The Battle Above the Clouds
After this fumble, the Union was able to repair their supply lines very quickly. The line of supply from the Nashville railroad to Stevenson, Alabama, was connected by steamboats to Kelley's Ferry. From there, supplies were carried to Chattanooga on the easy wagon and railroad route past Raccoon Mountain to Browns Ferry. They called this the "cracker line." Within days, engineers had erected a pontoon bridge west of town and supplies began moving again into Chattanooga for the Union troops. The scales of the siege began turning as this new supply line was quickly established.
Major General William T. Sherman arrived in mid-November, and not a day too soon. He brought with him his four divisions consisting of 17,000 men, and the Federals quickly began offensive operations. This ushered in a new plan and on November 23rd, Thomas' troops overtook the Confederates at Orchard Knob, between Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge. November 24th became known for the "Battle Above the Clouds" as Hooker drove his men on to a Union victory at Lookout Mountain. Finally, on November 25th, the last day of the battle, the Union army crushed the Confederates at Missionary Ridge, pushing them south to Georgia, where they would meet their final defeat.
The main battle at Chattanooga occurred on November 23rd through the 25th. This Union victory gained them "the gateway to the lower south" which became Sherman's supply line for the 1864 Campaign in Atlanta, Georgia.