“If Burnside holds out a short time he will be relieved”

I wrote Gen. Halleck to notify him that Sherman is off to relieve Burnside,

CHATTANOOGA, November 29, 1863-8 p.m. (Received 10.30 p.m.)

Maj. General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

The Fourth Corps started yesterday for relief of Burnside. Sherman was sent to the Hiwasee, and I have sent orders to him to take command of the whole, and organize a sufficient force for the object to be a accomplished, and send the remainder of the troops here. I made this change, knowing Sherman’s promptness and ability. If Burnside holds out a short time he will be relieved. Should Longstreet succeed in capturing Knoxville, he himself will be captured, I think.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

I wrote Burnside,

CHATTANOOGA, November 29, 1863.

Maj. General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Knoxville, Tennessee:

I congratulate you on the tenacity with which you have thus far held out against vastly superior forces. Do not be forced into a surrender by short rations. Take all the citizens have to enable you to hold out yet a few days longer. As soon as you are relieved from the presence of the enemy, you can replace to them everything taken from them.

Within a few days you will be relieved. There are now three columns in motion for your relief-one from here moving up the south bank of the river under Sherman, one from Decherd under Elliott, and one from Cumberland Gap under Foster.

These three columns will be able to crush Longstreet’s forces or drive them from the valley, and must all of them be within twenty-four hours’ march of you by the time this reaches you, supposing you to get it on Tuesday, the 1st instant.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 464-5

O.R., I, xxxi, part 3, p 270, 273

“The object in remaining where you are is to protect Sherman’s flank while he is moving toward Cleveland and Loudon”

With some of our force headed towards Knoxville to the relief of Burnside, we must not become too scattered.  I wrote Gen. Hooker,

GRAYSVILLE, GA., November 28, 1863.

Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,

Commanding Right Wing, Army in the Field:

General Sherman will start with his force for Loudon, leaving to-morrow morning. You will remain where you are during the 29th and 30th, or advance toward Dalton, if you find it practicable to do so without a battle. Should you be able to get a force into Dalton, destroy all materials that might be used in the support of an army.

The object in remaining where you are is to protect Sherman’s flank while he is moving toward Cleveland and Loudon. If, therefore, you should become satisfied that a force of the enemy move up the Dalton and Cleveland road, you will either attack them or move into Dalton behind them after they have passed, as you may regard most favorable.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 460

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 48

“You will direct Granger, therefore, to start at once … to the relief of Burnside.”

Gen. Hooker has finally overcome resistance at Ringgold.  The delay though will prevent us from following up our advantage further.  I am wary of having my troops become too dispersed.  I wrote Gen. Thomas,

RINGGOLD, GA., November 27, 1863-1 p.m.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,

Near Chattanooga:

Hooker has just driven the enemy from this place, capturing three pieces of artillery and some prisoners. Sherman is near by. It is reported by citizens that Longstreet is expected to-morrow, and that the enemy will make a stand at Dalton. I do not intend to pursue farther however. I think it best not to rely on statements of citizens altogether. You will direct Granger, therefore, to start at once, marching as rapidly as possible, to the relief of Burnside. Should he obtain satisfactory evidence that Longstreet has abandoned the siege of Knoxville, he will return at once.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 458

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 47

“Hooker has engaged the enemy here, strongly posted on the hills.”

Gen. Hooker is meeting stubborn resistance in the hills outside of Ringgold from the rear guard of the rebel retreat.  I wrote Gen. Sherman to see if he can render aid.

RINGGOLD, GA., November 27, 1863-12.30 p.m.

Major-General SHERMAN,

Commanding Army of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: Hooker has engaged the enemy here, strongly posted on the hills. It looks as if it will be hard to dislodge them. If you can move down with a force east of the ridge on the east side of the railroad it will effectually turn the enemy’s position. I do not care about the pursuit being continued farther south. I am anxious, however, to have the Cleveland and Dalton Railroad effectually destroyed. I think one brigade will be sufficient to do this. They can move on any road most direct, and should go without a wagon.

If you know any reason why one brigade will not be sufficient for the duty indicated, or why a force sufficient for it should not be detached at this time, you need not send them until you can communicate with me.

Yours,

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 456

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 46-7

“I am just in from the front. The rout of the enemy is most complete.”

It is clear now that Gen. Bragg’s forces are in disarray.  I dashed back to Chattanooga to send a dispatch to Gen. Halleck.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 27, 1863-1 a.m.

I am just in from the front. The rout of the enemy is most complete. Abandoned wagons, caissons, and occasional pieces of artillery are everywhere to be found. I think Bragg’s loss will fully reach sixty pieces of artillery. A large number of prisoners have fallen into our hands. The pursuit will continue to Red Clay in the morning, for which place I shall start in a few hours.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 454

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 26

 

“you will follow up the enemy … the object being to bring him to battle again if possible.”

Bragg’s troops appear to be in full retreat.  We must not lose the chance to press our advantage.  I sent these orders to Gens. Sherman and Thomas.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, November 26, 1863.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Army of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: Your dispatch received. Thomas was ordered to pursue with all his force, except Granger’s, on the road the enemy retreated,and is no doubt in motion before this.

The general commanding will be with the pursuing column, that he may give such general directions on the field as circumstances may suggest. Until you receive other orders, you will follow up the enemy on the most easterly road he may have taken, as directed by dispatch of last evening, being governed by your own judgment and the enemy’s movements, the object being to bring him to battle again if possible.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:

Jno. A. RAWLINS,

Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.

 

 

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 26, 1863.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,

Commanding Department and Army of the Cumberland:

GENERAL: Sherman put Jeff. C. Davis’ division in motion to pursue the enemy about midnight last night. Howard’s corps followed at 4 a.m. this morning, and ordered his other three divisions to close up by Chickamauga Depot. He crossed on pontoon bridge at mouth of Chickamauga, and goes up on east side all the way.

You will please move in the direction of the enemy all the force indicated for the pursuit in your orders of last night with all possible dispatch.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:

Jno. A. RAWLINS,

Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 452

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 46

“The next thing now will be to relieve Burnside.”

While Thomas’ troops pursue Bragg, I will order Sherman’s troops to march to the aid of Gen. Burnside in Knoxville.  I wrote Gen. Sherman,

CHATTANOOGA, November 25, 1863.

Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,

Near Chattanooga.

No doubt you witnessed the handsome manner in which Thomas’ troops carried Missionary Ridge this afternoon, and can feel a just pride, too, in the part taken by the forces under your command in taking, first, so much of the same range of hills, and then in attracting the attention of so many of the enemy as to make Thomas’ part certain of success. The next thing now will be to relieve Burnside. I have heard from his to the evening of the 23d. At that time he had from ten to twelve days’ supplies, and spoke hopefully of being able to hold out that length of time. My plan is to move your forces out gradually, until they reach the railroad between Cleveland and Dalton. Granger will move up the south side of the Tennessee with a column of 20,000 men, taking no wagons, or but few, with him. His men will carry four days’ rations with them, and the steamer Chattanooga, loaded with rations, will accompany the expedition. I take it for granted that Bragg’s entire force has left. If not, of course the first, thing is to dispose of him. If he has gone, the only thing necessary to do to-morrow will be to send out a reconnaissance to ascertain the whereabouts of the enemy.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General.

P. S.-On reflection, I think we will push Bragg with all our strength to-morrow, and try if we cannot off a good portion of his new troops and trains. His men have manifested a strong desire to desert for some time past, and we will now give them a chance. I will instruct Thomas accordingly. Move the advance force early on the most easterly road taken by the enemy.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 451-2

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 45-6

“If it is ascertained that the enemy are in full retreat, follow them with all your force”

With the rebels on the run, we have an excellent chance to smash their army before they can regroup.  I directed Gen. Rawlins to give the following orders to Gen. Thomas.

CHATTANOOGA, November 25, 1863.

Major General GEORGE H. THOMAS,

Chattanooga:

I am directed by the general commanding to say that you will start a strong reconnaissance in the morning at 7 a.m., to ascertain the position of the enemy.

If it is ascertained that the enemy are in full retreat, follow them with all your force, except that which you intend Granger to take to Knoxville. This will make sufficient force to retain here. I have ordered Sherman to pursue also, he taking the most easterly road used by the enemy, if they have taken more than one.

Four days’ rations should be got up to the men between this and morning, and also a supply of ammunition. I shall want Granger’s expedition to get off by the day after to-morrow.

By order of Major-General Grant:

Jno. A. RAWLINS,

Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 448

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 45

“I believe I am not premature in announcing a complete victory over Bragg”

I wrote Gen. Halleck with news of our victory.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 25, 1863-7.15. p.m.

Although the battle lasted from early dawn till dark this evening, I believe I am not premature in announcing a complete victory over Bragg. Lookout Mountain top, all the rifle-pits in Chattanooga Valley, and Missionary Ridge entire have been carried, and now held by us. I have no idea of finding Bragg here to-morrow.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

also,

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, November 25, 1863-7.30 p.m.

I have heard from Burnside to the 23d, when he had rations for ten or twelve days. He expected to hold out that time. I shall move the force from here on the railroad between Cleveland and Dalton, and send a column of 20,000 men up the south side of the Tennessee, without wagons, carrying four days’ rations and taking a steam-boat loaded with rations, from which to draw on the route.

If Burnside holds out until this force gets beyond Kingston, I think enemy will fly, and, with the present state of the roads, must abandon almost everything. I believe Bragg will lose much of his army by desertion, in consequence of his defeat in the last three days’ fight.

U. S. GRANT,

Major-General, Commanding.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 9, p 446

O.R., I, xxxi, part 2, p 25

“The enemy discovered the movement before these dispositions were complete, and beat a hasty retreat”

Sheridan pushed forward until he reached the Chickamauga River at a point above where the enemy crossed. He met some resistance from troops occupying a second hill in rear of Missionary Ridge, probably to cover the retreat of the main body and of the artillery and trains. It was now getting dark, but Sheridan, without halting on that account pushed his men forward up this second hill slowly and without attracting the attention of the men placed to defend it, while he detached to the right and left to surround the position. The enemy discovered the movement before these dispositions were complete, and beat a hasty retreat, leaving artillery, wagon trains, and many prisoners in our hands. To Sheridan’s prompt movement the Army of the Cumberland, and the nation, are indebted for the bulk of the capture of prisoners, artillery, and small-arms that day. Except for his prompt pursuit, so much in this way would not have been accomplished.

 

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant, Chpt. XLIV