After Chickamauga, the Confederates by holding Lookout Mountain and Valley, closed the river line of supplies. Rosecrans' plan for its re-opening was to move Hooker's force from Bridgeport into Lookout Valley, Gen. W. F. Smith to co-operate from Chattanooga by seizing Brown's Ferry, on the Tennessee River.
At 3 A.M. Oct. 27, 1863, fifty boats carrying 1500 men of Hazen's Brigade, started from Chattanooga, floated undiscovered past the Confederate pickets, landed at Brown's Ferry about 5 o'clock, seized the gorge, and with the assistance of Turchin's Brigade from the opposite shore, occupied the crests above and below the ferry after a short engagement.
Gen. Hooker with the 11th Corps and Geary's Division of the 12th marched from Bridgeport the morning of the 27th, the head of the column reaching Brown's Ferry at 5 P.M. of the 28th.
Geary's Division, six regiments halted for the night at the junction of the Kelly's Ferry Road.
Geary was unsuccessfully attacked at midnight by Jenkin's Brigade (six regiments) of Longstreet's troops, the latter withdrawing at 3 A.M. on account of the advance of the 11th Corps to Geary's assistance.
Lookout Valley thenceforth remained in Union possession and the river line of supplies was open via Brown's Ferry and the short wagon haul thence to Chattanooga.