In The Shadow of Gettysburg and Vicksburg


Just as 150 years ago, events in Pennsylvania and Mississippi overshadowed one of the more interesting and bloodless major Union victories in the war: the Tullahoma Campaign, in which W.S. Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland outmaneuvered Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee and forced the Confederates back to Chattanooga. This all occurred at a cost of 570 Union losses against over 3000 Confederate casualties.

Rosecrans summed up the campaign and its impact to the War Department on 7 July 1863:

   Just received your cheering dispatch announcing the fall of Vicksburg and confirming the defeat of Lee. You do not appear to observe the fact that this noble army has driven the rebels from Middle Tennessee, of which my dispatches advised you. I beg in behalf of this army that the War Department may not overlook so great an event because it is not written in letters of blood. I have now to repeat, that the rebel army has been forced from its strong intrenched positions at Shelbyville and Tullahoma, and driven over the Cumberland Mountains. My infantry advance is within 16 miles and my cavalry advance within 8 miles of the Alabama line. No organized rebel force within 25 miles of there, nor on this side of the Cumberland Mountains.

Rosecrans was correct. Without Tullahoma, there would be no Chickamauga, Chattanooga, or Atlanta.

3 Responses to In The Shadow of Gettysburg and Vicksburg

  1. Chris,
    Excellent point that a skilled campaign of maneuver is less costly than frontal attacks. I’m not sure that General Grant ever liked to compare the Tullahoma Campaign to any of his campaigns.

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