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The results of the Tullahoma Campaign had enormous effects on the outcome of the American Civil War. The Tullahoma Campaign was the beginning of the end for the Confederate cause and was a huge step in the preservation of the Union.
The Tullahoma Campaign of 1863 is often overlooked and overshadowed by the simultaneous events of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. For the North, Rosecrans and his Army of the Cumberland conducted a campaign of light attacks and aggressive maneuvers that drove the Confederate Army of Tennessee completely out of the state. The results of the campaign for the Union formed the starting point for General William T. Sherman’s capture of Atlanta and his subsequent march to the sea. For the South, losing the Tullahoma Campaign and the ultimate retreat from the state of Tennessee proved to be too much from which to recover. With the loss of manpower, agricultural staples, the industrial base of the region and most importantly, the Chattanooga railroad center, the Tullahoma Campaign was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.
At the beginning of the war, the Federals stated three major objectives that they needed to accomplish in order to be victorious. First, take Richmond and kill the secessionist spirit by conquering the Rebel capital. This had been attempted repeatedly but never accomplished up to this point. Second, control the Mississippi Valley and secure the western waterways. Grant had accomplished this objective by capturing Vicksburg. Finally, seize east Tennessee and hold the Nashville-Atlanta corridor, which was seen by the Federals as the major artery in the southern lifeline. Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland had achieved most of this objective in the Tullahoma Campaign and Major General William T. Sherman would finish the objective the following summer. Winning the Tullahoma Campaign and capturing Middle Tennessee was the start of obtaining the third stated objectives.