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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Chattanooga in Hamilton County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Attack at Suck Creek

Union Supply Choke Point

 

—Chattanooga Campaign —

 
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
1. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
Inscription. After the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863, Union Gen. William S. Rosecrans retreated to Federal-occupied Chattanooga, a strategically vital rail center, where Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg laid siege from Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant took command in October and began his efforts to break the siege. Bragg detached forces under Gen. James Longstreet to attack Knoxville as a diversion. After Gen. William T. Sherman reinforced Grant in November, the Federals attacked the heights and Bragg retreated. The Union army held the city for the rest of the war.

During the early days of the siege of Chattanooga in 1863, the Union army's only supply route followed a long and difficult road that ran from Bridgeport, Alabama, north up the Sequatchie Valley and then east behind you over Walden's Ridge on the Anderson Pike. The road descended the ridge just north of here and then ran along the bank of the Tennessee River to Chattanooga.

On October 8, the 4th Alabama Volunteer Infantry took a position "along the overhanging bluffs of the Tennessee River on Raccoon Mountain," across the river from where you now stand. There the Confederates acted as sharpshooters "to shoot down the mules of the wagon trains of the enemy which were compelled to pass along the narrow road between
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
2. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
A view of the illustration displayed on the historical marker showing a Union sharpshooter.
the bluff and the river on the opposite side." This forced Union wagon trains to detour north and descend the mountain along a partially planked road into Hamilton Valley. A Union officer wrote that this route "was a rickety, insecure, makeshift of a road and was so narrow that only in places could two teams pass each other." By October, supplies barely trickled in to the besieged forces in Chattanooga. Starvation seemed a possibility. Late in October, however, Union forces seized Brown's Ferry and opened an easier supply route through Lookout Valley. Wagons rolled into Chattanooga along a safer route, dubbed the Cracker Line for the wagonloads of hardtack, and the supply situation in Chattanooga became less dire.
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 35° 6.561′ N, 85° 21.888′ W. Marker is near Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker is on Suck Creek Road (Tennessee Route 27) west of Signal Mountain Road (U.S. 127), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. This historical marker is located near the shoreline of the Tennessee River, in the parking lot of the Suck Creek public boat access to the Tennessee River. Marker is in this post office area: Chattanooga TN 37405, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
3. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
A view of the illustration displayed on the historical marker showing the Confederate attack on the Union wagon train.
marker, measured as the crow flies. Civil War Signaling (approx. 0.7 miles away); Boats on the Tennessee (approx. 0.7 miles away); Williams' Island (approx. 2.7 miles away); Stringer's Ridge (approx. 3.5 miles away but has been reported missing); Wilder's Artillery Position (approx. 3.6 miles away); Sherman's Hideout (approx. 3.8 miles away); Crossing into History (approx. 3.9 miles away); Brown's Ferry Federal Road (approx. 4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Chattanooga.
 
Regarding Attack at Suck Creek. The text of the historical marker includes the following quote from a Sgt. Robert T. Coles of the 4th Alabama Infantry: "We had brought our Whitworth rifles from Virginia with us. These were placed down the river on our extreme left to shoot down the front teams, which after being done, the road was entirely blocked. We then proceeded in a leisurely manner to use our English rifles. The road was too narrow between the bluff and the river for the teams to turn around or escape in any manner, and they were compelled to stand until all were shot down."
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
4. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
Close-up view of the text from the historical marker displaying the quote from Sgt. Robert T. Coles regarding the attack on the Union supply wagons.
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
5. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
View of the historical marker, looking south, across the Tennessee River public access parking lot, towards the Suck Creek Road entrance roadway.
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
6. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
View of the historical marker looking across the parking lot towards the boat ramp that provides public access to the Tennessee River.
Tennessee Civil War Trails Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
7. Tennessee Civil War Trails Marker
View of the roadway sign that indicates the location of a Tennessee Civil War Trails marker, along the side of Suck Creek Road.
Attack at Suck Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, September 24, 2013
8. Attack at Suck Creek Marker
View, looking north along Suck Creek Road, of the roadway sign that indicates the location of a Tennessee Civil War Trails marker, down by the public access parking lot.
Tennessee River next to the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 29, 2010
9. Tennessee River next to the Marker
Tennessee River flowing SE toward Chattanooga
Tennessee River next to the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, July 29, 2010
10. Tennessee River next to the Marker
Looking NW where Tennessee flows away from Chattanooga.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 525 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   9, 10. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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