Gen. Braxton Bragg has decided to abandon Chattanooga, moving his army south toward Rome, Georgia, where he has concluded that Gen. William S. Rosecrans's army is heading to cut his railroad communication with Atlanta. He plans to unite with Buckner's army before confronting Rosecrans. The problem for Bragg is that he doesn't actually have an idea of where his enemy is.
At present, Rosecrans's army was concealing its movements in Wills Valley, screened behind Lookout Mountain. Bragg concluded that the Federals were likely going to Rome, to sever his railroad communications with Atlanta and the South. He decides to evacuate Chattanooga and march toward Rome so as to insert his army between the Federals and the railroad. The dirt road to Rome, known as the “LaFayette road,” led through LaFayette, Georgia, a town of about 200 inhabitants, 26 miles south and slightly east of Chattanooga. The road will will factor in significantly in the coming conflict that will be the Battle of Chickamauga.
Leading the army out of Chattanooga, Cleburne's Division will be on the southward march again in the morning.