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Lincolnites and RebelsA Divided Town in the American Civil War$
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Robert Tracy McKenzie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182941.001.0001

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Liberation, Occupation, and Twenty Minutes of Carnage

Liberation, Occupation, and Twenty Minutes of Carnage

(p.141) CHAPTER SIX Liberation, Occupation, and Twenty Minutes of Carnage
Lincolnites and Rebels

Robert Tracy McKenzie

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the “liberation” of Knoxville by a Union army under General Ambrose Burnside in September 1863, and the subsequent efforts by Confederate General James Longstreet to reclaim the town two months later. It begins with a survey of perceptions of Appalachia recorded by Northern soldiers as they entered East Tennessee. It then turns to a detailed narrative of the siege of Knoxville, during which time nearly 40,000 soldiers (Union and Confederate) were camped in and around this town of 4,000. The three-week-long siege culminated in the Battle of Fort Sanders on November 29, 1863. In pitting generals Burnside and Longstreet against one another, the battle was in many respects a recreation of the famous Battle of Fredericksburg with the roles reversed, with Longstreet forced to assault a strongly positioned defensive force commanded by Burnside.

Keywords:   Battle of Fort Sanders, Ambrose Burnsidem, James Longstreet, Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee, perceptions of Appalachia

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