Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 296
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 296
 
 
  Yet something was necessary besides additional soldiers: another general must command. Rosecrans, who through his defeat at Chickamauga had lost all his buoyancy and prestige, became more irresolute than ever and showed himself unable to cope with the difficulties of the situation. The danger lay in lack of supplies; this might compel the evacuation of Chattanooga. The Confederates commanded the Tennessee river and the direct and good wagon roads on the south side of it; and though the Union Army held the country north of it, their supplies had to be wagoned over long, circuitous and rough mountain roads from Stevenson and Bridgeport, which had rail connections with Nashville. At best the line of communication was difficult, but with the autumn rains, it became exceedingly precarious. The army was verging on starvation. “The roads,” wrote Dana, “are in such a state that wagons are eight days making the journey from Stevenson to Chattanooga.… Though subsistence stores are so nearly exhausted here, the wagons are compelled to throw overboard portions of their precious cargo to get through at all.… It does not seem possible to hold out here another week without a new avenue of supplies.… Amid all this the practical incapacity of the general commanding is astonishing.… His imbecility appears to be contagious and it is difficult for anyone to get anything done.”  12
  Two days before this telegram was received, the impression made by the despatches of Rosecrans himself and the information contained in Dana’s frequent and circumstantial accounts had decided the Government to place Grant in supreme command of all the military operations in the West except those under Banks. Grant at once relieved Rosecrans and placed Thomas in command of the Army of the Cumberland telegraphing to Thomas from Louisville
 

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