15 November, 2007

Sides jockey for position near Tullahoma

Tennessee Campaign, 1863
News from the Front July 25th - August 1st

July 25th

Wither's attack across the forces the Union to fall back from Beech Grove. The Confederates use the victory as an opportunity to resupply themselves; General Hardee bringing his Corp back into supply with General Forrest setting up a supply depot in Shelbyville.
Pegram and Preston continue their long journey southwest from Knoxville to Chattanooga.

July 26th

Buoyed up by the victory, the Confederates are as confident as ever. The Union conversely are unused to defeat so far, and both Thomas' and McCook's entire Corps are low on supplies.

July 27th

Pegram and Preston continue their journey to Chattanooga, reaching Cleveland

July 28th

Polk's Corps strives to get back into supply utilizing the supply depot at Shelbyville.Palmer's Division (2nd of Crittenden's XXI Corps) resupply itself despite raiding from cavalry at McMinnsville.

July 29th

In an action that draws cries of derision from colleagues and thepress, Sheridan fortifies his position at Wartrace. Mustering up all his forces for the attack which failed to materialise a week before, Palmer attacked McMinnville to find that the garrison (Martin's Cavalry Division) has faded away to reform back at Polk's HQ.

Stewart sets up a new supply depot at Ethel Springs, and as Cheatham withdraws his Division towards Pelham. A new Confederate defensive position around Tullahoma and on The Barrens begins to suggest itself.

July 30th

Johnson's Division (2nd of McCook's XX Corps) advances up the railway toward Tullahoma, perhaps in an attempt to cut off Confederate forces.

July 31st

Withers withdraws towards Hillsboro, escaping the pocket threatening to be created by Union flankers. Preston moves towards Rossville, now within close distance of Chattanooga.

August 1st

Brannan's Division (3rd of Thomas' XIV Corps) sets up a supply depot on the Highland Ridge, a major Union re-supply effort will be required before they can again threaten the Confederate lines.

News from the Front August 2nd - August 14th

August 2nd

Cleburne fortifies Tullahoma: this position will not be turned! Forrest meanwhile on a daring raid behind enemy lines rides into Bell Buckle.This feat achieves easy fame in the newspapers, and Confederate confidence is sky-high. Forrest's interdiction attempts are only partially successful, forcing Johnson's Division to stop, but nearby Divisions of Rousseau and Davis regain their supply lines.

August 3rd

Bragg takes a hand in Confederate affairs, spurred on by Davis backin Richmond, his interference slows down the decision-making process somewhat.However, he does manage to get considerable rolling-stock in place for Polk's Corps, which would allow a quick movement from his exposed position near Manchester southwards towards Tullahoma. To stiffen their strong position north of the Elk River, Bragg has organised a huge supply effort, making Tullahoma a base of operations in advance of Chattanooga. Cleburne's Division benefits also replacing troops and guns lost at Wartrace.

Negley's Division (2nd of Thomas' XIV Corps) sets up a supply depot, surely this is enough to re-supply and advance?

August 4th

Cheatham reaches Pelham

August 5th

Forrest continues his raid behind enemy lines, setting up a supply depot in between the Highland Ridge and Murfreesboro. Given the danger that Forrest could pose to the Union base of operations, Morgan's Division (2nd of Granger's Reserve Corps) scouts out Forrest's Division, finding it to be cavalry only, with no great staying power.

The great Union re-supply effort continues, with Rousseau's Division (1st of Thomas' XIV Corps) sets up a new supply depot, and Negley and Brannan's Division's get back into supply.

August 7th

Meanwhile towards McMinnville Wood's and Turchin's Divisions (1st of Crittenden's XXI Corps and 2nd of the Cavalry Corps) move together and merge. Johnson's Division, on the railway and despite Forrest's raiding is able to set up a supply depot

August 8th

Rousseau's Division fortifies Beech Grove, the supply lines must be kept secure!

August 9th

Morgan's Division brings itself back into supply. Van Cleve`s Division is reformed out of the consolidated divisions under Palmer at McMinnville. Sheridan's and Negley's Divisions are brought into supply by the exhaustion of the supply depot previously set up by Rousseau. Is the Union war machine ready to move at last?

August 10th

Mitchell's Division advances up to the gates of Tullahoma. Palmer's Division advances swiftly down the railway from McMinnville towards Manchester.

August 11th

Baird's Division (1st of Granger's Reserve Corps) advances past Murfressboro and towards Forrest's Division, eager to destroy this threat to the Union's supply lines.
Meanwhile to the south, Preston marches into Chattanooga, while Pegram stations his command at Rossville just to the south-east.

August 13th

Forrest scouts Morgan's Division (2nd of Granger's Reserve Corps) finding it to be of average size, certainly adequate to garrisoning Murfreesboro.Wither's Division moves into Hillsboro.

August 14th

Morgan's Division moves into Tullahoma. Baird's Division advances into contact with Forrest and attempts to bring him to battle, but Forrest retires. Again Baird forms line to squash Forrest, but the man who escaped with his command out of Fort Donelson refuses to play by the Union rules and evades contact.

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