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Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
The Civil War

Battle of Chattanooga 1863

Battle of Chattanooga 1863
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.56

     challenging words:    incompetent, vantage, following, discord, re-establish, tactical, recapture, standoff, determination, spite, possibility, decisive, strict, siege, stake, petition
     content words:    General Rosecrans, General Bragg, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, General Burnside, General Forrest, William F., Tennessee River, General Grant, General Thomas

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Battle of Chattanooga 1863
By Mary L. Bushong

1     After the battle of Chickamauga, General Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga. Instead of following quickly to reinforce his victory, General Bragg of the Confederate army allowed the Union soldiers to re-establish themselves in the city again. He was convinced that they were beaten so badly, they would shortly be moving north again.
2     When it became obvious that the Union army was not going to move from Chattanooga, he laid siege to the city. From his vantage point on Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, he could direct his men to raid any and all supply wagons coming to the city. Bragg was sure that the Union army could be encouraged to leave this way, and he would give them time to do it.
3     Bragg was not interested in taking decisive action. Longstreet wanted to take part of the Confederate army east to cut off any support that might come from General Burnside in Knoxville. General Forrest asked for men to help push the Union army bodily from Chattanooga. Both requests were denied. Instead, he chose to siege.
4     As soon as Lincoln heard of the standoff, he was spurred to action. There was more at stake than just determining the victor of one small battle. It would decide who was going to control the direction of the war. The summer battles had gone against the South, and Lincoln did not want that to turn around. To avoid that possibility, he rushed 50,000 troops toward the city.
5     Food rations were starting to get short when William F. Smith solved the supply problem. He set up his "cracker line." It was a complicated method of getting supplies up the Tennessee River, but it worked.

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