Battles & Leaders of the Civil War
LONGSTREET AT KNOXVILLE.
which aid exist ; (1) to the passive obstacles of wire entanglements, depth of ditch and unusual relief of the parapet ; to the enemy's error in deciding it to be unnecessary to provide scaling-ladders for the storming party; and, finally and emphatically, to a sufficient garrison of the coolest, bravest, and most determined men. Each of these reasons seems to me to have contributed its share to the result, and some of them were surely of much graver moment than any of those assigned by the other side.
The successful resistance of the 29th did not lead to any remission of labor on our defenses. Work was continued by the troops with the energy that had characterized their efforts thus far, but the enemy gave little indication of a purpose to do anything further upon their works of attack. On the 1st of December large trains belonging to the enemy were seen moving to the eastward, and again on the 3d and 4th and on the night of the 4th his troops were withdrawn and the siege was raised. We had not yet heard the result of General Grant's operations at Chattanooga.
The signal defeat of Bragg at Missionary Ridge and the happy conclusion of the siege of Knoxville confirmed our hold upon the direct line of communication between the enemy's forces east and west and achieved the permanent relief of the friends of our cause in east Tennessee.
(1) " On the morning of December 6th I rode from Marysville into Knoxville, and met General Burnside. . . . We examined his lines of fortifications, which were a wonderful production for the short time allowed in their selection of ground and construction of work. It seemed to me that they were nearly impregnable. We examined the redoubt named ' Sanders ' where on the Sunday previous three brigades of the enemy had assaulted and met a bloody repulse."- Extract from General Sherman's official report of December 19th, 1863.
LONGSTREET AT KNOXVILLE.
BY E. PORTER ALEXANDER, BRIGADIER-GENERAL, C. S. A.
AFTER the return of the Army of Northern Virginia from Gettysburg, it took position south of the Rapidan River, in the vicinity of Orange Court House, to recuperate from the losses and fatigue of the campaign. We settled ourselves in comfortable camps among the wooded hills, enjoy ed better rations than we ever got again, gradually collected horses, recruits, conscripts, and returning sick and wounded, and altogether we felt about as well satisfied with the situation and prospect as we had ever done before. The enjoyment of our pleasant camps and still pleasanter rest was suddenly broken, on September 9th, by orders for Hood's and McLaws's divisions of Longstreet's corps, about 11,000 strong, with my battalion of artillery, 23 guns, to go under the personal command of General Longstreet to reenforce Bragg in Georgia.
It was clear that our now, however, adversary, the Army of the Potomac, could not resume the offensive for some months, and there would be ample time to send this force out to enable Bragg to crush Rosecrans, and bring it back to Virginia before it would be needed there. It was the only