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Chronology and brief history of the
ARMY OF THE CUMBERLAND
.

For more info about the AotC 4th, 11th, 12th, and 14th Corps go to the Civil War Archive.
DATE
EVENT
28 May 61 After Ft. Sumter, Robert Anderson takes command of the Dept. of Kentucky which is then renamed the Dept. of the Cumberland on 15 Aug. 1861. Anderson asks for Thomas, Sherman, and Buell.
17 Aug. 61 On Anderson's recommendation Thomas is commissioned brig. general of volunteers.
15 Sept. 61 Anderson assigns Thomas to take command of Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., the nation's first modern basic training camp.
8 Oct. 61 Reorganization of the Army of the Cumberland under William T. Sherman. Sherman panics, calls off Thomas' approach to East Tennessee, whereupon a pro-Union revolt collapses and Union sympathizers are hanged from railroad bridges. 
9 Nov. 61 Cameron calls Sherman crazy, fires him, and replaces him with Don Carlos Buell who changes the name of the army to Army of the Ohio.
19 Nov. 61 Henry Halleck replaces Fremont as commander of  the Dept. of Missouri.
2 Dec. 61 Thomas assumes command of the 1st  Division which he will later develop into the 14th Corps.
19 Jan. 62 Battle of Mill Springs, Ky. Thomas decisively defeats George B. Crittenden. First major Union victory of the war. Confederate western theater begins to unravel, makes the evacuation of Bowling Green (14 Feb.) and the fall of Ft. Donelson inevitable.
14 Feb. 62 Buell occupies Bowling Green, KY without opposition.
16 Feb. 62 Ft. Donelson capitulates to Grant. Buell was on the way there, but Grant leaves his men's food and winter clothing behind, and beats him to it. Does anyone understand the horror of this?
24 Feb. 62 Buell's advance under Nelson occupies key city of Nashville, Tenn. without opposition, the day after A.S. Johnston abandons it. The city remains in Union hands for the rest of CW.
11 March 62
After Halleck importunes McClellan, Lincoln names Halleck commander of all Federal forces in the Western theater.
6-7 April 62 Buell arrives evening of first day of battle of Shiloh, sees chaos as he has never seen before. Grant in bad shape because he forgot to put out pickets and declined to fortify. Grant is very happy to see him. Next day Buell's fresh troops turn the tide. Afterward Grant not so happy that Buell was there. Does anyone see the pattern here?
9 April 62 The end of Buell's column, a division under Thomas, arrives at Shiloh. Although the division is fresh, Grant orders no pursuit of Confederates.
25 April 62 Thomas promoted to maj. general of volunteers for his victory at Mill Springs.
29 April -
  10 June 62
Buell and Thomas participate in Halleck's object lesson on how to conduct a campaign. Few casualties, Beauregard abandons Corinth without an assault, but the Memphis-Lynchburg trunk line is cut. That hurts. Halleck keeps Grant out of trouble.
10 June 62 Thomas, at his own request, turns command of the Army of the Tennessee back to Grant who apparently does not appreciate the gesture. Perhaps Thomas simply didn't want Grant's undisciplined troops which really would have rankled.
11 July 62 Halleck becomes General-in-Chief of the army. Orders Buell to take Chattanooga while marching on the south side of the Tennessee river and repairing the railroad as he goes. Bragg takes the long way around on the railroad via Mobile and Atlanta, and gets there first. 
Aug.- Sept. 62
Bragg heads north, makes Buell think he is heading for Nashville for a while, even though Thomas warns him otherwise. Bragg is actually heading for Kentucky, hoping to enlist the enthusiastic youth in the Confederate cause and extend the Confederacy to the Ohio. Is greatly disappointed in this.
14-17 Sept. 62 Wilder's artful surrender of Munfordville, Ky. after delaying the head of Bragg's column for 4 days, and Buell draws even. 
23 Sept. 62 Halleck thinks Buell is too slow and orders Thomas to succeed him. Thomas asks that the order be "suspended" because Buell  about to enter into battle with Bragg. Official Washington shakes head in disbelief.
25 Sept. 62
Head of Buell's column arrives in Louisville. Bragg is running out gas, turns to local politics and recruiting for a while, finds out that he has overestimated Kentuckians' ardor for the cause.
29 Sept. 62
Gen. Jefferson C. Davis shoots and kills his commander gen. William Nelson in the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY over an exchange of insults. Nearly the entire AotC leadership was staying there. One of the great mysteries of the war: Davis never brought to trial for the murder. He was a very competent division commander. Is that sufficient explanation? Or was Buell just too busy?
1 Oct. 62
Buell moves south out of Louisville toward Bragg, Sill moves east to intercept CS gen. Kirby Smith and keep him from combining with Bragg.
4 Oct. 62
Bragg inaugurates secessionist governer Hawes in Frankfort, but has to leave town quick the same afternoon. Almost nobody in KY is paying attention, and Buell is getting between him and his supplies.
8 Oct. 62 Battle of Perryville, Ky. Bragg outnumbered attacks a portion of Buell's army, result a draw, Bragg withdraws into East Tennessee. Buell does not pursue fast enough for Halleck's taste. For the rest of the war the Union controls Kentucky.
24 Oct. 62 Creation of the second Dept. of the Cumberland.
30 Oct. 62 William S. Rosecrans takes command of the Army of the Cumberland.
24 Nov. 62 -
   10 May 63
Under pressure from Halleck and some interested politicians, military Court of Inquiry investigates Buell's conduct of the war in Ky. and Tenn. Accusers remain anonymous, conclusions inconclusive and not published. However, Buell's career finished.
31 Dec. 62 -
  2 Jan. 63
Battle of Murfreesboro. Bragg attacks first and rolls up Federal right. Thomas commands center which holds. Rosecrans skillfully directs unit movements. Casualties high on both sides, some of Bragg's subordinate commanders don't cooperate. Outcome inconclusive, but Bragg withdraws 40 miles south to Tullahoma.
9 Jan. 62 Thomas assumes command of the 14th Corps.
22 June - 
   29 June 63
Rosecrans opens Tullahoma campaign (an underrated military jewel) with feint of a feint at  Bragg's right flank in order to hint at a real feint at Bragg's left flank which is supposed to mask the real thrust under Thomas, and it works! 
24 June 63 Wilder's mounted infantry "lightning" brigade armed with repeating Spencers (firepower  of a division) secures Hoover's Gap for Thomas's infantry. Hardee, outflanked by what he thinks is an entire army, retreats to Tullahoma without orders.
29 June 63 On the guarded advice of Hardee and Polk, Bragg abandons Tullahoma, retreats to Chattanooga. Union forces advance 100 miles at the cost of 600 casualties.
16 Aug. 63
Rosecrans' movement over the Cumberland Mountains toward Chattanooga begins. Timed to coincide with the ripening of the corn crop, Rosecrans feints crossing the Tennessee River above Chattanooga, demonstrates in front of Chattanooga, and endeavors to make the preparations for a crossing below Chattanooga look like a feint.
29 Aug. - 4 Sept. 63 Bragg is deceived. The crossing of theTennessee River below Chattanooga is unopposed and is the most successful such operation of the entire Civil War. 
6 Sept. 63 Rosecrans authorizes George Stearns (wealthy abolitionist) to open a recruitment center for colored troops in Nashville.
8 Sept. 63 Thomas occupies Stevens' and Cooper's Gaps on Lookout Mountain. Bragg, outflanked, his railroad link to Atlanta threatened, withdraws from Chattanooga into Georgia and waits. Almost no casualties.
10-11 Sept. 63 Thomas smells a rat in McLemore's Cove. Local Unionists  help him out with timely info about what's lurking behind Pigeon Mountain, namely most of Bragg's army.
19-20 Sept. 63 Battle of Chickamauga. Union right collapses morning of 2nd day. Wilder everywhere until Dana commandeers entire brigade as escort back to Chattanooga. Negley, already ill before the battle, retires to Chattanooga with all of the Union artillery. Thomas on left with 25,000 holds off 60,000 and earns sobriquet "rock". Bragg repairs his army and besieges Chattanooga.
20 Oct. 63 George H. Thomas ordered to take command of the Army of the Cumberland. Consults first with Rosecrans who advises Thomas to accept.
23 Oct. 63 Grant arrives in Chattanooga, some say to a frosty welcome.
27 Oct. 63 Hazen floats down Tennessee, takes Brown's Ferry. Longstreet ordered to intervene, does nothing. Thomas promoted to brig. general in regular army.
28 Oct. 63 Hooker arrives in Lookout Valley. Cracker line now secure.
29 Oct. 63 Longstreet ordered to use all necessary means to remove Hooker from valley, but disobeys. Instead orders inconclusive night attack with only 1 division against Hooker's rear guard at Wauhatchie. Bragg's left flank now undermined.
5 Nov. 63 Longstreet sent by Davis to Knoxville in order to drive out Burnside and perhaps draw Union forces away from Chattanooga. Grant really worried about Burnside who, however, deals handily with Longstreet.
15-16 Nov. 63 Sherman in Chattanooga for 2 days, does some hasty reconnaissance of Missionary Ridge. His mind on other matters besides mere details of terrain.
23 Nov. 63 First day of the battles for Chattanooga. Thomas turns an order to do some recon into the general advance on Orchard Knob. Thomas and Grant set up shop there. Grant intimidated, Thomas patient and in control. Grant bides his time.
24 Nov. 63 Hooker takes Lookout Mountain. Clever use of Geary. Outnumbers poorly led defenders, but hard work all the same. Sherman crosses to south bank of Tennessee River facing northern end of Missionary Ridge. Advances 3 miles in a day against almost no opposition, misreads terrain, stops way too soon, thinking he had reached objective of his orders, and fortifies. Has either bad map or can't read a good one. Grant's battle plan begins to fail.
25 Nov. 63 Sherman's 6 divisions stopped cold by Cleburne's 1 1/2 divisions. Grant's battle plan fails. Thomas's original battle plan to attack Bragg's left flank at Rossville succeeds. Hooker does that in spades, gets well behind Bragg and sows panic in the center which Thomas then storms and takes while Grant rages. Again Thomas demonstrates his ability to get good performance from commanders whom others have written off. After nightfall Sheridan, hell on ostentatious pursuit, sends his men down wooded slope into a rear guard trap. Loses some men for nothing but impresses Grant (a kindred soul).
27 Nov. 63 Hooker rushes into attack against Bragg's rear guard at Ringgold Gap, meets Cleburne. Learns a lesson. Does not impress Grant.
24 Dec. 63 Thomas establishes the National Military Cemetery in Chattanooga.
27 Dec. 63 Joseph E. Johnston replaces Bragg as commander of the Army of Tennessee. Orders the largest mass executions of own troops in U.S. history.
31 Dec. 63 Lincoln proposes Thomas's promotion to brig. gen. in regular army. According to Grant this is for Chickamauga (not for Chattanooga). Grant never quits.
Jan.- April 64 Thomas administers Tennessee and begins reconstruction. Stockpiles for coming Atlanta campaign. Grant and Sherman take extended leave, Thomas stays at post.
12 March 64 Lt. Gen. Grant made Gen. in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. Sherman, as a reward for his failure at Chattanooga, is named to succeed Grant as commander of the Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, putting him also in charge of the Army of the Cumberland.
7 May 64 Sherman kicks off Atlanta campaign at Dalton, Ga. Thomas with half the forces is the center, McPherson and Schofield command the wings. Thomas will do the staff work for the entire invasion force. Thomas proposes major flanking movement through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman waters it down, sends McPherson who gets cold feet, allows Johnston to disengage and fall back to Resaca, Ga.
13-16 May 64 Johnston at Resaca avoids another flanking movement and retires to Cassville, Ga. Under threat of more flanking movements, he retires to Allatoona, Ga., then to Kennesaw Mountain.
27 May 64 Sherman loses patience after weeks of rain and no forward movement, orders a play up the middle to let Johnston know that Sherman doesn't always make end runs. The frontal attack fails completely. Sherman rediscovers how to flank, and Johnston retires to the Chattahoochie.
4-9 July 64 At the Chattahoochie Sherman outflanks Johnston who retires to Peachtree Creek.
17 July 64 Hood's letter campaign with Davis bears fruit. Hood replaces Johnston.
20 July 64 In his first "sortie" at Peachtree Creek Hood, a slow learner, chooses to attack Thomas of all people. Gets another lesson in the use of artillery from his former West Point instructor and is repulsed with heavy losses. Hooker does some very good work. 
22 July 64 In his second sortie (battle of Atlanta), Hood goes after McPherson's much smaller force, again repulsed with disproportionate losses. McPherson killed.
26-31 July 64 Sherman sends Stoneman and McCook on raids south to cut Atlanta's one remaining railroad link. Both raids fail.
28 July 64 Battle of Ezra Church (Hood's 3rd sortie). Another attack against a portion of Sherman's stretched out line fails. The siege of Atlanta begins.
31 Aug. -
  1 Sept. 64
Desultory battle of Jonesboro south of Atlanta. Sherman rejects Thomas's plan and Hardee escapes. Hood's last railroad line is cut. Hood evacuates Atlanta.
2 Sept. 64 Slocum takes possession of Atlanta. Sherman sends telegram to Lincoln. Church bells ring all over the North. Sherman lets Hood go and occupies Atlanta. No matter, Lincoln's grand coalition will win the conressional elections.
Sept. 64 Forrest goes back to Tennessee, Hood threatens Sherman's railroad connection to Chattanooga, and Sherman pursues Hood all the way to Chattanooga, but to no avail. Hood is just too fast and slippery for Sherman and escapes into northern Alabama. Thomas sent to Tennessee at end of month.
3 Oct. 64  Thomas arrives in Nashville. Continues to take care of Sherman's logistics and intelligence while neutralizing Forrest, chasing Breckenridge in Kentucky, and monitoring Hood's preparations in Alabama. Begins to create an army from scratch.
26 Oct. 64 Sherman gives up trying to catch Hood and sends Thomas first Stanley, then Wilson, then Schofield, and prepares to take the rest of his armies (incl. the 14th Corps) to Savannah, wishes Godspeed to Hood if he should head for the Ohio. Thomas puts Stanley in Pulaski, Tenn. to keep tabs on Hood refitting in Tuscumbia, Ala. Thomas gradually tightens the net in Southern Tennessee.
24 Nov. 84
After retrieving Gen. A.J. Smith from the Kansas border, Rosecrans sends off Gen. A.J. Smith from St. Louis with 2 divisions. Smith arrives in Nashville 30 Nov. 84.
12 Nov. 64 Sherman cuts his telegraph wire and begins what he himself later calls his "winter excursion" to the sea. Andersonville can wait. Petersburg can wait. Hood crosses in force the Tennessee on 20 Nov. and moves into Tennessee at a marching rate 6 times faster than that of Sherman, but then Sherman's army is pretty busy teaching rebel wives and children a lesson. As Hood moves north and his objective becomes clear, Thomas concentrates his forces in Nashville.
28 Nov. 64 Schofield gets complacent in Columbia, Tenn. Hood fords Duck River upstream and gets around him. Hood sees himself following in Lee's footsteps, destroying Thomas, rejoining Lee, breaking Grant's siege, entering Richmond as a hero, being accepted by Richmond's cool crowd, marrying fair Sally, etc.
29 Nov. 64 With one division Stanley fights off Hood's advance troops at Spring Hill and keeps the road to Franklin open for Schofield. That night Schofield marches past Hood's army camped just south of  Spring Hill while Hood sleeps. Aids afraid of his nasty temper and don't or can't wake him.
30 Nov. 64 Schofield entrenches in Franklin while preparing his withdrawal to Nashville. Hood rages at his commanders for not daring to or not being able to wake him. Late that afternoon, before his artillery arrives, Hood sends his army on series of morale bracing frontal attacks against Schofield's works south of the town. While Hood lies down to rest, his army is very roughly handled for 6 whole hours. Major gen. Stanley, commander of the 4th Corps, wounded while managing the battle. Schofield watches from the rear. Schofield's army leaves the next day for Nashville, Hood declares victory with, albeit with, ahem, some losses - a full quarter of his forces.
1 Dec. 64 Hood arrives in front of Nashville's defense works. They are imposing, so he decides to wait and see what happens. Still a slow learner. Two weeks pass while Hood parties and Thomas assembles, oils, and finally rolls out the machine which will disperse the Army of Tennessee for good.
2 Dec. 64 Grant, in collusion with Schofield, starts his telegram campaign to force Thomas into action, any old action which will damage Hood's army. Does not want Thomas to garner another signal victory, does not particularly care how many casualties Thomas suffers. Really wants to get rid of Thomas, but Lincoln and Stanton toss the decision in his lap. Grant would rather not take the responsibility by himself for the removal. Is about to leave for Nashville in order to salvage his situation when the news of Thomas's attack arrives. Grant cancels trip and begins to rewrite history of the battle.
15-16 Dec. 64 Battle of Nashville. On the first day colored troops pin down Cheatham on Hood's right while everyone except Schofield attacks Hood's left. On second day Wilson's 9,000 dismounting cavalrymen armed with repeating Spencers and the firepower of at least 4 infantry divisions places itself well behind Hood's left flank and attacks from the rear while everyone except Schofield attacks all along the line. Crunch. Hood's army disintegrates. Thomas pursues for 1 month as far as Mississippi. War over for the AoT. Sam Watkins goes home and writes a book and only fudges a little bit.
24 Dec. 64 Thomas's promotion to maj. general of the regular army approved by Congress after being delayed by Grant. Promotion backdated to just before the battle of Nashville, but after the promotions of Sherman, Meade, and Sheridan to the same rank. Grant already planning his post-war campaign against Thomas.
22 March - 
   22 April 65
Wilson conducts a large scale mounted raid to Selma, Ala. Beats Forrest at his own game.
10 May 65 Wilson under Thomas's command captures Jefferson Davis.

14th Corps acorn
On 26 May 1865, Thomas's troops are the last to pass by President Johnson during the final grand review. As the 14th corps passes the reviewing stand, Thomas is heard to say: "These men made me."  The ambassador from Germany remarks: "Now here...here is an army that can whip the devil." The Army of the Cumberland is history, but still underrepresented in the history books.
Copyright © Sept. 2000 Robert T. Redman


A brief history of the Army of the Cumberland

After Ft. Sumter, Robert Anderson took command on 28 May 1861 of the Dept. of Kentucky which was renamed the Dept. of the Cumberland on 15 Aug. 1861. His command area covered most of Kentucky and Tennessee. Anderson asked for Thomas, Buell and Sherman. On Anderson's recommendation Thomas was commissioned brig. general of volunteers on 17 Aug. 61. On 15 Sept. 1861 Anderson assigned Thomas to take command of Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., the nation's first modern basic training camp. On 8 Oct. 1861 the Army of the Cumberland was reorganized under William T. Sherman who grossly overestimated the size of the Confederate forces arrayed against him in Kentucky. In a moment of panic he recalled Thomas who was advancing into East Tennesee, whereupon Union sympathizers were hung there. On 9 Nov. 1861 there was another reorganization, and the army was merged into the Army of the Ohio under Don Carlos Buell. On 2 Dec. 1861 Thomas assumed command of the 1st Division which he later developed into the 14th Corps, the most effective striking force in any army on either side of the Civil War. In the Battle of Mill Springs, Ky. (19 Jan. 1862 ) Thomas decisively defeated George B. Crittenden. This was the first major Union victory of the war, and the Confederate western theater began to unravel. On 16 Feb. 1862 Buell occupied the key city of Nashville, Tenn. which remained in Union hands during the rest of the Civil War. On 6 April 1862 Buell arrived the evening of first day of the battle of Shiloh and saw chaos as he had never seen before. Grant was very happy to see him at first. The next day Buell's fresh troops turned the tide and swept the now outnumbered and exhausted Confederate forces from the field. Afterward Grant was not so happy that Buell had been there. On 9 April 62 the end of Buell's column, Thomas's first division, arrived on the field at Shiloh. Although the division was fresh, Grant, later so harsh on others who didn't pursue according to his standards, ordered no pursuit of Confederates. On 25 April 62 Thomas was promoted to maj. general of volunteers for his victory at Mill Springs. On 29 April - 10 June 62 Buell and Thomas participated in Halleck's object lesson on how to conduct a campaign. There were few casualties, Beauregard abandoned Corinth without an assault, but the Memphis-Lynchburg railroad line was cut, and that hurt. Halleck kept Grant out of trouble by temporarily sidelining him, and Halleck had to remind Grant to behave himself in almost explicit terms. Upon the close of the campaign on 10 June 62 Thomas, at his own request, turned command of the Army of the Tennessee back to Grant who apparently did not appreciate the gesture. On 11 July 62 Halleck became General-in-Chief of the army. Bragg took command of the Army of Tennessee and launched another campaign into Kentucky from Chattanooga. After delaying part of Bragg's army under Buckner for 3 days 14-17 Sept. 62, Wilder artfully surrendered Munfordville, Ky. As we know, "Time is everything" (Sherman, 25 Nov. 63). By 23 Sept. 62 Bragg was threatening Louisville, and Halleck thought Buell was too slow. Thomas turned down an offer to succeed Buell, saying that Buell should be allowed to conduct the battle he was planning. Official Washington shook its collective head in disbelief. On 8 Oct. 62 at the battle of Perryville, Ky., Bragg was outnumbered and attacked McCook's portion of Buell's army before Buell could concentrate. The result was a draw and Bragg, short of men and supplies, withdrew, leaving the Union in control of Kentucky for the rest of the war. On 24 Oct. 62 the second Dept. of the Cumberland was created to include that part of Tennessee east of the Tennessee River and those portions of Alabama and Georgia to fall under Federal control. On 30 Oct. 62, William S. Rosecrans took command of the Army of the Cumberland who divided it into the XIV, XX, and XXI Corps. On his own initiative Rosecrans also organized a reserve corps under Granger which was known as the Army of Kentucky. From 24 Nov. 62 - 10 May 63, under pressure from Halleck and some interested politicians, a military Court of Inquiry investigated Buell's conduct of the war in Ky. and Tenn. The accusers remained anonymous, and the conclusions were not published. On 31 Dec. 62 and 2 Jan. 63 at the battle of Murfreesboro Bragg attacked first and treated Rosecrans's right wing very roughly. However, Thomas with his Artillery under Hazan commanded the center which held while Rosecrans skillfully directed unit movements. Casualties were high on both sides, and some of Bragg's subordinate commanders didn't cooperate. The outcome was inconclusive, but Bragg withdrew to Tullahoma. On 9 Jan. 62 Thomas assumed command of the 14th Corps. On 22 June 63 Rosecrans opened the week-long Tullahoma campaign (an underrated military jewel) with feint of a feint toward Bragg's right flank in McMinnville in order to hint at a real feint toward Bragg's left flank in Shelbyville which masked the real thrust under Thomas through Hoover's Gap, and it worked! On 24 June 63 Wilder's mounted infantry "lightning" brigade, armed with repeating Spencers (with the firepower of a division) secured Hoover's Gap for Thomas's infantry. Hardee, outflanked by what he thought was an entire army, retreated to Tullahoma without orders, forcing Polk in Shelbyville to retreat as well. On 29 June 63, on the guarded advice of Hardee and Polk, Bragg abandoned Tullahoma retreated to Chattanooga. Union forces advanced 100 miles at the cost of 500 casualties. On 29 Aug. 63 Rosecrans, after feinting upstream, crossed the Tennessee River below Chattanooga -- the most successful large scale river-crossing of the entire Civil War. On 6 Sept. 63 Rosecrans authorized George Stearns (a wealthy abolitionist) to open a recruitment center for colored troops in Nashville. On 8 Sept. 63 Thomas Thomas occupied Stevens' and Cooper's Gaps on Lookout Mountain, suffering almost no casualties. Outflanked again, Bragg withdrew from Chattanooga into Georgia and waited. On 10-11 Sept. 63 Thomas smelled a rat in McLemore's Cove. Local Unionists helped him out with timely information about Bragg's army which was not in retreat, but lurking behind Pigeon Mountain at La Fayette, Ga. At the battle of Chickamauga the Union right collapsed morning of 2nd day (20 Sept. 63). Wilder had been seemingly everywhere and might have contained the Confederate thrust, but Dana, assistant Secretary of State and Stanton's agent from the War Departemt, panicked and commandeered the entire Lightning Brigade with its Spencer repeaters to escort him back to Chattanooga. Negley, already ill before the battle, retired to Chattanooga with all of the Union artillery, and Sheridan's behavior that day wasn't at all exemplary either. Jefferson C. Davis decided to return to help Thomas, but Sheridan ignored the request and continued his withdrawal. Thomas remained behind on the left with 25,000 men and held off 60,000 Confederates, thus earning the sobriquet "Rock of Chickamauga". Bragg's army had even higher losses than Rosecrans's, so he decided to lay siege to Chattanooga and starve the Federals out. On 25 Sept. 1863 the XI and XII Corps under Hooker were transferred from the Army of the Potomac to the Army of the Cumberland. On 28 Sept. 1863 the XX and XXI Corps were merged into the new IV Corps under Granger. On 20 Oct. 63 Thomas took command of the Army of the Cumberland after first consulting with Rosecrans who advised Thomas to accept. On 23 Oct. 63 Grant arrived in Chattanooga, some say to a frosty welcome. On 27 Oct. 63 Hazen floated down the Tennessee and took Brown's Ferry. Bragg ordered Longstreet to intervene, but he did nothing. Nothing. On this same date Thomas was promoted to brig. general in the regular army. On 28 Oct. 63 Hooker arrived in Lookout Valley, and the "Cracker line", the Federal supply route, was now secured. On 29 Oct. 63 Bragg ordered Longstreet to use "all necessary force" in order to remove Hooker from valley, but again he disobeyed. Instead Longstreet ordered an inconclusive night attack with only 1 division against Hooker's rear guard at Wauhatchie. Bragg's left flank was now undermined, and Longstreet wanted out of there, so he put in a transfer request in Richmond. On 5 Nov. 63 Davis sent Longstreet to Knoxville in order to drive out Burnside and perhaps draw Union forces away from Chattanooga. On 15-16 Nov. 63 Sherman was in Chattanooga for 2 days and did some hasty reconnaissance of Missionary Ridge. His mind was on other matters besides mere details of terrain. The battle of Chattanooga began on 23 Nov. 63. Thomas turned an order to do some reconnaissance into the general advance on Orchard Knob where Thomas and Grant then set up shop. Grant was intimidated, Thomas was patient and in control, and Grant bided his time. On 24 Nov. 63 Hooker took Lookout Mountain, making good use of Geary. Hooker outnumbered the poorly led defenders, but it was hard work all the same. Sherman crossed to the south bank of Tennessee River facing the northern end of Missionary Ridge, but he stopped way too soon, and Grant's battle plan began to fail. On 25 Nov. 63 Sherman's 6 divisions were stopped cold by Cleburne's 1 1/2 divisions, and Grant's battle plan failed. Meanhile, Hooker got behind Bragg's left and sowed the first panic among the Confederates, whereupon Thomas's troops stormed the ridge and broke through the center. Thomas's original battle plan had succeeded. After dark Sheridan, hell on pursuit, sent men into a rear guard trap and impressed Grant. On 27 Nov. 63 Hooker rushed into an attack against Bragg's rear guard at Ringgold Gap and was stopped by Cleburne long enough to permit the Confederate trains to escape. This time Grant was not impressed. On 27 Dec. 63 Joseph E. Johnston replaced Bragg as commander of the Army of Tennessee and ordered the largest mass execution of his own troops in U.S. history. On 31 Dec. 63 Lincoln proposed Thomas's promotion to brig. gen. in regular army. According to Grant this was to be for Chickamauga (not for Chattanooga). Grant never quit. From Jan. to April 64 Thomas administered Tennessee and began reconstruction while stockpiling for the coming Atlanta campaign. Grant and Sherman took extended leave while Thomas stayed at his post.  On 12 March 64 then Lt. Gen. Grant was named Gen. in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. and promoted to full general. Sherman, as a reward for his services at Chattanooga, was named to succeed Grant as commander of the Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, putting him also in charge of the Army of the Cumberland. On 4 April 1864 the XX Corps was reformed by merging the XI and XII Corps. The Army of the Cumberland, now consisting of the IV, XIV, and XX Corps, was commanded by Thomas throughout the Atlanta campaign. On 7 May 64 Sherman kicked off the Atlanta campaign at Dalton, Ga. Thomas with half the forces was the center, McPherson and Schofield commanded the wings. Thomas's staff did the staff work for the entire invasion force. Thomas proposed a major flanking movement through Snake Creek Gap, but Sherman watered it down and sent McPherson instead who got cold feet, allowing Johnston to disengage and fall back to Resaca, Ga.  On 13-16 May 64 Johnston at Resaca avoided another flanking movement and retired to Cassville, Ga. Under threat of more flanking movements, he retired to Allatoona, Ga., then to Kennesaw Mountain.  On  27 May 64 Sherman lost his patience after weeks of rain and no forward movement, and he ordered a play up the middle to let Johnston know that Sherman didn't always make end runs. The frontal attack failed completely, but Johnston retired behind the Chattahoochie a few days later anyway, under the threat of another flanking movement. On 4-9 July 64 at the Chattahoochie, Sherman outflanked Johnston who retired to Peachtree Creek. On 17 July 64 Hood's letter campaign with Davis bore fruit and Hood replaced Johnston. On 20 July 64 in his first "sortie" at Peachtree Creek, Hood, a slow learner, chose to attack Thomas of all people. He got another a lesson in the use of artillery from his former West Point instructor and was repulsed with heavy losses. Hooker ded some very good work that day. On 22 July 64 in his second sortie (battle of Atlanta), Hood went after McPherson, and he was again repulsed with disproportionate losses, although McPherson was killed. On 26-31 July 64 Sherman sent Stoneman and McCook on raids south to cut Atlanta's one remaining railroad link. Wheeler defeated McCook at the battle of Brown's Mill (Newnan, Ga.), and Stoneman's raid also failed. On 28 July 64 at the battle of Ezra Church (Hood's 3rd sortie) Hood made another failed attack against a portion of Sherman's stretched out line. On 31 Aug. - 1 Sept. 64 the desultory battle of Jonesboro took place south of Atlanta. Sherman rejected Thomas's battle plan and Hardee escaped. However, Hood's last railroad line was cut, and Hood had to evacuate Atlanta. On 2 Sept. 64 Slocum took possession of Atlanta, and Sherman got to send his telegram to Lincoln. Church bells rang in celebration all over the North. Against Thomas's advice, Sherman let Hood go,  and he occupied Atlanta. In Sept. 64 Forrest again invaded Tennessee, and Hood threatened Sherman's railroad connection to Chattanooga. Sherman send Thomas to Nashville in order to deal with Forrest, and Sherman himself pursued Hood, but to no avail. Hood was simply too fast for Sherman. On 3 Oct. 64 Thomas arrived in Nashville and began to create an army almost from scratch. On 26 Oct. 64 Sherman gave up trying to catch Hood, divided his army, took the better part of it (including the XIV and the XX corps) for himself, and left the IV Corps and the rest to Thomas.  The XIV and XX Corps were assigned to Slocum, and the Army of the Cumberland officially but not morally ceased to exist. On 12 Nov. 64 Sherman cut his telegraph wire and began his cakewalk to the sea. Andersonville could wait. Petersburg could wait. Meanwhile Hood moved into Tennessee at a marching rate 6 times faster than that of Sherman, but then Sherman's army was pretty busy punishing Georgia. As Hood moved north and his objective became clear, Thomas concentrated his forces in Nashville. On 28 Nov. 64 Schofield got complacent or overconfident in Columbia, Tenn. while Hood forded the Duck River and got between him and the road to Nashville. Hood briefly saw himself following in Lee's footsteps. However, on 29 Nov. 64 Schofield marched past Hood's army at Spring Hill while Hood slept. On 30 Nov. 64 Schofield entrenched in Franklin while preparing his withdrawal to Nashville and safety. Late that afternoon and evening Hood sent his army on a morale bracing frontal attack against Schofield's works south of the town. While Hood lay down to rest, his army was mauled for 6 whole hours. Schofield escaped and Hood declared victory. On 1 Dec. 64 Hood arrived at Nashville and decided to wait and see what happened. He was still a slow learner. Two weeks passed while Thomas assembled, oiled, and finally rolled out the machine which then dispersed the Army of Tennessee for good. But first, on 2 Dec. 64 Grant in collusion with Schofield, started his telegram campaign to force Thomas into action, any old action which would damage Hood's army. He did not want Thomas to garner another signal victory, and he didn't particularly care how many casualties Thomas suffered. Grant really wanted to get rid of Thomas, but Lincoln and Stanton tossed the decision back in his lap. Grant preferred to not take the responsibility by himself for the removal. He was about to leave for Nashville in order to salvage his situation when the news of Thomas's attack arrived, and he canceled the trip and began to rewrite history of this battle too.  The battle of Nashville lasted 2 days on 15-16 Dec. 64. Colored troops pinned down Cheatham on the first day while Smith and McCook hammered away at the Confederate left. On the second day Wilson's 9,000 dismounting cavalrymen armed with repeating Spencers and the firepower of at least 4 infantry divisions placed itself well behind Hood's left flank, and Hood's army disintegrated. Thomas pursued for 1 month. The war was over for the AoT and Sam Watkins went home to write his famous book, most of which was true. On 24 Dec. 64 Thomas's promotion to maj. general of the regular army, delayed by Grant, was approved by the War Department. The promotion was then finally approved by Congress and backdated to before the battle of Nashville, but after the promotions of Sherman, Meade, and Sheridan to the same rank. On 22 March - 22 April 65 Wilson conducted the war's largest scale mounted raid to Selma, Ala. Wilson beat Forrest at his own game. On 10 May 65 Wilson under Thomas's command captured Jefferson Davis in Georgia as he perhaps sought to escape beyond the Mississippi.  On 26 May 1865, Thomas's troops were the last to pass by President Johnson during the final grand review. As the 14th corps passed the reviewing stand, Thomas was heard to say: "These men made me." The ambassador from Germany remarked: "Now here...here is an army that can whip the devil." The Army of the Cumberland entered into history, but is still underrepresented in the history books.


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