James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
to a murderous fire, and would not fall back. Without orders, indeed in spite of orders, those twenty thousand Western soldiers, conspicuous among whom was Sheridan, rushed up Missionary Ridge and carried it, driving the Confederates in panic before them.
At 4:30 P.M. Dana telegraphed to Stanton: Glory to God. The day is decisively ours; and a few hours later, Our men are frantic with joy and enthusiasm, and received Grant as he rode along the lines after the victory with tumultuous shouts. Bragg was in full retreat, burning his depots and bridges, telegraphed Dana next day.
The outcome of this campaign pointed significantly to the waning fortune of the Southern cause. The news of Missionary Ridge reached the people of the North on the last Thursday of November, and made possible the first genuine Thanksgiving since the outbreak of the Civil War.1
The autumn elections of 1863 were favorable to the administration. Four days after the October States had voted (October 17), the President issued a proclamation calling for 300,000 volunteers for three years or the war, not however exceeding three years; if the number was not filled by volunteers, recourse should be had to the draft. Congress met at the usual time and took effective action toward filling the armies for the campaigns of 1864. By the Act of February 24,2 the President was authorized to call for such number of men for the military service as the public exigencies may require; if a sufficient
Note 1. Authorities: O. R., XXX, XXXI; C. W. supplement, Pt. I; IV; B. & L., III; Welless Diary; Wilsons Dana; do., Under the Old Flag; do., W. F. Smith; Board of Army Officers report; Danas Recollections; Grant; W. Sherman; N. & H., VIII. [back]