The Battles for Chattanooga changed the outcome of the Civil War. On November 27, following the decisive victories at Chattanooga, General Ulysses S. Grant immediately instituted the Chattanooga-Ringgold campaign and followed the day of National Thanksgiving and Prayer with his announcement to the Washington war office that the route of the Confederates was most complete. So disastrous were the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Orchard Knob that on November 29, General Braxton Bragg asked to be relieved of his duties and was promptly replaced by Lieutenant General W.J. Hardee. It was the beginning of the end for the South. The next spring, Sherman used Chattanooga for his base as he started his march to Atlanta and the sea.

The Battles

Lookout Mountain

On November 24, 1863, the ordinary fog of war was augmented by a thick mist that hung over Lookout Mountain all day. The ensuing conflict would come to be known as The Battle Above the Clouds.


Gaining control of Wauhatchie, a junction of the Nashville and Trenton railroads, gave the union control of its short supply lines and enabled them to quickly resupply the starving troops in Chattanooga.

Missionary Ridge

On November 25, 1863, troops under the command of General George H. Thomas charged the confederate rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge and without waiting for orders scaled the heights in one of the great charges of the war.

Orchard Knob

From his vantage point on Orchard Knob, General Ulysses S. Grant directed the Army of the Cumberland as it advanced against Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863.

Brown’s Ferry

On the morning of October 27, 1863, Union forces silently glided down the Tennessee River and surprised pickets at Brown’s Ferry opening the way for the famous Cracker Line supply route.

The Generals

The American Civil War called for incredibly heroic leaders. The South had Robert E. Lee leading its armies right from the very beginning. However, President Lincoln did not find a general who could succeed for the North until he found Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln tried and rejected six generals before he found Grant. Although these generals possessed leadership skills and military know-how, most had no skill at winning battles. Grant was a quiet, unassuming 39-year-old from West Point whose persistence and strength of character enabled him to get the job done. Grant had the ability to inspire and lead men with excitement and enthusiasm. He led the northern citizens to win battles and ultimately save the Union.