Knox County, Tennessee

in the

Civil War graphic

      The purpose of this page is to provide links to text, maps, photos, and other helpful resources for those interested in the impact of the Civil War on Knox County, Tennessee.

US Civil War Flag CSA Civil War Flag Because of its importance to transportation and commerce in East Tennessee, Knoxville was held for periods of time by both the Union and Confederate Armies.   Confederate occupation was particularly difficult, since central East Tennessee was sympathetic to the Union.   Following its success in Chattanooga, the Union Army marched northward to recapture Knoxville from the Confederates.
      A site near the present-day University of Tennessee was the focus of an intense battle that lasted only 20 minutes on November 29, 1863.   Historian Digby Seymour provides a description of the Battle of Knoxville in his work, Divided Loyalties: Fort Sanders and the Civil War in East Tennessee (Knoxville: East Tennessee Historical Society, 1990):

      With a rush and a yell the surging gray column advanced up the hill toward Ft. Sanders.   As they neared the fort the leading lines crashed through brush barriers and bowled them aside like tenpins, but in the darkness the men tripped and stumbled over the telegraph wires stretched between the stumps.   As the lead troops began tearing and kicking at the wires, they were knocked over by the sheer weight of numbers of the rest of the onrushing troops.   At the moment of delay and confusion, one the fort fired two quick rounds of canister into the storming party, but quickly closing their ranks the Confederates reached the ditch and chased away the gunners exposed on the platform.
      The rapid advance in almost complete darkness over terrain filled with obstacles and converging furrows brought the attacking force in a packed mass whose officers could no longer distinguish their own men.   Hesitating only momentarily, the men swarmed into the ditch which they had been told was no more than four feet deep. They expected to get a toe hold on the berme and scale the parapet with one leap. But as they surged into the ditch they discovered to their horror that in places it was more than eleven feet deep, the embankment was slippery and icy, the berme had been cut away, and the parapet had been built up very high with cotton bales.   Many of the men, not knowing what else to do, fired into the embrasures at any of the Federals foolish enough to show their heads.
(page 193)

      The present-day Confederate Memorial Hall museum in Knoxville, built in 1854, was Confederate General James Longstreet's headquarters during the siege of Knoxville.   A sharpshooter, perched in the building's tower, fatally wounded Gen. William P. Sanders, who was leading a Union assault.   The house still has cannon balls embedded in its walls, and blood-stained stairs lead up to the tower, where a Confederate artist drew pencil sketches of other soldiers on the plaster walls.

Civil War Flags

Recommended Links
Please e-mail any sites that directly relate to Knox County you feel should be added.

Crossed flags The Civil War in Knoxville
and Some Sources for Research in the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Libraries, by Anne Bridges
Crossed flags The Knoxville Civil War Roundtable
Crossed flags McClung Museum Civil War Site
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Crossed flags A Visit to Knoxville, February 1, 1864 (from the Boston Evening Transcript)
Crossed flags The Valley of East Tennessee in the Civil War, by Ernest I. Miller (Cincinnati Civil War Roundtable)
Crossed flags Civil War Driving Tour of Knoxville
Crossed flags "Parson" W. G. Brownlow
Knoxville's strongest Union voice
Crossed flags Tennessee Civil War Homepage
Crossed flags U. S. Colored Soldiers
230,000 records from the database of the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System
Crossed flags National Archives Digital Photo Exhibit
Crossed flags Boyle's Civil War Net
concentration on Confederate documents
Crossed flags American Civil War Home Page
Crossed flags US Civil War Center - Index to Civil War Information on the Web
Crossed flags War of the Rebellion
Images of the original pages from this 60-volume set, including reports, correspondence, seizures of Southern property, etc. sent to the War Dept. during the Civil War. Includes both Union and Confederate accounts. In chronological order; no on-line index. Many libraries have the index in bound volumes.
Crossed flags Civil War Letters
compiled by Bill Proudfoot; also contains a good resources page
Crossed flags Civil War Archaeology in Tennessee
Crossed flags Tennessee Civil War Units Criss-Cross
(look up by name, number, or county)
Crossed flags Civil War Artillery Page
Crossed flags This Week in the Civil War
Crossed flags Shotgun's Home of the Civil War
Crossed flags Sons of Union Veterans
Crossed flags Tennessee Sons of Confederate Veterans
Crossed flags Grand Army of the Republic
Crossed flags General Officers of the Civil War
Photos of officers
Crossed flags Texas Civil War Pensioners Database
Numerous Tennesseans migrated to Texas, where they applied later for pensions

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All HTML code on this page was created by and copyrighted 1999-2003 to Billie R. McNamara.   All rights reserved.   Please direct all questions and comments to Ms. McNamara.   Graphic images on this page were borrowed from Mary Floy Katzman, the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable, and the ALHN Christian County, KY, Civil War Website.   No copyright infringement was intended.
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