James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.
|displayed the art of a dexterous controversialist. At last, on June 24, he began to move and inaugurated a campaign of brilliant strategy which accomplished a momentous gain for Northern arms. Helped by the moral effect of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, he manœuvred the Confederates under Bragg out of middle Tennessee, continued his advance through a very difficult country, and, without having been obliged to fight a battle, marched on the 9th of September into Chattanooga, which, with Richmond and Vicksburg, constituted the three most important strategic points of the Southern Confederacy.
| Rosecrans was elated at the success of his strategy and thought that Bragg was retreating southward. Eager to strike at the Confederate army he ordered his troops in pursuit, and being under the necessity of crossing the mountains at gaps far apart he separated widely his different corps and divisions. But Bragg had not the slightest intention to retreat; on the contrary, he turned on his enemy. This movement placed Rosecrans in peril, and it became, as he himself related, “a matter of life and death to effect the concentration of the army.” For nearly a week he wrought with desperate energy, and by September 18 had accomplished the concentration, although not without some mischance; but the loss of sleep, the fear that Bragg might crush, one after another, his different detachments, as some now think he had it in his power to do, the intense anxiety on two successive nights for the safety of one of his corps,—all these combined to unnerve the Union commander, who in the opinion of his army was “whipped” before he went into the battle which the Confederate general was determined to bring on. Reënforced by troops from Johnston’s army, which became available after the fall of Vicksburg, by Buckner’s corps from Knoxville