The Tullahoma Campaign June 1863

The Battle at Hoover's Gap & The Skirmish at Liberty Gap



  Step back into time with us as renowned author and historian Dr. Michael R. Bradley leads you on a driving tour of The June 1863 Tullahoma Campaign.
  Drive the scenic middle Tennessee country side stopping at key points of the engagement and listen to the tales of valor both north and south as Dr. Bradley takes you back to those desperate days in June of 1863 as only he can. You will stand where they stood, look across the same unchanged landscape as they did when they faced their foe. With a little imagination you'll be right there with them as Union General Willich loses another mounted courier to Confederate sharpshooters or as the 2nd Arkansas Regiments flag bearer is killed and rolls down Beechboard Hill into the union lines where there Regimental flag is captured.

  Although the Campaign is little known to the general public due to the fact that it took place on the same days as Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg it is arguably strategically more important than either as Middle Tennessee was the "bread basket", not only for the Army of Tennessee but huge shipments of beef and meal were shipped to Virginia on an almost daily basis. A loss the Confederacy could ill afford.
When President Abraham Lincoln heard of the Tullahoma Campaign he called it:
"The most brilliant piece of strategy that I know of".

  This campaign gave rise to such legends as General Patrick Cleburne's Whitworth Sharpshooters whose skill at long distance shooting was unmatched until the Vietnam war, and Wilder's Lightning Brigade, the first brigade to use the Spencer repeating rifles in a major campaign. The rifle the Confederates referred to as "The rifle the Yankee's could load on Sunday and shoot all week".

  General (later President) Garfield stayed in constant touch with the Generals in the field from the Army of the Cumberland Headquarters in Murfreesboro. General Rosecrans (overall commander) feigned a frontal assault and then quickly out flanked General Bragg, Polk and Hardee through Hoover's Gap resulting in the complete loss of Middle Tennessee for the Confederates. A running battle / rear guard action ensued that lasted until July 8th when Gen. Bragg crossed the mountain at Cowan Tn.

  Tour of Hoover's Gap leaves the Blockade Runner at 10:30 a.m., This tour includes a stop at The Beech Grove Confederate Cemetery, where we will stop for a picnic lunch (not provided). During the battle the cemetery was the location of Ely Lilly's Jackass battery. A battery of 12 lbs. mountain howitzers which protected Rosecran's left flank.

The tour then continues to Liberty Gap and returns at approximately 2 p.m.

For more information or to make reservations call the Blockade Runner at 931-389-6294 Blockade Runner is located on Hwy 269 half way between Bell Buckle and Wartrace.