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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:03 pm 
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Location: USA
JTS Campaign Chickamauga, scenario 073 Confederates Defense of Chattanooga, December, 1863 is a 35-turn "What-If" engagement designed by the indomitable, Richard Walker! There are only two versions of this scenario (one with weather effects, one without) that make it an unobtrusive entry within the scenario listings. But it is one with a unique premise and laid out with an eye to both operational choice and tactical savvy.

Something has happened within the Tullahoma Campaign which has pre-empted Rosecrans from command of the Army of the Cumberland and allowed Bragg to elect to remain in Chattanooga and defend the Tennessee River Line. Bragg has virtually all of Hardee's Corps (21,806), in the city, with the exception of an infantry brigade from Walker's Division thrown out on the northern-most apron of Lookout Mountain guarding the Kelly's Ferry Road on the south side of the river. He also has one infantry brigade (the "Orphan Brigade") from Breckinridge's missing corps thrown northeast of the river near Caldwell overlooking the roads approaching from east of North Chickamauga Creek. The main bridge at Chattanooga still stands, but there is a another, longer and weaker bridge in place just above the same creek with road connection only to the north bank and well above Chickamauga Creek on the south side. Anderson's cavalry brigade, also from Breckinridge's Corps, stands an extended guard down the spine of Missionary Ridge from Tunnel Hill down, with an outpost at Rossville. Altogether Bragg has a force of some 24,757.

The Union Army of the Cumberland (31,114), commanded by George Thomas, approaches Chattanooga from two directions. From the northeast comes Palmer's XIV Corps (18,355), consisting of three divisions. From the southwest debouching under the southern heights of the Racoon Mountains comes Granger's IV Corps (10,803), consisting of two divisions. Preceding Granger are the 1,956 troopers of Eli Long's cavalry brigade, all armed with repeating rifles. This south-western approach to Chattanooga must cross Lookout Creek, over which there are four bridges all within 750 yards of each other, with two additional fords located upstream.

Operationally both commanders must initially ponder the advantages and disadvantages of both the northeastern and southwestern theaters of action and what steps they must take to insure a successful outcome. This will not be easy since the distances involved may prove to be too great if an operational decision proves wrong. Any such decisions must also include the maintenance or destruction of the main bridge into Chattanooga, as well as the potential pathways leading south from the longer, weaker bridge upstream from the city. There are also a total of 800 Victory Points seeded in and around the city, as well as 125 Points north of the river and 50 Points at the Craven's Cabin on the tip of Lookout Mountain. To further complicate the situation, the National forces will arrive throughout the early morning hours, while the Confederate forces all start upon the field.

Altogether this scenario provides an intriguing and engrossing journey into a What-Might-Have-Been outcome to the Tullahoma/Chattanooga Campaign. For good or bad, Bragg's wager to actually defend the city proper has been called by Thomas's two-pronged advance!

_________________
General Jos. C. Meyer, ACWGC
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
Commander, Army of the Tennessee
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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