• Battle Above the Clouds: Lifting the Siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of Lookout Mountain, October 16 - November 24, 1863

  • Emerging Civil War Series
  • By: David Powell
  • Narrated by: Joseph A Williams
  • Length: 4 hrs
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In October 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland was besieged in Chattanooga, all but surrounded by familiar opponents: the Confederate Army of Tennessee. The Federals were surviving by the narrowest of margins, thanks only to a trickle of supplies painstakingly hauled over the sketchiest of mountain roads. Soon, even those quarter-rations would not suffice. Disaster was in the offing.

Yet those Confederates, once jubilant at having routed the Federals at Chickamauga and driven them back into the apparent trap of Chattanooga’s trenches, found their own circumstances increasingly difficult to bear. In the immediate aftermath of their victory, the South rejoiced; the Confederacy’s own disasters of the previous summer - Vicksburg and Gettysburg - were seemingly reversed. Then came stalemate in front of those same trenches. The Confederates held the high ground, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, but they could not completely seal off Chattanooga from the north.

The Union responded. Reinforcements were on the way. A new man arrived to take command: Ulysses S. Grant. Confederate General Braxton Bragg, unwilling to launch a frontal attack on Chattanooga’s defenses, sought victory elsewhere, diverting troops to East Tennessee.

Battle Above the Clouds by David Powell recounts the first half of the campaign to lift the siege of Chattanooga, including the opening of the “cracker line”, the unusual night battle of Wauhatchie, and one of the most dramatic battles of the entire war: Lookout Mountain.

©2017 Savas Beatie (P)2019 Savas Beatie

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Pleasantly Surprised By the Final Chapters

It is not often that I listen to military history on audio, as I feel the need to constantly refer to whatever maps the author included (I hope) to keep abreast of where things are happening. Fortunately, this book’s subject occurs in a small area that a quick review of online material allowed me to forgo the need of having visual references readily available. The book does a very good job of setting the stage for the battle and I really appreciated the in-depth discussions on the command problems that both sides had. The battle descriptions were concise and easy to follow. My greatest surprise came in the final chapters. The book discusses two different driving tours and this is where this audiobook is superior to its written version. I am looking forward to my next trip to the area. In addition, the final chapters included myths about the campaign, artwork done on the battle, and tourism at the battlefield during the Civil War. All are topics that are not normally in the majority of military history I consume and therefore a joy to discover.