As August turned into September, it almost seemed as if the war was on “pause.” This was deceptive and things were brewing in northern Georgia.
On Aug. 16, under intense pressure from Gen. Henry Halleck in Washington, Gen. William S. Rosecrans ordered his Army of the Cumberland to begin moving in an attempt to either force Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee out of Chattanooga or to get behind him.
Chattanooga was a key railroad hub and an important center for iron and coke production. The Tullahoma campaign, which had forced Bragg into the city, had cost Rosecrans only 569 casualties.
Rosecrans diverted Bragg’s attention by sending a brigade upstream of Chattanooga and acting like they were preparing a pontoon bridge over the Tennessee, and artillery spent time shelling Chattanooga. Meanwhile, downstream from Chattanooga, west of Lookout Mountain, the first of Rosecrans’ forces began their unopposed crossing of the Tennessee on Aug. 29.
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