Tullahoma Campaign

Tullahoma Campaign (HM1FBB)

Location: Tullahoma, TN 37388 Coffee County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 21.41', W 86° 12.443'

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June 24-July 4, 1863

— Race to Tullahoma —

When the Union Army of the Cumberland captured Manchester on June 27th, Braxton Bragg Confederate forces retreated here to Tullahoma - a supply base and Army of Tennessee headquarters since January, 1863. Tullahoma, however, was tactically a vulnerable position. Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk insisted the army retreat to Chattanooga because the swollen Elk River to the south would give Rosecrans the opportunity to cross the Tennessee River in northern Alabama region barren of supplies and swarming with Unionists and threaten the bluff city. General William J. Hardee, on the other hand, advised Bragg to make a stand n Tennessee, preferable south of the Elk River. While debating their strategy, Colonel James Wilder "Lighting Brigade" crossed the Elk River in their rear and began raiding the southern railroad line near Decherd. Late in the day on June 30th, Bragg issued orders to withdraw to the south, taking up a position in Dechard by late evening.


Ft. Raines

When the war began many Americans, North and South, anticipated a short struggle. But as quick battlefield victories became more elusive, both the Union and Confederate armies resorted to constructing heavily fortified positions to protect against frontal assaults and guard critical supplies. Obstacles, such as log breastworks, earthen mounds, and earthen forts became an important part of the Civil War landscape. Here at Tullahoma the Confederates constructed an earthen fortification, Ft. Raines, and entrenched infantry and artillery positions surrounding the town and vital railroad junction. When Braxton Bragg retreated behind his fortifications, Union General William Rosecrans, slowed his speedy approach to take into consideration the Confederates prepared positions.


(lower left) Confederate President Jefferson Davis visited Bragg, an old personal friend from their time together in the Mexican War, while he built up his Tullahoma defenses. The attempt to iron out disputes among Bragg ranks proved ultimately unsuccessful.

(lower center) Ft. Raines from a sketch by a Union mapmaker during the occupation of Tullahoma (1863)
Placed ByTennessee's Backroads Heritage
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 5:47pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 572012 N 3912903
Decimal Degrees35.35683333, -86.20738333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 21.41', W 86° 12.443'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 21' 24.6" N, 86° 12' 26.58" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 498 US-41A, Tullahoma TN 37388, US
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