Could Bragg have held Chattanooga/Missionary Ridge before fighting Chickamauga?

Luke Freet

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Reading Powell's Chickamauga series currently, I find it is odd that Bragg just gave up Chattanooga completely to Rosecrans, with no consideration for preparing a Fredericksburg-style defense at Missionary Ridge. Could he have held off Rosecrans on Missionary Ridge while receiving reinforcements?
 

uaskme

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Braggs supply line and communications was the RR to ATL. So Rosecrans could of severed that lifeline anywhere between Bragg and ATL. Bragg told his subordinates he would fight for Chattanooga but not in Chattanooga. He was afraid of a siege situation like Pemberton in Vicksburg.
 
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Carronade

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Braggs supply line and communications was the RR to ATL. So Rosecrans could of severed that lifeline anywhere between Bragg and ATL. Bragg told his subordinates he would fight for Chattanooga but not in Chattanooga. He was afraid of a siege situation like Pemberton in Vicksburg.

Which brings up the question of why Grant didn't try to sever the RR? He was facing the same situation hypothesized here, the Confederates entrenched on Missionary Ridge, and he felt that he had to attack them there.
 

Irishtom29

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Which brings up the question of why Grant didn't try to sever the RR? He was facing the same situation hypothesized here, the Confederates entrenched on Missionary Ridge, and he felt that he had to attack them there.

Grant was in a hurry and had Burnside to worry about. An immediate fight at Chattanooga suited his needs. And things worked out fine.
 

uaskme

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Which brings up the question of why Grant didn't try to sever the RR? He was facing the same situation hypothesized here, the Confederates entrenched on Missionary Ridge, and he felt that he had to attack them there.

Grant’s supply line was to the west. Missionary Ridge was to the East. Grant’s original goal was for Sherman to get on the Northern End of Missionary Ridge and force the AOT South, Clearing the way to Knoxville. Sherman Failed. So Grant ordered the demonstration on the Eastern Slope of Missionary Ridge, trying to drawl some of the Confederates away from Sherman. He never intended to use Thomas or the AOC.

Both Armies protected their Supply Lines.
 

Carronade

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Grant’s supply line was to the west. Missionary Ridge was to the East.

And was this not also true for Rosecrans? Was any aspect of the situation faced by Grant different from that faced by Rosecrans?

We say that....

Braggs supply line and communications was the RR to ATL. So Rosecrans could of severed that lifeline anywhere between Bragg and ATL.

…..but no one has addressed why this would not apply to Grant, except @Irishtom29's comment that Grant was in a hurry.
 

Jamieva

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Didn't Rosecrans split his army up on it's approach to Chattanooga such that it threatened Bragg's RR supply line to Atlanta? I thought the whole point of Bragg pulling back was he was looking at the opportunity to individually strike Rosecran's divided corps
 

uaskme

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@Norman Dasinger Jr

Would of helped if he had of fortified Missionary Ridge. Attacked the enemy instead of his Staff. Bragg didn’t commit to staying until the evening before the Battle. Command disintegrated. Animals weren’t fed. Artillery out of position. He had months to make Missionary Ridge defensible. The Ledbetter Effect. Rifle pits at the bottom of the Ridge. Guess that was his Idea.

I’ve always read this as the Confederates couldn’t flank Chattanooga because the pontoon bridge was at Calhoun. However Bragg brings it up for Longstreet’s assault on Knoxville. Falling back to Rome was a option military. But not Politically.

The whole sending Longstreet to Knoxville is a little bit of a mystery. I understand the issue of maybe wanting to get rid of Longstreet. Doubt that was it. Testing his capabilities or whatever that might of been. However telling Longstreet to hustle up to Knoxville. Fight that Battle then hustle back and help us fight Sherman and Grant is a Push. No wonder Longstreet was in No hurry to get back. Burnside was no threat for to Bragg for 3 months. Bragg turning Grants left Flank would of had advantages. However Longstreet being able to force Burnside out of East TN is a leap.Another 10K dug in on Missionary Ridge would of been a plus.

You give Lookout Mountain more importance that I can comprehend. Bragg couldn’t defend it with the Batteries on Stringers Ridge. Infantry would of had to cross at Stevens Gao to get into Lookout Valley. Physiologically it was of importance.

Enjoyed your Article on the Bunkers. I grew up in Wilkes County. Teacher in High School was a direct descendant. His two sons were friends of mine.

Thanks for posting her. Educate Me.
 
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The Bunkers are special in many ways. Thanks.

Missionary Ridge would have been difficult to fortify any more than they had already - very narrow in many places
If Longstreet could have defeated Burnside at Knoxville and then returned to help defeat Grant, if would have been BIG. That was part of the plan.

Falling back before the battle of Missionary Ridge would have been a good idea - but we know the outcome and Bragg did not
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
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Nov 12, 2016
First a clear objective should have been established such as destroying army of Cumberland or re taking the city or even simply blocking forward movement of union forces into Georgia.
Sending Longstreet off to Knoxville was indicative of unfocused thinking, Bragg had time to assess the situation and determine the resources needed for various options and what he had to work with to decide the objective. Given his resources i would rule out re taking the city or destroying army of Cumberland but blocking forward movement into Georgia was doable given the mountain terrain.
 
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