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Confederate prisoners waiting at Chattanooga to be sent north. Library of Congress photo, LC-B811-2653B.

During October 1863, a cold rain fell almost all the time, soaking Francis and John Poore and their comrades watching the Yankees holed up in Chattanooga.

After the Battle of Chickamauga in September, the Yankees pulled back to Chattanooga and Francis, John and their rebel comrades followed them to the Tennessee city.

The Confederate infantry dug trenches in a broad arc that ran from the river roads below Lookout Mountain on the southwest to Missionary Ridge on the southeast. Rebel batteries set up atop Lookout Mountain. With the city surrounded on three sides, the Confederates stopped all traffic on the river, the railroad and the wagon roads on the south bank.

To the north, rebel cavalry raids picked off Union supply trains on the 60-mile roundabout trip along rough wagon roads through the Cumberland Mountains. In Chattanooga, the federal troops ate half rations and horses starved.

Although the two sides traded musket fire, Francis and John saw little action during the siege of Chattanooga.

Camped a couple of miles east of Lookout Mountain, they suffered from too little food, blankets, tents and ammunition as the Confederate supply system broke down. At times they were little better off than the Yankees holed up in Chattanooga.

Your humble blogger on Lookout Mountain.

Southern farmers such as the Poore family in Mississippi grew enough crops to feed the army, but the produce could not be moved to where it was needed. Enough food to feed hungry rebel soldiers often rotted on loading platforms or railroad sidings.

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