previous next

[35] Yet General Bragg's complaint could not have made much impression at Richmond, for Polk, after remaining under suspension a few days, was given an even more responsible position than he had held before.

The real cause of the blunder is open to conjecture. It was generally remarked at the time that Bragg did not seem to know how complete his victory had been. The bold front which Thomas made with his single corps, had the same effect on Bragg which General Forrest's conduct on a similar occasion, a year after, had on himself. Many officers, it was said, high in rank, were for marching into Chatanooga, even after a lapse of several days. The reports of the people by whose doors we passed in our advance to Missionary Ridge, confirmed the universal conviction of the complete demoralization of the enemy. Yet we contented ourselves, with what we had done, and soon afterwards, from the heights of Missionary Ridge, in the rapidly increasing fortifications of the foe, and his daily reinforcements, beheld the real fruits of that contest grow more and more impossible to obtain.

Our sojourn on Missionary Ridge was the introduction to that series of privations, which, imposed, as it seemed to us in the ranks, by the incompetency and indifference of our leaders, did more to ruin the army than almost anything else.

General Bragg, although beseiger, began to make preparations to resist an attack. During several days while he was entrenching, the enemy was summoning all his energies to strengthen his ranks, and it was not long before we heard of immense reinforcements, pouring through the mountains to the rescue. General U. S Grant was with them and they gave prompt notice to Bragg of their approach by surprising his extreme left, and thereby opening a way to Chattanooga. Their arrival swelled their numbers to over a hundred thousand men, and, combined with the presence of their one successful leader. Grant, gave new zeal and courage to the old whipped army of Rosecrans.

Our commander made but feeble attempts at entrenchment, and after his enemy had made the great accessions to his forces above referred to, General Bragg detached Longstreet's corps and hurried it off to besiege Knoxville. Even the day before the battle, our command was withdrawn from our position on the Ridge (I was then in Cleburne's command) and we lay some time, irresolutely at the depot, waiting, as we supposed, to be sent to reinforce Longstreet.

Thus, by his own act, our commander seemed to make his position

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Missionary Ridge, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Knoxville (Tennessee, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Braxton Bragg (6)
James Longstreet (2)
U. S. Grant (2)
George H. Thomas (1)
Rosecrans (1)
Leonidas Polk (1)
N. B. Forrest (1)
Patrick Cleburne (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: