The Battle of Lookout Mountain - Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
The Battle of Lookout Mountain - Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
The Battle of Lookout Mountain
Also called the "Battle Above the Clouds," the fight
for control of Lookout Mountain marked the
beginning of the Union breakout of Chattanooga.
Battle of Lookout Mountain
Confederate cannon aim out
from Point Park on the top of
Lookount Mountain, scene of
the "Battle Above the Clouds."
Lookout Mountain Battlefield
A monument stands on the
slope of Lookout Mountain
below Point Park, marking
troop positions during the
The Battle of Lookout Mountain - Chattanooga, Tennessee
"The Battle Above the Clouds"
Copyright 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: May 7, 2013
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History on Lookout Mountain
Chattanooga, Tennessee
The city of Chattanooga
spreads out in this view,
taken from Point Park on the
top of Lookout Mountain.
Point Park on Lookout
Part of Chickamauga &
Chattanooga National Military
Park, Point Park on the top of
Lookout Mountain is entered
via this beautiful stone gate. It
is a large scale version of the
logo of the U.S. Army Corps of
The Battle of Lookout Mountain was fought
on November 24, 1863 and marked the
beginning of the end for the Confederate
States of America.

The scene of the battle is preserved today as
part of Chickmauga & Chattanooga National
Military Park, a massive national park area
that preserves six different battlefields in and
around Chattanooga, Tennessee. Point Park,
on the top of Lookout Mountain, provides
spectacular views of the scene of action.

The stage for the eventual battles of Lookout
Mountain and Missionary Ridge was set on
September 19-20, 1863, at the
Battle of
Chickamauga, Georgia. Confederate troops
pierced the Union lines and drove Gen.
William S. Rosecrans and his Federal
soldiers tumbling back into Chattanooga.

The Confederate Army of Tennessee,
commanded by Gen. Braxton Bragg, closed
in around the city and began a siege that it
was hoped would force the surrender of
Rosecran's army. Confederate soldiers dug
entrenchments and placed cannon on
Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and
other commanding heights ringing the city.

It almost worked. Supplies could only reach
Chattanooga after passing over a difficult
wagon road so provisions grew short and
hunger stalked the Union army. Rosecrans
developed a plan to break the Confederate
siege by opening a "Cracker Line" using
steamboats on the Tennessee River.

The plan succeeded after Gen. "Fighting Joe"
Hooker (US) came up from Bridgeport,
Alabama, and attacked a division from Gen.
James Longstreet's Corps (CS) just west of
Lookout Mountain at Wauhatchie on October
28, 1863. Longstreet's men were defeated
and Union steamboats began pouring
supplies into the besieged city.

Bragg's army, however, still controlled
Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the
other heights overlooking the city. The
Confederate general had smashed the
Federals at Chickamauga and believed he
could do so again at Chattanooga. The
Lincoln Administration thought so too and
sent Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to supersede
Gen. Rosecrans.

Grant quickly developed a plan to better
secure his perimeter. On November 23,
1863, he sent Gen. Thomas with five
divisions of the Army of the Cumberland (US)
to drive Confederate forces from the top of
Orchard Knob, a hill on the east side of
Chattanooga. Thomas succeeded and that
night Grant sent Gen. William Tecumseh
Sherman to occupy hills at the north end of
Missionary Ridge. Bragg's main lines were
positioned along that ridge.

Both sides knew that heavy fighting was at
hand and it was not long in coming. On the
next day - November 24, 1863 - Gen. Hooker
(US) hurled three divisions against the
western and northern slopes of Lookout

The Confederates had dug rifle pits and
trenches along the slopes of the mountain
and it was against these that Hooker's men
attacked. Cannon on top of Lookout Mountain
dueled fiercely with Union guns firing from

The Federals slowly drove back Confederate
infantrymen holding the trenches on the
slopes and by nightfall had driven as far east
as the grounds of the Cravens House, just
below the palisades and point of Lookout
A heavy fog enveloped Lookout Mountain
during the battle, leaving both armies all but
blind and preventing observers at other
points from being able to see what was
happening there. The soldiers on the ground
often fought almost blindly, barely able to see
their enemy. As the smoke of battle
intensified this fog, conditions became even
worse. Gen. Bragg finally ordered his men to
evacuate Lookout Mountain and fall back on
his main line at Missionary Ridge.

The Battle of Lookout Mountain was not a
huge battle as such affairs went during the
Civil War, but it gained lasting fame when
Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs (US), while
watching from nearby Orchard Knob, dubbed
it the "Battle Above the Clouds" because of
the fog that obscured much of the action from

The engagement was the final preliminary
action to the assault on Missionary Ridge
that would take place the next day. Union
forces would pierce Bragg's main line on that
ridge and break the siege of Chattanooga
once and for all.

The Lookout Mountain Battlefield is now part
of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National
Military Park. The key feature is Point Park,
one of the most photographed places in the
South. Visitors can also explore the rifle pits
and trenches where heavy fighting took place
in the area around the nearby Cravens

The Visitor Center for the Chattanooga
Battlefield is part of Point Park and is located
at 110 Point Park Road, Chattanooga,
Tennessee. It can be reached by taking TN
148 to the top of Lookout Mountain and
following the signs, or by taking the Incline
Railway to the top and walking to the park.

The fee to visit Point Park is $3 per person
(ages 16+). Kids 15 and under are admitted
free. The area surrounding the Cravens
House is free to visit.

Please click here to visit the official National
Park Service website for more information.
Photos by Brian Mabelitini