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View from the top of Lookout Mountain
View from the top of Lookout Mountain, where the "Battle Above the Clouds" took place

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Fighting Commenced in the Battle of Chattanooga
November 23, 1863

Commanding posts at Lookout Mountain, almost 2,000 feet above the Tennessee River Valley, Confederates fired cannonballs down upon the Union troops at Chattanooga. They aimed for river and rail traffic that entered the village with supplies from Union-controlled western Tennessee. Surrounded, with no supply lines, the Union troops seemed destined to fall.

Their fate changed in mid-October with the fresh leadership of Major General George Thomas. Shortly thereafter, Major General Joseph Hooker moved into the area with 20,000 Union soldiers. Union General Ulysses S. Grant followed. He ordered Union engineers to construct a pontoon bridge west of town, giving the army access to shipments of food and ammunitions once again. When General Sherman arrived with 17,000 more men in mid-November, the Union Army was ready to fight.

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