November 6, 1863: A diversion to protect Burnside; meanwhile Hooker’s slacking

Joseph Hooker

Grant considered a feint on Missionary Ridge to pull Confederate troops away from Burnside; as we’ll see, it didn’t actually do that. Meanwhile, Dana continues to send negative assessments of Hooker to the secretary of War.

Official Records:


Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

CHATTANOOGA November 5, 1863

Spies from rebel camps report Buckner’s corps, Cheatham’s corps, including Hindman’s division and that formerly commanded by Cheatham, together with division of Breckinridge, as gone to East Tennessee. Their places in lines here occupied by Georgia militia. Force before Chattanooga stated at 8,000. All withdrawn from Lookout Valley except pickets on west slope of the mountain point and cavalry force at Trenton, variously stated at from 600 to 2,000. Three brigades infantry on summit of Lookout Mountain.

Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson returned from laying out fortifications to protect the river between here and Bridgeport; reports that at Moore’s Spring there is no gap or defile in Raccoon Mountain, but that many practicable descents from the top can be found there. Accordingly, the bridge-head at Bridgeport must be the main defense for that part of the line. All the mountains in this country are but elevated plateaus, and good roads can be made across their tops in any direction. The difficulties are in ascending and descending.

A Union refugee from Montgomery, who was recently at Mobile, reports only 4,000 troops there.

Grant and Thomas considering plan proposed by W. F. Smith to advance out pickets on the left to Citico Creek about a mile in front of the position they have occupied from the first, and to threaten the seizure of the northwest extremity of Missionary Ridge. This, taken in connection with our present demonstration in Lookout Valley, will compel them to concentrate and come back from Burnside to fight here.

[C. A. DANA.]

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CHATTANOOGA, November 6, 1863-5 p.m.

No movement of enemy except continuance of harmless shelling from Lookout Mountain. Thomas has spent day visiting Hooker’s lines in Lookout Valley. Lines very negligently placed and work on rifle-pits badly done. Apparently this is the first time Howard has ridden the lines of his corps. Hooker seems to pay little attention to his duties.

[C. A. DANA.]

This entry was posted in Ambrose E. Burnside, Charles A. Dana, George Thomas, Joseph Hooker, Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant, W.F. "Baldy" Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

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