ‘retreat from Chattanooga at that time would have been a terrible disaster, involving the annihilation of the army.’ It was agreed that Grant must drop all other engagements and go to the relief of Rosecrans. While they were together in Louisville, Stanton received from Dana a dispatch saying that unless prevented, Rosecrans would retreat, whereupon Stanton, at midnight, in dressing-gown, sent for Grant and gave him command of the military division of the Mississippi, and assigned Thomas to the command of the army of the Cumberland, ordering him to hold Chattanooga at all hazards. Thomas replied, ‘We will hold the town till we starve.’ Grant visited Chattanooga after giving orders to mobilize armies for its relief, and says he found the army of the Cumberland without ammunition enough for a day's fighting.

Parts of the corps of Howard and Slocum, under Hooker, had already been ordered from the army of the Potomac to reinforce Rosecrans, and were concentrated at Bridgeport. On October 26th Hooker crossed to the south side of the Tennessee at Bridgeport and marched eastward. A detachment from Chattanooga, floating down stream at night, captured the Confederate pickets at Brown's ferry, and laid a pontoon bridge. Hooker, on the afternoon of the 28th, was in Lookout valley at Wauhatchie, and became the right of Grant's line, with the road opened in the rear for abundant supplies. General Sherman was on his way with an army, and arrived at Bridgeport November 14th.

Meanwhile Bragg had been unable to hold Longstreet. The latter, with McLaws', Hood's and Buckner's divisions

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