After his defeat at the battle of Chickamauga, Union Commander William Rosecrans, was, according to Abraham Lincoln, ‘stunned like a duck hit on the head’. Now besieged in Chattanooga, General George Thomas replaced Rosecrans in charge of the defending Union Army of the Cumberland, while the new overall commander of Union forces in the west, Ulysses S. Grant, marched to effect their relief, arriving on 23 October. Forays by Generals Smith and Hooker secured Union supply lines through Brown’s Ferry and Wauhatchie, effectively breaking the siege. Now it was Confederate Commander Braxton Bragg’s turn to fear encirclement, and on 23 November, Grant sprung the trap by ordering simultaneous flanking assaults by Generals Hooker and Sherman. Hooker drove the Confederates off Lookout Mountain, but Sherman was baulked at Tunnel Hill. On 25 November, a frontal assault from General Thomas’s defenders carried the centre, and joined with Hooker to rout the Confederates.
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