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ran through the valley between the Mountain and the Ridge, they delayed Hooker till late that afternoon, thus saving their left from an even worse disaster than the one that overtook their center and their right.

Sherman had desperate work against their right, as Bragg massed every available gun and man to meet him. This massing, however, was just what Grant wanted; for he now expected Hooker to appear on the other flank, which Bragg would either have to give up in despair or strengthen at the expense of the center, which Thomas was ready to charge. But with Hooker not appearing, and Sherman barely holding his own, Grant slipped Thomas from the leash. The two centers then met hand to hand. But there was no withstanding the Federal charge. Back went the Confederates, turning to bay at their second line of defense. Here again they were overborne by well-led superior numbers and soon put to flight. Sheridan, of whom we shall hear again in '64, took up the pursuit. Bragg lost all control of his men. Stores, guns, and even rifles were abandoned. Thousands of prisoners were taken; and most of the others were scattered in flight. The battle, the whole campaign, and even the war in the Tennessee sector, were won.

Vicksburg meant that the trans-Mississippi South would thenceforth wither like a severed branch. Chattanooga meant that the Union forces had at last laid the axe to the root of the tree.

CHAPTER VIII

GETTYSBURG: 1863

On the fifth of May we left Lee victorious in Virginia; but with his indispensable lieutenant, Stonewall Jackson, mortally wounded.

Though thoroughly defeated at Chancellorsville, Hooker soon recovered control of the Army of the Potomac and prepared to dispute Lee's right of way. Lee faced a difficult, perhaps an insoluble, problem. Longstreet urged him to relieve the local pressure on Vicksburg by concentrating every available man in eastern Tennessee, not only withdrawing Johnston's force from Grant's rear but also depleting the Confederates in Virginia for the same purpose. Then, combining these armies from east and west with the one already there under Bragg, the united Confederates were to crush Rosecrans in their immediate front and make Cincinnati their great objective. Lee, however, dared not risk the loss of his Virginian bases in the meantime; and so

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CAPTAINS OF THE CIVIL WAR

it was now or never as they turned to bay with, for once, superior numbers. As usual, too, they coveted Federal supplies. "Come on, boys, and charge!" yelled an encouraging sergeant, "they have cheese in their haversacks!" Yet the pride of the soldier stood higher than hunger. General D. H. Hill stooped to cheer a very badly wounded man. 'What's your regiment?" asked Hill. "Fifth Confederate, New Orleans, and a damned good regiment it is," came the ready answer.

Rosecrans, like many another man who succeeds halfway up, failed at the top. He ordered an immediate general retreat which would have changed the hard-won Confederate victory into a Federal rout. But Thomas, with admirable judgment and iron nerve, stood fast till he had shielded all the others clear. From this time on both armies knew him as the "Rock of Chickamauga.

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The unexpected defeat of Chickamauga roused Washington to immediate, and this time most sensible, action. Grant was given supreme command over the whole strategic area. Thomas superseded Rosecrans. Sherman came down with the Army of the Tennessee. And Hooker railed through from Virginia with two good veteran corps. Meanwhile the Richmond Government was more

foolish than the Washington was wise; for it let Davis mismanage the strategy without any reference to Lee. Bragg also made a capital mistake by sending Longstreet off to Knoxville with more than a third of his command just before Grant's final advance. The result was that Bragg found himself with only thirty thousand men at Chattanooga when Grant closed in with sixty thousand, and that Longstreet was useless at Knoxville, which was entirely dependent on Chattanooga. Whoever won decisively at Chattanooga could have Knoxville too. Davis, as the highest authority, and Bragg, as the most responsible subordinate, ensured their own defeat.

Chattanooga was the key to the whole strategic area of the upper Tennessee; for it was the best road, rail, and river junction between the lower Mississippi and the Atlantic ports of the South. It had been held for some time by a Federal garrison which had made it fairly strong. But toward the end of October it was short of supplies; and Hooker had to fight Longstreet at Wauhatchie in the Lookout Valley before it could be revictualed. When Hooker, Thomas, and Sherman were there together under Grant in November it was of course perfectly safe; and the problem changed from

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