Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Tullahoma Campaign ~ Race to Tullahoma

Marker ID:  
Location: at the Jackson Civic Center, South Jackson St (U.S. 41A) and West Volney St, Tullahoma, TN
County: Coffee
Coordinates: N 35° 21.41    W 086° 12.442
  35.35683333    -86.20736666
Waymark: None


Tullahoma Campaign
June 24-July 4, 1863
— Race to Tullahoma —

When the Union Army of the Cumberland captured Manchester on June 27th, Braxton Bragg’s 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’s “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.

Erected by Tennessee's Backroads