Diary of Orrin Brown—Oct 30, 1864


Diary of Orrin Brown, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Sunday–Oct. 30th

It was cool and cloudy this morning but has come off Clear and warm. The 4th Corpse is coming in yet this morning. I washed up and went down to Church and heard a good sermon from Psalms 20th verse, came home to camp and went to writing, wrote a letter to Elmer and one to Ad Hamilton. There was a large squad of Cavalry passed the Church while I was there, our rations were so short last night that we have nothing for dinner today. I went down to Church again tonight and heard a sermon from the 3rd Chapt. of John 14-15th verses, there was 7 came forward for prayers.

The Civil War Daily Gazette today catches up with our friend, Gen. John Bell Hood and his Confederate Army of Tennessee.  P.G.T. Beauregard, in command of Southern troops in the region, had consulted Hood on his plans to head north into West Tennessee (the attempt to distract Sherman we discussed on the 28th).  Beauregard just wasn’t sure HIS General wouldn’t get distracted by some new shiny thing:

The Army of Tennessee under Hood had a short history of wayward movements, especially since the fall of Atlanta. Hood had made plans, changed his mind, made plans again, changed his mind again, and then finally made some more plans. Most of this happened without the foreknowledge of Beauregard, who, upon this date, appeared to be nipping it in the bud.

Originally, Hood was going to cross the Tennessee River at Guntersville, Alabama.  Then his plan was to cross the river at Decatur, Alabama, where Beauregard and Hood had a conversation:

Once there, Beauregard warned Hood about following order (or at least trying to do what he said he was going to do). He also worried that Hood had already gone too far west to effectively cross the Tennessee. Such a distance might give Sherman’s Union forces time to cut them off.

But Hood wasn’t so sure. He knew that Gunterstown had been heavily fortified, but believed Decatur to be easy pickings. In this, he was mistaken, though Beauregard maintained that Hood could have taken the town and the crossing if he would have simply tried. But even by the afternoon of the 28th, the place was too well-held to cross.

Union Gen. Robert S. Granger and about 3,000 Federal troops turned away the 39,000 Southerners at the Battle of Decatur on 28 October.  So Plan C moved to Courtland, Alabama, and then Plan D moved to Tuscumbia, near Florence, Alabama.  It was here on the 30th and 31st that Hood finally crossed the Tennessee River, 170 miles west of Chattanooga.  Sherman trusted Thomas in Nashville could take care of the interlopers and moved on with his plans.



This entry was posted in Pursuit of Happiness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.