It was one of the most startling events of the civil war, the "hour of destiny" for the Union. Faced with the prospect of catastrophic defeat, the North's greatest generals--Ulysses Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, George Thomas, and Phil Sheridan--were commanding a battle for the besieged city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Suddenly, as an aghast Grant and Thomas watched, the beleaguered federal troops began a headlong, climactic, seemingly suicidal charge up the face of a six-hundred-foot-high mountain ridge overlooking the city, under ferocious fire from the Confederate infantry that held the ridge.
The siege of Chattanooga and its stuffing turnabout form the core of Wiley Sword's lively narrative. Dozens of previously unpublished photographs, maps, and excepts from private journals, and letters enhance this vivid account. Written with novelistic flair and a historian's authority, Mountains Touched with Fire captures every side of this crucial Civil War battle whose aftermath sealed the fate of the South.