On Wednesday, November 25, 1863, Ulysses Grant order William Tecumseh Sherman to attack the north end of Missionary Ridge and seize Tunnel Hill. Hooker’s Union forces would move from Lookout Mountain to cut off a Confederate retreat southward into Georgia, while General Lorenzo Thomas’ troops would attack the Confederate center when Sherman reached Missionary Ridge.
At sunrise Sherman attacked, but the Confederates resisted well into the afternoon. Hooker’s forces could not effectively cross Chattanooga Creek, delaying his attack. In the center under orders from Grant, Thomas’ four divisions in the afternoon charged up Missionary Ridge, overwhelmed the Confederates and forced them to retreat. Braxton Bragg’s Confederate force, badly defeated, crossed Chickamauga Creek to safety during the night. Chattanooga and the surrounding area were now firmly in Union hands.