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or Middle Tennessee Tullahoma

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TULLAHOMA, or MIDDLE TENNESSEE, CAMPAIGN. When General Bragg after the battle of Stone River or Mur freesboro (q.v.) fell back from Murfreesboro he designed to hold the line of Elk River, but was directed to hold that of Duck River, north of which he disposed his forces; his infantry front extending from Wartrace on the right to Shelbyville on the left, with cavalry on the right at McMinnville and on the left at Colum bia and Spring Hill. Polk's corps, on the left, held Shelbyville, which was well fortified, and a strong detachment was thrown forward about 10 miles to Guy's Gap. The greater part of Hardee's corps held Hoovel's, Liberty and Bell Buckle gaps, and part of it was at Tullahoma, 36 miles south of Murfreesboro, which was fortified and held as a depot of supplies Bragg's position was covered by a range of high, rough, rocky hills, the Principal routes passing southward from Murfreesboro toward Tullahoma and the line of his communications with Chattanooga, being the Manchester road through Hoover s Gap, the Wartrace road through Liberty and Bell Buckle gaps and the Shelbyville road through Guy's Gap, all of which were strongly held. His cavalry, under Generals Wheeler and Forrest, was very ac tive, attacking posts and detachments in Rose crans' rear and on his flanks, breaking railroads and capturing wagon trains and in every man ner harassing him, and to prevent which Rose crans was but feebly prepared, having a much inferior cavalry force in point of numbers.

Early in January 1863, the troops of the Army of the Cumberland, under General Rose crans, were organized into three army corps, designated the 14th, 20th and 21st, com manded respectively by Gens. Geo. Thomas, A. McD. McCook and T. L Crittenden. There was a reserve corps, under Gen. Gordon Granger, and a cavalry corps, commanded by Gen. D. S. Stanley. There were in the early months of 1863 many reconnaissan ces, which brought on several severe engage ments. and the cavalry was kept busy by Wheeler and Forrest. Rosecrans was pushing his preparations for an active campaign and keeping up a fruitless appeal authorities at Washington for an increase of his cavalry force. By the middle of June he had decided upon a campaign to drive Bragg from middle Tennessee and fully informed that he was strongly entrenched at Shelbyville and Tulla homa determined to render these intrendunentc useless by turning Bragg's right and moving on the bridge across Elk River in his rear, thus compelling his retreat or to give battle on open ground. He says: "To accomplish this it was necessary to make Bragg believe we could ad vance on him by the Shelbyville route, and to keep up the impression, if possible, until we had reached Manchester with the main body of the army. . . . The plan was, to move General Granger's command to Triune, and thus create the impression of our intention to advance on them by the Shelbyville and Triune pikes, while cavalry movements and an infantry advance toward Woodbury would seem to be feints designed by us to deceive Bragg and conceal our supposed real designs on their left, where the topography and the roads pre sented comparatively slight obstacles and af forded great facilities for moving in Rosecrans had about 50,000 infantry, 6,800 cav alry and 3,000 artillery; Bragg 30,000 infantry, 14,000 cavalry and 2,250 artillery. The cam paign was opened by Rosecrans on 23 June, when Mitchell's cavalry division moved from Triune, and drove Wheeler's cavalry back upon the infantry with sharp skirmishing at Eagle ville, Rover and Unionville. At the same ume General Granger, with part of his own corps and Brannan's division of Thomas', moved from Triune to Salem, and the rest of the army was ordered to be in readiness to march next morn ing with a good supply of rations. On the next morning McCook started from Murfreesboro, on the Shelbyville road, and then moved to the left for Liberty Gap, which was seized before night by R. W. Johnson's division, after a sharp skirmish with a part of Cleburne's division. Thomas advanced on the Manchester pike; Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry in ad vance drove some Confederate cavalry through Hoover's Gap to its southern extremity when it was attacked by infantry and held on until Thomas came up with infantry, when the Confederates withdrew, leaving Thomas in full possession of the gap. Two divisions of Crit tenden's corps moved to Bradyville, near Wood bury. On the other flank Granger and Brannan advanced from Salem to Christiana, and Stan ley, with a division of cavalry, moved through Salem and joined Mitchell at the intersection of the Salem and Christiana roads. During the day Mitchell had had a sharp encounter with Wheeler's cavalry at Middleton. Stanley, hav ing driven Wheeler's cavalry back to Guy's Gap, on the 25th, joined Granger at Christiana. On the left Crittenden advanced to Holly Springs; Brannan joined Thomas at Hoover's Gap, and Rousseau's division closed up on Reynolds', which was skirmishing in advance of the gap. During the afternoon three brigades of Stew art's Confederate division attacked two brig ades of Johnson's and one of Davis' at Liberty Gap, to regain it, under the impression that Rosecrans was intending to march his main body through it. The attack was repulsed with a Union loss of 231 killed and wounded; and a Confederate loss of over 400. On the 26th

Thomas pushed the Confederates back to within five miles of Manchester; Crittenden followed Thomas; McCook remained at Liberty Gap and Granger at Christiana. Thomas had gained so much ground toward Manchester that it was now practicable to concentrate the whole army there and force Bragg to abandon his position or give battle outside his works, and the con centration began on the 27th. Early in the morning Thomas seized Manchester, capturing a few prisoners, and at midnight had concen trated his entire corps at that place, 12 miles from Tullahoma. McCook withdrew from Liberty Gap, and marching through Hoover's Gap followed Thomas. The steady advance of Rosecrans' columns on Bragg's right convinced the latter that it was impossible to hold the long line to Shelbyville, so, early on the morn ing of the 27th, Polk was withdrawn from that place to Tullahoma, Wheeler, with the cavalry, being left to cover his rear. Stanley's cavalry and Granger's corps advanced from Christiana, drove Wheeler from Guy's Gap and pursued him inside the intrenchments four miles north of Shelbyville, where Wheeler made a stand with Martin's division to cover Polk's wagon train then on the road from Shelbyville to Tul lahoma. Wheeler was driven from the in trenchments by Minty's cavalry brigade and pursued into Shelbyville. He crossed Duck River and was about to burn the bridge when he was informed that Forrest, who had been ordered from Franklin to Tullahoma, was ap proaching with two brigades to join him, upon which he hurriedly recrossed to the north side of the river, with Martin, 500 men and two guns, and had scarcely crossed when the Union cavalry came charging right down the main street and toward the guns. These had been loaded with canister and were discharged when the Union cavalry were only a few paces from their muzzles. But the charging cavalry rode over Wheeler and his 500 men, took the guns and covered the entrance to the bridge. Wheeler ordered a charge, cut through a part of the thin Union line, dashed down the steep river bank and swam the stream. Wheeler, Martin and some of the men escaped, about 50 were killed or drowned, many were made prisoners. Forrest had turned back when near Shelbyville and making a detour of eight miles crossed the river and marched to Tullahoma. It was dark when the action closed and the Union troops bivouacked at Shelbyville. As Bragg had now been forced from his first line on the right and from Shelbyville on the left, Rosecrans directed his attention to force him from Tullahoma back beyond the Tennessee. Thomas began the movement. Early on the morning of the 28th Colonel Wilder. with his brigade of mounted infantry, started from Manchester to burn Elk River bridge and break the railroad south of Decherd, in the rear of Tullahoma, and to sup port the movement Col. J. Beatty's brigade marched to Hillsboro. The Elk River bridge was found too strongly guarded to warrant an attack and Wilder marched for Decherd, which was reached at 8 P.M. Wilder burned the depot and water-tank and had destroyed about 300 yards of the railroad, when he withdrew upon the approach of Confederate infantry. Next day he broke up the Tracy City Railroad, and then dividing his force advanced toward Anderson and Tantallon, on the railroad to Chattanooga. Both places were held in such force that he made no attack and uniting his command at University he returned to Man chester on the 30th. When Wilder moved out on the 28th Thomas threw two divisions in the direction of Tullahoma and next day there was a general movement on the place and on the night of the 30th the advance was within two miles of it ; the three corps of Thomas, McCook and Crittenden closed up, and Stanley's cavalry had come over from Shelbyville and bivouacked at Manchester. The concentration was ef fected with great difficulty. When the campaign opened the weather was fair and the roads good, but on the second day a heavy rain set in which continued during the entire movement and the roads became almost impassable for artillery and the trains, making the operations exceedingly slow. On the 9 Bragg was reinforced by General Buckner, with 4,000 men, from Knoxville, and he proposed to give Rosecrans battle at Tullahoma, but when his communications with Chattanooga were so seriously threatened, he concluded to withdraw, and on the night of 30 June abandoned Tulla homa and fell back beyond Elk River. Thomas advanced on the morning of 1 July and occu pied Tullahoma, and Rosecrans ordered an immediate pursuit, but Bragg held the crossings of Elk River, the pursuit was abandoned and Bragg continued his retreat over the Cumber land Mountains and across the Tennessee River to Chattanooga, leaving middle Tennessee again in Union possession. The nine days' campaign was one of the most brilliant of the war. Rose crans' loss was 84 killed, 473 wounded and 13 missing. Brag's loss in killed and wounded is not known. Rosecrans reports that he left in his hands 1,634 prisoners and 11 guns. Con sult 'Official Records' (Vol. XXIII); Van Home, (History of the Army of the Cumber land' (Vol. I) ; The Century Company's 'Bat tles and Leaders of the Civil War' (Vol. III).