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HOME > Biographical > The Life of Abraham Lincoln > CHAPTER XII.
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In the West the war was now in two parts. The Un-ion troops had won their first point, which was to hold the Mis-sis-sip-pi Riv-er. But there had to be a long, fierce fight ere they could gain cen-tral Ten-nes-see and north Geor-gi-a. The foe led by Bragg, and the Un-ion troops by Ro-se-crans fought their best but it was not till the warm months, and the fall of 1863 that Ro-se-crans, at last, made Bragg fall back, bit by bit, un-til Chat-ta-noo-ga was in the hands of the Un-ion for-ces. Then more of the foe went to help Bragg, and the great fight of Chick-a-mau-ga came on Sept. 19 and 20, 1863.
The first day the Un-ion ar-my won; but the next day the right half of Ro-se-crans’ ar-my was bro-ken and fled to Chat-ta-noo-ga. George H. Thom-as, a brave man and a hard fight-er, by great skill held the left wing a-gainst charge af-ter charge that the foe made up-on it, and gave Ro-se-crans time to take such steps
 as would make safe the Un-ion men who had fled to Chat-ta-noo-ga.
Grant then had all the troops west of the moun-tains in his charge. He gave Ro-se-crans’ place to Thom-as, who was called “The Rock of Chick-a-mau-ga.” Grant him-self, with Thom-as next, then took com-mand of the be-sieged for-ces at Chat-ta-noo-ga.
Some of Bragg’s men had been sent off to make a strike at Burn-side in East Ten-nes-see, so Grant saw that he had a good chance to make a move on the rear of Bragg’s ar-my.
The line of the foe was twelve miles long, ’twixt Mis-sion-a-ry Ridge on the east and Look-out Moun-tain on the south. The last is a height which makes a sharp rise of 2,000 feet.
Grant’s plan was to have his troops climb the two heights and storm the works that had been built on them. If he could take them, he would then com-mand the val-ley in which Bragg’s troops lay, and could force him to give up the siege. He gave Hoo-ker the task of mak-ing a strike at Look-out Moun-tain and Sher-man had his work to do at the Ridge.
There was a dense mist on the morn-ing of Nov. 23. Sher-man went to work and got up-on the north end of the Ridge, while Hoo-ker did his part on Look-out Moun-tain. Hoo-ker’s troops fought their way right up to the top and when there flung to the breeze the stars and stripes.
Grant stood on Or-chard Knob and gave the or-der for 20,000 men to take a line of earth works which lay at the base of the Ridge. This they did and Grant then saw that the time was ripe for a great move. He gave the word for a charge to be made a-long the whole line of bat-tle.
The day drew near its close. The shad-ow of Look-out Moun-tain fell far a-cross the plain. The last rays of the sun, ere it sank from sight, shone............
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