On Saturday, November 28, 1863 in the western theatre Sherman was ordered to Knoxville, Tennessee to assist Burnside’s forces against Longstreet’s Confederates. On the same day Braxton Bragg telegraphed Richmond from Dalton, Georgia, acknowledging “I deem to due to the cause and to myself to ask for relief from command and investigation into the causes of the [Chattanooga] defeat.”
Two days later General Samuel Cooper responded, wiring Bragg “….Your request to be relieved has been submitted to the President, who, upon your representation, directs me to notify you that you are relieved from command, which you will transfer…”
If Bragg believed that he could blame the Chattanooga defeat on his subordinates, he was mistaken. Jefferson Davis, who had supported Bragg in the past, now clearly blamed him for the Chattanooga debacle.