Friday, December 28, 2007

Wauhatchie View

When I was in Chattanooga last fall I happened to time my trip around the anniversary of the Wauhatchie fight and as such was able to join a ranger led tour of the actions. One of the places he took us was the rear of a new Walmart. This may seem weird but the Walmart provides high ground in the valley with a nice open view. I shot a panoramic from there looking south in the valley of the area that Geary fought in that evening.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wiedrich's NY Battery Monument

This New York monument, for Wiedrich's Battery, is located east of Smith's Hill. Every time I've been there I've been told that its not on park property or that there is no public access. Either way I've never seen this monument with my own eyes, but the New York monument commission book did include a picture of the monument as well as the inscription which I'm sharing with you here. This monument is for action during the battle of Lookout Mountain, not for the fighting in the Wauhatchie Valley that I've earlier been posting on.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New York interstate monument

I call this the interstate monument because its right next to the highway. As you can see from the pictures it used to be more quaint, but that was over a 100 years ago. This monument is for the New York troops of Smith's and Tyndale's brigades. These brigades were pushed forward to help relieve the pressure on Geary's force to the south at Wauhatchie. There was not much fighting here but the movement did place them in the rear of the Confederates attacking Geary and helped precipitate their withdrawal from that fight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunset Rock part 2

Sunset Rock also offers a great view of the fighting done by Geary's division on October 28. This midnight fight occurred near the center of the picture near where the blue roofed building is.
This is a monument to the New York regiments engaged in this fight located in front of the small brown building that is to the right of the blue building.
Here, Matt shows the study group the ground ....
... using maps from his guide book, Storming the Heights. His newest book, Winter Lightning, on Stones River has just come out in time for Christmas. This spot is where Bratton's Brigade made a midnight attack on Geary's division. Knap's Battery held this high piece of high ground. Eventually the Confederate attack was repulsed.
Looking north up Lookout Valley.
I scanned this picture from the New York monument commission's report. It shows the what the area looked like when the monument was erected. This view is to the south but its interesting to note that the railroad appears closer to the monument then than it does today.
And the New York monument to the 78th, 137th and 149th New York.

Life Update

I finally found a house. Monday night we put in our offer, yesterday we accepted the counter offer, so now I'm officially on my way to home ownership. Its pretty exciting, a little scary too, but I'm more excited than scared. Now Jess and I can take this next step in becoming a family. If all goes according to plan we'll close on January 22nd, so in about 4 weeks I'll have a house of my own, and Jess and I can work on turning it into a home.

In other news, Grandma arrived in from Wisconsin last week for the holidays. I know her and mom are gonna kill me but I had to include this picture. I love it because of the expression on their faces and that they didn't even realize I was taking pictures.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunset Rock

A few views from Sunset Rock looking north. Sunset Rock is on the west side of Lookout Mountain and offers great views of the valley. Tomorrow I'll share some views of the valley which will include the scenes of the night fighting at Wauchatchie. Today we are looking north towards Moccasin Bend and Brown's Ferry.
You can also see the point of Lookout Mountain from here.
And if you look closely you can see the top of the New York monument poking above the trees.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Symposium Update

For my Denver area readers, and Rocky Mountain Civil War Roundtable members, I just wanted to make a quick announcement that we will have a symposium committee meeting this Thursday, December 20th. We will meet at Mike's Kinko's at 7 PM, email me if you need directions. We will be discussing our various marketing efforts. We are now under 5 months away from the big event (April 5, 2008).

Chattanooga posts will resume tomorrow and there might be a personal post later this week as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain did not play too much of a role in the siege of Chattanooga. It was a Union signal post. Today it offers great views along the Tennessee River. This first picture shows the Tennessee River north of Chattanooga through what is called the Grand Canyon of the Tennessee River. The Confederates did have pickets along the river at various points to halt river supply traffic for the Union army in Chattanooga.

And the view into Chattanooga. It was a little too foggy that day to see much of the town but a few other landmarks are visible which will help you locate other things. The fog shrouded mountain in the distance on the right side is Lookout Mountain. In the foreground you can see Williams Island. This puts the city at the left center of the picture, and you can kinda make it out anyway but those two landmarks make it much clearer. I'd love to get on Signal Mountain sometime when it wasn't so foggy but the only times I've had the free time to go there it has been foggy, or rainy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Brown's Ferry

I had originally intended to start posts about Chattanooga in late November to coincide with the anniversary of the culminating battles in the campaign to clear Chattanooga. Instead I still had some things to do for Chickamauga plus other life related things got in the way. Now I'm back and am changing gears to Chattanooga.

On the morning of October 27th the Union captured Brown's Ferry and began the efforts to raise the siege of Chattanooga. The first step in raising the siege was to get the men supplied again. Bragg did not have a super tight control on Chattanooga but it was pretty effective. Grant was given command of the Western theater on October 16th and soon arrived in Chattanooga to take care of the largest problem in his command. Soon after his arrival steps were taken to open a reliable supply line (previously most supplies had to come in over a tortuous route through the mountains north of Chattanooga). Taking Brown's Ferry, in conjunction with a move by Hooker from Bridgeport into Lookout Valley, would secure a reliable supply line. Once the supply line was secured Grant's men and animals could regain their strength and munitions could also be brought in so that in the near future his men could fight to clear the city of Bragg's army.

So around 3 am on October 27th a select group of men from Hazen's brigade floated down the river on pontoons, came ashore at Brown's Ferry, secured a beachhead, and built a pontoon bridge so that more brigades could cross the river and expand the the bridgehead. Later they would move south towards the tip of Lookout Mountain and meet up with Hooker's force coming down Lookout Valley.

The view from the Confederate side of the river at Brown's Ferry. The land across the river is Moccasin Bend, parts of which are now owned by the park service. When I was there in fall 2006 there was only very limited access and no trail maps. Apparently though there are some very well preserved entrenchments on Moccasin Bend and I look forward to seeing them on a future visit.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Roundtable Meeting - December 13

The next Rocky Mountain Civil War Roundtable meeting is December 13, 2007. Member Chuck Wheeler will be talking about the battles at North Anna and Cold Harbor in the spring of 1864.

After the fighting at Spotsylvania Court House, Grant continued his drive towards Richmond. The next clash was a relatively minor affair along the North Anna River. Lee had a pretty good defensive position and ended up missing a chance to strike a heavy blow to Grant. Once Grant realized the threat he pulled back the separated wings of his army. He would again move by the left flank.

The next point of contact was at Cold Harbor. This vital crossroads was seized on May 31 by Sheridan’s cavalry. Over the next few days the rest of the armies converged on this point, eventually settling into a seven mile front.

Richmond was nearby and Grant thought one big battle might force the capture of that city. The capture of Richmond itself was not greatly important but the city was a supply center that kept Lee’s army in the field. If that was captured then Lee would have a hard time continuing the fight.

At dawn on June 3 Grant launched a frontal assault that only succeeded in making huge casualty lists. He later wrote that this was the only attack he wished he had never ordered. A stalemate continued here for over a week before Grant again began his move by the left flank, this time with plans of crossing the James River and capturing Petersburg.

Chuck recommends the following books:
Grant and Lee: the Virginia Campaigns 1864-65 by William A Frassanito
Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864 by Ernest B. Furgurson
The Virginia Campaign 1864 and 1865 by Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys
To the North Anna River: May 13-25, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea
Cold Harbor: May 26 - June 3, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea
Bloody Roads South: May-June 1864 by Noah Andre Trudeau