Before Bragg could move move North, he first had to reach Chattanooga Tennessee. Buell's army was on its way as well, and they had a six week head start. But Bragg had a plan to out wit him. He had been working on repairing the railroad to Mobile, Alabama, and from Mobile to Chattanooga. It was much longer, but it was also much faster. Like Johnston had done at the Battle of Bull Run, Bragg hoped to use the technology of the railroad to make a movement that otherwise would have taken weeks. His men boarded the cars beginning on July 23rd, and withing a week they arrived in Chattanooga, just ahead of the federals. He met with Kirby Smith, who as the Confederate commander in East Tennessee, he would cooperate with in his planned invasion. Together they had 52,000 men, much less that the federal forces. So they intended to follow the example of Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley and destroy the federal armies one by one, moving quickly to avoid being outnumbered.