October 28-29, 1863
Please click on link below for map.
Wauhatchie, Hamilton, Tennessee, United States
Reopening of the Tennessee
In an effort to relieve Union forces besieged in
Chattanooga, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas and
Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant initiated the
“Cracker Line Operation” on October 26, 1863.
This operation required the opening of the road to
Chattanooga from Brown’s Ferry on the Tennessee River with a simultaneous
advance up Lookout Valley, securing the Kelley’s Ferry Road.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker
Brig. Gen. Micah Jenkins
XI Army Corps and 2nd
Division, XII Army Corps
Union Chief Engineer, Military Division of the
Mississippi, Brig. Gen. William F. “Baldy” Smith,
Brig. Gen. John B. Turchin’s and
Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen’s 1st and 2nd
brigades, 3rd Division, IV Army Corps, was assigned the task of establishing the
Brown’s Ferry bridgehead.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen.
Joseph Hooker, with three divisions, marched from Bridgeport through
Lookout Valley towards Brown’s Ferry from the south.
At 3:00 am, on October 27th, portions of
Hazen’s brigade embarked upon pontoons and
floated around Moccasin Bend to Brown’s Ferry.
brigade took a position on Moccasin Bend across from Brown’s Ferry.
Upon landing, Hazen
secured the bridgehead and then positioned a pontoon bridge across the river,
allowing Turchin to cross and take position
on his right.
his force passed through Lookout Valley on October 28, detached
Brig. Gen. John W. Geary’s division at
Wauhatchie Station, a stop on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, to protect
the line of communications to the south as well as the road west to Kelley’s
Observing the Union movements on the 27th and
28th, Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet
and Gen. Braxton Bragg decided
to mount a night attack on Wauhatchie Station.
Although the attack was scheduled for 10:00 pm on
the night of October 28, confusion delayed it till midnight.
Surprised by the attack,
Geary’s division, at Wauhatchie Station, formed into a V-shaped
Hearing the din of battle,
Hooker, at Brown’s Ferry, sent Maj. Gen.
Oliver Otis Howard with two XI Army Corps divisions to Wauhatchie
Station as reinforcements.
As more and more Union troops arrived, the
Confederates fell back to Lookout Mountain.
The Federals now had their window to the outside
and could receive supplies, weapons, ammunition, and reinforcements via
the Cracker Line.
Wauhatchie is one of the most significant night
engagements of occurred during the Civil War;
[Battlefield Lost Integrity]
- having a decisive influence on a
campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war
having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign
having observable influence on the
outcome of a campaign
having a limited influence on the
outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important
3 Casualties are
someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.