Rosecrans's army continued to press forward as the Bragg's army retreated on July 3rd. Sheridan captured Winchester after a small skirmish, then occupied Cowan at the foot of the mountains that offered about the only Confederate hope of a place to make a stand. Instead of fighting, however, Bragg chose to continue his retreat to Chattanooga, now guarded by Wheeler's cavalry.
On the 3rd, after camping overnight at the Episcopal University of the South* at Sewanee, the march order of the day was Hardee's Corps in front with Cleburne's Division leading. The division will begin arriving on July 7, to take up its position at Tyner's Station, 9 miles east of Chattanooga.
Henry Cist, a member of Rosecrans's staff who wrote years after the war, had this to say about the campaign's results:
The Tullahoma campaign... was the most brilliant of the great strategic campaigns carried to a successful issue by General Rosecrans. The movements of the army occupied nine days, during which time the enemy was driven from two strongly fortified positions, with a loss in prisoners captured of 1,634, eleven pieces of artillery, and a large amount of stores and supplies. The result of this campaign gave to Rosecrans possession of Middle Tennessee, and placed the armies back in the relative positions occupied by them prior to Bragg's advance into Kentucky, a little less than one year previous.Author Stanley F. Horn agrees,
[Rosecrans's] strategy was a masterpiece of offensive strategy. He maneuvered the Confederate army entirely out of Tennessee almost without firing a shot, except in the preliminary cavalry brushes as he unexpectedly pressed through the thinly held mountain passes. Bragg, placing too much reliance on the strong defenses in his front and taking it for granted that Rosecrans would obligingly advance that way, did not realize what was happening to him on his right flank until it was too late to do anything about it. Though he had been in position for six months, he seems never to have thought of the possibility of a flank attack, and in the early stages of the turning movement he showed a fumbling in decision and action that filled his corps commanders with dismay.
[Honors] go the enlisted men of the Army of Tennessee. They knew their officers were clueless, had been outsmarted; they knew they were facing an ever increasingly better armed and fed enemy whose leaders were maturing in the art of war; yet they remained faithful to the cause to which they had dedicated themselves, the cause of defending family and fireside and faith, and they went on to shed their blood and to expend their valor at Chickamauga, winning for themselves and their army its finest hour. These men, they endured. Better cannot be said of any.
|Union army blowing up|
the University's cornerstone
Source: Civil War Travel Blog
After the war, the university offered Robert E. Lee the position of vice-chancellor, but he declined, choosing instead the same position at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in his beloved Virginia.