This Week in the Civil War - 688
During the night of October 28-29, 1863 Confederate troops under General James Longstreet attempted to disrupt the “Cracker Line,” resupplying Union held Chattanooga by attacking at Wauhatchie, Tennessee.
In a midnight attack Union forces initially were taken by surprise, but after four hours the conflict ended with the Union still maintaining control of Brown’s Ferry and the “Cracker Line.” A rumor circulated after the battle that stampeded Union mules made the Confederates erroneously believe they were being attacked by cavalry, causing the Southerners to break off their attack.
In truth, night combat proved to be confusing for both armies during the American Civil War, and the Wauhatchie engagement was not an exception to that rule. Confederate failure at Wauhatchie insured the continuing success of the Union’s “Cracker Line” into Chattanooga.