In 1862, with the outcome of the Civil War far from certain, Union
and Confederate leaders began to pinpoint locations vital for their
army's success. Tennessee was one such possession. Although
nominally under Confederate control, with Union loyalists in the
east, Confederate supporters in the west and a mixture in the
central region, the state did not have ironclad loyalty to either
cause. For the Union, gaining control of Tennessee meant crippling
the transportation options of the Confederacy, giving Union forces
access to the rivers and mountain passes which would potentially
lead them to the heart of the Confederacy and victory over the
South. For the Confederacy, maintaining control of Tennessee was
vital not only to protect its southernmost states but also to
retain control of the state's agricultural products and mineral
wealth, neither of which it could afford to lose.
Drawing on contemporary sources such as memoirs and official
correspondence, this volume details the struggle for control of
Tennessee during 1862 and 1863. Beginning with the Union
commanders' initial reluctance to challenge the Confederate army,
it describes the fortuitous momentum Ulysses S. Grant's arrival
added to the Federal struggle in the west and, consequently, the
Union quest for Tennessee. It follows the movements of Union and
Confederate forces through some of the worst battles of the war,
including Shiloh, Stones River and Chickamauga. Finally, the Union
victory at the battle of Chattanooga--which brought Tennessee
definitively under Union control--and its consequences for both
sides are discussed in detail.
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