Reminiscences of the Civil War

By John B. Gordon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
MISSIONARY RIDGE--TRIUNE DISASTER

Why General Bragg did not pursue Rosecrans after Chickamauga-- Comparison of the Confederates at Missionary Ridge with the Greeks at Marathon--The Battle above the Clouds--Heroic advance by Walthall's Mississippians--GeneralGrant's timely arrival with reënforcements--The way opened to Atlanta.

GENERAL LEE was not a believer in the infallibility of newspapers as arbiters of military movements. With full appreciation of their enormous power and vital agency in arousing, guiding, and ennobling public sentiment, his experience with them as military critics of his early campaigns in the West Virginia mountains had led him to question the wisdom of some of their suggestions. In a letter to Mrs. Lee he once wrote, in half-serious, half-jocular strain, that he had been reading the papers, and that he would be glad if they had entire control and could fix matters to suit themselves, adding, "GeneralFloyd has three editors on his staff, and I hope something may be done to please them."

General Bragg had been subjected to a somewhat similar fire from the rear for not following General Rosecrans, after the battle of Chickamauga, and driving him into the river or across it. That he did not do so, and thus make the battle of Missionary Ridge impossible and save his army from its crushing defeat there, was a disappointment not only to the watchful and ex-

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