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The Chattanooga Campaign
November 23-25, 1863

Intro  |  General Orders No. 296

Battle of Lookout Mountain

Oil painting The Battle of Lookout Mountain by James Walker, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, 1863-1864
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee Collection

After their victory at the Battle of Chickamauga, Bragg's troops besieged the Union Army in Chattanooga. General Ulysses S. Grant was ordered from Vicksburg, Mississippi, to break the Confederate siege. After opening the supply route to Chattanooga and beating off a Confederate counterattack at the Battle of Wauhatchie (October 28-29), Grant began preparing to drive the Confederates from Tennessee.

General Grant on Lookout Mountain

General Ulysses S. Grant, General John A. Rawlins, General J. D. Webster, Colonel Clark B. Lagow, and Colonel Killyer on Lookout Mountain after the battle, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, 1863
Library Photograph Collection

On November 23, General Thomas, now in command of the Army of the Cumberland, captured the high ground at Orchard Knob. The next day, Union General Joseph Hooker's troops stormed and captured Lookout Mountain. On the 25th, Grant ordered General William T. Sherman to attack Missionary Ridge from the north and Hooker to attack it from the south. When these attacks stalled, he ordered Thomas, in the center, to move his men to the base of Missionary Ridge. Having reached their objective but still coming under fire from Confederate troops further up the ridge, Thomas' men, without orders, continued their attack and drove the Confederates from the ridge. The Union victory at Chattanooga cemented their control of Tennessee and would provide the base for Sherman's Atlanta Campaign in 1864.


General Orders No. 296
General Orders, No. 296

General Orders No. 296, Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 25, 1863
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee Collection

On December 25, 1863, Thomas issued General Orders No. 296 for the creation of a cemetery to "provide a proper resting place for the remains of the brave men who fell upon the fields fought over . . . and for the remains of such as may hereafter give up their lives in this region in defending their country against treason and rebellion." When asked if the Union dead should be buried by state, Thomas replied, "No, no, mix 'em up. I'm tired of States' Rights."


General King's headquarters

Headquarters of Brigadier General John H. King, USA, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, 1864
Library Photograph Collection

Muster roll of Company K, 33rd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment

Muster roll of Company K, 33rd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 31-December 31, 1863
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee Collection

Bovine horn snuff box

Bovine horn snuff box, Chattanooga, Tennessee, ca. 1860s
A note inside the box said that it was "traided to a Yank for coffee while we ware on Picket at the foot of lookout mountain in the year 1863 or four."
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee Collection

Colt 1849 revolver

Colt 1849 revolver belonging to Captain John T. Cox, 29th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, CSA, who fought at Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Bentonville and was mortally wounded at the Battle of Jonesboro
Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee Collection