The rising waters of the Tennessee River that had broken the pontoon bridge at Brown's Ferry had done a big favor for Joe Hooker. By doing so they had stranded the fourth of Sherman's divisions, that of Brigadier General Peter Osterhaus, on the west side of Confederate-held Lookout Mountain, and that made for a change in Grant's battle plans that was very much to Hooker's liking.
Six months before, Hooker had stood at the pinnacle of his military career, as commander of the Army of the Potomac, the republic's largest. Then, however, he had met "Bobby Lee," on whom he had promised to have no mercy, and Stonewall Jackson, at a place called Chancellorsville, and nothing had ever been quite the same for "Fighting Joe" Hooker since. The assignment to command the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps detachment to Chattanooga offered a chance to redeem himself. The problem was that Grant was not particularly enthusi-