By Wednesday, September 16, 1863 both Union General William Rosecrans and Confederate General Braxton Bragg were concentrating their respective forces in Georgia; within twenty-four hours their armies would clash at the battle of Chickamauga.
While Lincoln had confidence in his field commander, President Jefferson Davis had substantial doubts about the ability of Braxton Bragg. In a letter sent to Robert E. Lee, Davis confidentially expressed his concerns to Lee over Bragg’s earlier withdrawal from Chattanooga and Bragg’s “inexplicable” loss of the Cumberland Gap.
Davis hoped that Bragg would seize the initiative against Rosecrans’ forces and regain the lost ground. That would be difficult, given that Bragg blamed his subordinate officers for the losses at Chattanooga and the Cumberland Gap, while in turn they placed the blame on him.