1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, a city and the county-seat of Hamilton county, Tennessee, U.S.A., in the S.E. part of the state, about 300 m. S. of Cincinnati, Ohio, and 150 m. S.E. of Nashville, Tennessee, on the Tennessee river, and near the boundary line between Tennessee and Georgia. Pop. (1860) 2545; (1870) 6093; (1880) 12,892; (1890) 29,100; (1900) 30,154, of whom 994 were foreign-born and 13,122 were negroes; (U.S. census, 1910) 44,604. The city is served by the Alabama Great Southern (Queen and Crescent), the Cincinnati Southern (leased by the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific railway company), the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis (controlled by the Louisville & Nashville), and its leased line, the Western & Atlantic (connecting with Atlanta, Ga.), the Central of Georgia, and the Chattanooga Southern railways, and by freight and passenger steamboat lines on the Tennessee river, which is navigable to and beyond this point during eight months of the year. That branch of the Southern railway extending from Chattanooga to Memphis was formerly the Memphis & Charleston, under which name it became famous in the American Civil War. Chattanooga occupies a picturesque site at a sharp bend of the river. To the south lies Lookout Mountain, whose summit (2126 ft. above the sea; 1495 ft. above the river) commands a magnificent view. To the east rises Missionary Ridge. Fine driveways and electric lines connect with both Lookout Mountain (the summit of which is reached by an inclined plane on which cars are operated by cable) and Missionary Ridge, where there are Federal reservations, as well as with the National Military Park (15 sq. m.; dedicated 1895) on the battlefield of Chickamauga (q.v.); this park was one of the principal mobilization camps of the United States army during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Among the principal buildings are the city hall, the Federal building, the county court house, the public library, the high school and the St Vincent’s and the Baroness Erlanger hospitals. Among Chattanooga’s educational institutions are two commercial colleges, the Chattanooga College for Young Ladies (non-sectarian), the Chattanooga Normal University, and the University of Chattanooga, until June 1907, United States Grant University (whose preparatory department, “The Athens School,” is at Athens, Tenn.), a co-educational institution under Methodist Episcopal control, established in 1867; it has a school of law (1899), a medical school (1889), and a school of theology (1888). East of the city is a large national cemetery containing more than 13,000 graves of Federal soldiers. Chattanooga is an important produce, lumber, coal and iron market, and is the principal trade and jobbing centre for a large district in Eastern Tennessee and Northern Georgia and Alabama. The proximity of coalfields and iron mines has made Chattanooga an iron manufacturing place of importance, its plants including car shops, blast furnaces, foundries, agricultural implement and machinery works, and stove factories; the city has had an important part in the development of the iron and steel industries in this part of the South. There are also flour mills, tanneries (United States Leather Co.), patent medicine, furniture, coffin, woodenware and wagon factories, knitting and spinning mills, planing mills, and sash, door and blind factories—the lumber being obtained from logs floated down the river and by rail. The value of the city’s factory products increased from $10,517,886 in 1900 to $15,193,909 in 1905 or 44.5%.

Chattanooga was first settled about 1835, and was long known as Ross’s Landing. It was incorporated in 1851 as Chattanooga, and received a city charter in 1866. Its growth for the three decades after the Civil War was very rapid. During the American Civil War it was one of the most important strategic points in the Confederacy, and in its immediate vicinity were fought two great battles. During June 1862 it was threatened by a Federal force under General O. M. Mitchel, but the Confederate army of General Braxton Bragg was transferred thither by rail from Corinth, Miss., before Mitchel was able to advance. In September 1863, however, General W. S. Rosecrans, with the Union Army of the Cumberland out-manœuvred Bragg, concentrated his numerous columns in the Chickamauga Valley, and occupied the town, to which, after the defeat of Chickamauga (q.v.), he retired.

From the end of September to the 24th of November the Army of the Cumberland was then invested in Chattanooga by the Confederates, whose position lay along Missionary Ridge from its north end near the river towards Rossville, whence their entrenchments extended westwards to Lookout Mountain, which dominates the whole ground, the Tennessee running directly beneath it. Thus Rosecrans was confined to a semicircle of low ground around Chattanooga itself, and his supplies had to make a long and difficult détour from Bridgeport, the main road being under fire from the Confederate position on Lookout and in the Wauhatchie valley adjacent. Bragg indeed expected that Rosecrans would be starved into retreat. But the Federals once more, and this time on a far larger scale, concentrated in the face of the enemy. The XI. and XII. corps from Virginia under Hooker were transferred by rail to reinforce Rosecrans; other troops were called up from the Mississippi, and on the 16th of October the Federal government reconstituted the western armies under the supreme command of General Grant. The XV. corps of the Army of the Tennessee, under Sherman, was on the march from the Mississippi. Hooker’s troops had already arrived when Grant reached Chattanooga on the 23rd of October. The Army of the Cumberland was now under Thomas, Rosecrans having been recalled. The first action was fought at Brown’s Ferry in the Wauhatchie valley, where Hooker executed with complete precision a plan for the revictualling of Chattanooga, established himself near Wauhatchie on the 28th, and repulsed a determined attack on the same night. But Sherman was still far distant, and the Federal forces at Knoxville, against which a large detachment of Bragg’s army under Longstreet was now sent, were in grave danger. Grant waited for Sherman’s four divisions, but prepared everything for battle in the meantime. His plan was that Thomas in the Chattanooga lines should contain the Confederate centre on Missionary Ridge, while Hooker on the right at Wauhatchie was to attack Lookout Mountain, and Sherman farther up the river was to carry out the decisive attack against Bragg’s extreme right wing at the end of Missionary Ridgg. The last marches of the XV. corps were delayed, by stormy weather, Bragg reinforced Longstreet, and telegraphic communication between Grant and the Federals at Knoxville had already ceased. But Grant would not move forward without Sherman, and the battle of Chattanooga was fought more than two months after Chickamauga. On the 23rd of November a forward move of Thomas’s army, intended as a demonstration, developed into a serious and successful action, whereby the first line of the Confederate centre was driven in for some distance. Bragg was now much weakened by successive detachments having been sent to Knoxville, and on the 24th the real battle began. Sherman’s corps was gradually brought over the river near the mouth of Chickamauga Creek, and formed up on the east side.

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The attack began at 1 p.m. and was locally a complete success. The heights attacked were in Sherman’s hands, and fortified against counter-attack, before nightfall. Hooker in the meanwhile had fought the “Battle above the Clouds” on the steep face of Lookout Mountain, and though opposed by an equal force of Confederates, had completely driven the enemy from the mountain. The 24th then had been a day of success for the Federals, and the decisive attack of the three armies in concert was to take place on the 25th. But the maps deceived Grant and Sherman as they had previously deceived Rosecrans. Sherman had captured, not the north point of Missionary Ridge, but a detached hill, and a new and more serious action had to be fought for the possession of Tunnel Hill, where Bragg’s right now lay strongly entrenched. The Confederates used every effort to hold the position and all Sherman’s efforts were made in vain. Hooker, who was moving on Rossville, had not progressed far, and Bragg was still free to reinforce his right. Grant therefore directed Thomas to move forward on the centre to relieve the pressure on Sherman. The Army of the Cumberland was, after all, to strike the decisive blow. About 3.30 p.m. the centre advanced on the Confederate’s trenches at the foot of Missionary Ridge. These were carried at the first rush, and the troops were ordered to lie down and await orders. Then occurred one of the most dramatic episodes of the war. Suddenly, and without orders either from Grant or the officers at the front, the whole line of the Army of the Cumberland rose and rushed up the ridge. Two successive lines of entrenchments were carried at once. In a short time the crest was stormed, and after a last attempt at resistance the enemy’s centre fled in the wildest confusion. The pursuit was pressed home by the divisional generals, notably by Sheridan. Hooker now advanced in earnest on Rossville, and by nightfall the whole Confederate army, except the troops on Tunnel Hill, was retreating in disorder. These too were withdrawn in the night, and the victory of the Federals was complete. Bragg lost 8684 men killed, wounded and prisoners out of perhaps 34,000 men engaged; Grant, with 60,000 men, lost about 6000.