Tennessee Campaign, 1863
News from the Front - July 15th - July 24th
Cleburne's Division is forced out of Wartrace, but he is able to break contact with Sheridan after inflicting heavy casualties on the Union force. Baird's Cavalry Division continues his strike southeast towards Tullahoma increasing the distance between them and Forrest in Shelbyville. After several hard battles, almost all of the Confederate forces lack the supplies to hold on, and even moving back out of their advance positions will be difficult.
Cleburne and Stewart begin their painful withdrawal to a line on the Duck River.Roussau's Division, XIV Corps clash with the rear-guard of Withers' Division discovering that Withers is strong despite his supply predicament.
Meanwhile, Pegram and Preston continue their journey southwest fromKnoxville to Chattanooga.
With the continued retreat of Hardee's Corps, Polk has no choice but to straighten the line and withdraw Withers and Cheatham's Divisions also.
Crittenden advances towards McMinnville merging Palmer's and VanCleve's Divisions as he slogs through the mud. A planned scouting attempt fails due to lack of clear orders, General Minty defends his Cavalry Division's performance, they have been left to fend for themselves at the rear of the Union column.
Jackson, acting cautiously but following Buckner's lead, fortifies Loudon.
Thomas directs Rousseau to form a supply depot at Bradyville. With this clear signal of intent, both Hardee and Polk are caught in a quandary; but their indecision in soon broken by Union advances.
Palmer's reinforced 2nd Division, XXI Corps advances into McMinnville to bring Martin's Division, Polk's Corps to battle and force them out of the vital rail spur. Martin runs rings around the advancing Union force and retires in good order, but still in control of the town.
Crittenden seems paralysed by the failure of his subordinates and looks for explanations, not action! This is compounded by the failure of his supply train to keep up with his advance and Palmer is out of supply.
Rousseau advances into Beach Grove and eager to bring Withers to battle finds himself a tougher battle than expected