Thursday, August 13, 2009


First off let me apologize for these pictures, they are from my pre-digital days. I scanned in these few pictures to show a bit of what's around Knoxville.

Most sites dealing with the siege of Knoxville are long gone. The city has grown and paved over the old battlefield. Maybe if it had been a bigger battle they would have worked to preserve a portion but the battle of Ft Sanders was pretty anti-climatic. Longstreet launched an attack that lasted about half an hour, losing about 800 men and inflicting a dozen.

The Knoxville Civil War round table has done a good job of producing a driving tour of the siege. I picked up my copy at the visitor's center downtown.

Fort Dickerson is located across the river from Knoxville and was one of the string of forts protecting the city.

Its relatively well preserved. It reminds me of Fort Granger in Murfreesboro, which I happened to have seen a few days before this.

General William Sanders died while leading the cavalry that screened Longstreet's advance on the city. Fort Sanders is named for him.

As far as the fort goes there are two monuments to mark the action there. No earthworks remain, its now mainly residential, with some college buildings.

This is the UDC monument.

And for the 79th New York.

In front of a church is a marker for Battery Wiltsie, a large earthwork protecting the city. As the marker indicates it was in roughly the center of the line of fortifications.

This is Bleak House, where Longstreet had his headquarters during the siege. Its open for tours though the ladies (UDC) running the place seemed reluctant to let Yankees inside. Once they learned that I like Lee the tour warmed up a great deal and was very nice. But in those first few minutes it appeared the tour would be, "This is the parlor, this is the kitchen, up the stairs is our museum, you have 10 minutes, go!" I recommend a visit, I'm just not sure I'd say you're from Massachusetts and your hero is Sherman, that might get you thrown out.

On the other end of the city is the Mabry-Hazen House. Joseph Alexander Mabry Jr outfitted a Confederate regiment at the beginning of the war. Its another nice house to visit, its hostess was a lot more gracious from the start than the ladies at Bleak House. Interestingly we visited Bleak House second and learned that there was some sort of tiff between them and Mabry-Hazen. I forget now what it was but I think Mabry later switched his allegiance to the Union. That his earlier donation to the Confederacy was more business related than out of devotion to the cause. I might not be remembering it correctly but I think that was the sin the ladies at Bleak House were upset about. Apparently in some circles Knoxville is still a divided city.

And no battlefield visit is complete without seeing a cemetery. This is the national cemetery.

1 comment:

Naim Peress said...

Dear Nick,

They may be pre-digital but these are nice pictures. I especially like the one of Bleak House.