The Confederate nation was pleasantly surprised by Braxton Bragg’s victory at Chickamauga. Generals such as Kirby Smith called on Confederate citizens to renew their efforts to contest and defeat the enemy. Yet Jefferson Davis blamed Braxton Bragg for not aggressively pursuing Rosecrans’ retreating forces into Chattanooga.
Davis later wrote his memoirs, noting “Bragg’s army remained on the field of battle twenty-four hours, burying the dead and collecting arms, before the advance was begun, and then, moving slowly, found Rosecrans behind earthworks in and around Chattanooga.”
Davis lamented Bragg’s decision to attempt to starve Rosecrans’ army into submission rather than defeat it as Union forces fled Chickamauga. By Monday, September 28, 1863 Davis telegraphed Bragg of the reported Federal movement of Joseph Hooker’s two corps and other Union units to reinforce Rosecrans.