This city was first occupied by Confederate troops in the spring of 1862 under Generals Floyd, Maxey and Leadbetter. Union troops under General Mitchell shelled it June 7 and 8. Bragg's Army occupied it in August preparing for the Kentucky campaign, again in the fall on its return from Kentucky, and in the summer of 1863 when retiring before Rosecrans from Middle Tennessee. Wilder shelled the city from Stringer's Ridge August 21. Bragg evacuated it September 7 and 8, and a small Union force took possession. Rosecrans occupied it in force the second morning after the Battle of Chickamagua, and thereafter it remained in Union control. Thomas succeeded Rosecrans October 19.
Grant took general command October 23. A short line of supplies to Bridgeport by Brown's Ferry was opened October 28, upon a plan devised by General Rosecrans. Hooker's forces arrived in Lookout Valley on that date and fought the Battle of Wauhatchie. Sherman's troops crossed the Tennessee above the city during the night of November 23.
On that day the Army of the Cumberland carried Orchard Knob.
November 24, Hooker's column captured the north slope of Lookout Mountain. On November 25, Missionary Ridge, excepting Cleburne's position at Tunnel Hill and the intervening line to Walthall's stand north of De Long's was carried by Grant's combined armies, Bragg retreating to Dalton.