On Tuesday, October 20, 1863 after conferring with Union Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Ulysses Grant left Louisville, Kentucky for Chattanooga, Tennessee. At Stevenson, Alabama Grant conferred with William Rosecrans who Grant had replaced in command at Chattanooga and continued on his way toward that city.
The mountain roads on which he traveled were almost impassable due to their muddy condition, and Grant clearly suffered from an injury to his leg which occurred earlier in New Orleans when his horse fell on him.
It was on Friday, October 23 when Grant and his traveling party arrived at General George Thomas’ Chattanooga headquarters; Grant soon learned of the threatened situation confronting the Army of the Cumberland. The siege of Chattanooga had to be broken quickly to avoid a major Union defeat.