By the time they arrived on the hills surrounding Chattanooga, the Federals were prepared for a long defense. By September 23rd the Confederates occupied Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, and a siege of Chattanooga began. James Longstreet, commanding a corps from Lee temporarily detached to help Bragg, wished to attempt a flanking movement, but Bragg refused. He preferred just to wait and starve out Rosecrans, as he had received word that the Yankees only had six days provisions. He extended the Confederate lines to Raccoon Mountain, and placed artillery to cover the roads that ran along the edge of the Tennessee River. Thus blocking the easiest access to the town, he forced the Federals to carry what supplies they could bring across sixty miles of muddy roads.
|Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain|
I have never seen a public man possessing talent with less administrative power, less clearness and steadiness in difficulty, and greater practical incapacity than General Rosecrans. ... Under the present circumstances I consider this army to be very unsafe in his hands.Grant eventually decided to replace Rosecrans with George Thomas, the new Federal hero who had held the field at Chickamauga after Rosecrans and most of the army had fled.