War of the Rebellion: Serial 051 Page 0565 Chapter XLII. THE EAST TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 6.

Reports of Captain Orlando M. Poe, U. S. Corps of Engineers.


Knoxville, Tenn., October 1, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor of reporting as follows, relative to my operations during the month of September:

The march toward this place culminated in our occupation of it on the 4th ultimo, without opposition on the part of the enemy. The fortifications found here were very weak and badly planned. After preliminary reconnaissances, I decided upon the trace of a work upon the most important of the heights in this vicinity and commenced work upon it. In this the labor has been performed by the Engineer Battalion of the Twenty-third Army Corps, assisted by a gang of negroes varying in strength. This fort is now rapidly assuming shape.

Assistant Brooks has been engaged in making a military survey of this county, in which excellent progress has been made.

The several topographers have gained much information, but, owing to the rapid movements of the troops, it is yet in a very crude condition. As soon as the exigencies of the service will allow, it will be put into proper shape for use.

Major Lyon, assistant engineer Twenty-third Army Corps, accompanied General Burnside on his expedition to Cumberland Gap, where his knowledge of the works, but more particularly of the details of the topography of that neighborhood, would have been of the greatest value in case the enemy had made a stubborn resistance.

On the 27th September, by command of Major-General Burnside, I was relieved from duty with the Twenty-third Army Corps and was assigned to duty as chief engineer of the Army of the Ohio, in which capacity I am now acting.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain of Engineers.

Major J. H. SIMPSON,

U. S. Engrs., Chf. Engr. Dept. of the Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio.


January 13, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with your directions, by telegraph, from Washington, dated January 7, I have the honor of submitting the following report upon the operations of the engineer department during the recent campaign in East Tennessee. It is probably more in detail than you desired, but it being necessary to prepare a report for the Engineer Bureau, and the time at my disposal not permitting me to write two, I thought best to submit the most prolix, leaving you to be the judge as to what portions of it you would use.

The campaign in East Tennessee consisted of such a series of connected events that I decided to include in my report the whole campaign instead of confining myself to the siege of Knoxville. The latter is presented almost in the form of a journal and can be used, should you desire it, without reference to what precedes.