On Thursday, November 26, 1863 Union forces under Sherman, Hooker, and Thomas pursued Braxton Bragg’s retreating Confederates through Chickamauga Station toward Ringgold, Georgia. On the 27th, Hooker engaged the Confederate rear guard in heavy fighting at Ringgold Gap.
When the 12,000 men Union attack was successfully thwarted by approximately 4100 Confederates, the Federals halted, giving Braxton Bragg the opportunity to pull together his defeated forces. On the same day, President Jefferson Davis, who was greatly perturbed over Bragg’s loss outside Chattanooga, telegraphed his general and ordered him to rapidly concentrate his forces, an almost impossible thing to do given Bragg’s retreating and now demoralized army.
After weeks of encouraging Bragg to actively engage the besieged Union forces at Chattanooga, Davis was now prepared to fire Braxton Bragg for his military ineffectiveness.