The Confederates were determined to starve the Federal troops out of Chattanooga, which could be used as a Union gateway for movement into Georgia. The Federals were just as determined to stay in possession and break the siege. President Lincoln recognized Chattanooga’s importance as a railroad center when he wrote: “If we can hold Chattanooga, and East Tennessee, I think the rebellion must dwindle and die.” As Secretary of War Stanton dispatched 20,000 reinforcements by rail from the east, Major General Grant, recently named commander of the Union’s newly created Military Division of the Mississippi, arrived in Chattanooga on October 22, 1863. By mid-November Major General William T. Sherman arrived with an additional 17,000 men, which gave the Federals sufficient strength to strike in late November in a series of battles that broke the siege. Chattanooga remained in Union hands for the rest of the war.