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Below are my pictures of the Union assault on Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga in Nov. 1863. The diorama is inspired by a miniature entitled "The Buzzards" by Minie Ball Miniatures.

The story of the Union charge at Missionary Ridge is one of the more inspiring of the entire Civil War. The Army of the Cumberland was trapped in Chattanooga after the battle of Chickamauga. Grant was sent in the rescue the situation and he brought with him Sherman's Army of the Tennessee and two Corps of the Army of the Potomac. The Army of the Cumberland had to endure the insults of the other two Union armies for a couple weeks, always hearing how they needed to be rescued.

Chattanooga was dominated by the heights at Lookout Mountain to the south and by Missionary Ridge to the east. Grant's plan was a double envelopment using Sherman to the north of the ridge and Hooker to assault Lookout Mountain then roll up Missionary Ridge from the south. The sub par troops of the Army of the Cumberland were held in reserve. The assault started out well for the Union but after some heavy fighting Sherman was stalled and Hooker couldn't make any progress against the ridge after taking Lookout Mountain. Grant then ordered a "demonstration" by the Army of the Cumberland against the center of the Confederate line, Missionary Ridge that dominated the whole battlefield.

A full blown, frontal attack against Missionary Ridge was considered suicidal, just as it had at Fredericksburg less than one year ago. Never-the-less the Army of the Cumberland marched out of their positions, across an open plain to the base of the ridge. Once they got there they quickly overran the Rebel gun pits, but they came under plunging fire from the summit. Faced by with the choice of staying where they were, retreating and suffering the shame from their fellow Union soldiers, the men did the unthinkable and started to assault the summit without orders. When Grant saw them moving to the summit, he demanded to know who ordered the assault (and maybe the end of his career). General Thomas, commander of the Cumberland, said he didn't know who ordered them forwarded, but once they started "nothing on this earth will stop them". True to his commanders faith in them, the troops advanced uphill against rifle and canister fire. In spite of 30% casualties the Yanks reached the summit, broke the center of the Rebel line and earned the respect of ever one on the battlefield for their imitative and bravery.

The base was inspired by egonzinc's bases he makes from Styrofoam. I've admired his technique and I've been working on making my own bases using his advice he posted.


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1,395 Posts
Very dramatic story and dio.
Always look forward to your posts, CZ.
My bases might inspired your base, but now yours will inspire me to do some bases with more dramatic terrain!

How did you get the 2nd Wisconsin to look that way? Did you boil it in water and reshape it?
Looks great! Have you tried to raise one side up like the "early look" of the Iron Brigade?
Not many headgear alternatives so we must make the most out of every piece available!

Happy Easter to all!
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