Fort Sanders, TN
[Assault on Fort Sanders- Kurz & Allison -
Courtesy of Wikipedia ]
November 29, 1863
Battlefield Unavailable -
Confederate Lt. Gen.
James Longstreet was trying to take Knoxville, TN from
Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.
decided that Fort Sanders was the only vulnerable point to penetrate the Union
fortifications around the city and end the week long siege.
Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside
Lt. Gen. James Longstreet
Department of the Ohio
Confederate Forces in East
believed a dawn attack could overwhelm Fort Sanders.
He assembled a three brigade storming force below
Following a brief artillery barrage on the fortís
interior, the three brigades charged.
Union wire entanglements composed of telegraph
wire stretched between tree stumps delayed the attack, but the fortís outer
ditch stopped the Confederates.
The ditch was twelve feet wide and from four to
ten feet deep with vertical sides and the fortís exterior slope was almost
Crossing the ditch was nearly impossible,
especially under withering defensive fire from musketry and canister.
Confederate officers led their men into the ditch,
but, without scaling ladders, only a few emerged on the scarp side.
Those who made it out of the ditch and entered the
fort were wounded, killed, or captured.
The attack only lasted twenty minutes.
undertook his Knoxville expedition to divert Union troops from Chattanooga and
to get away from Gen.
with whom he was engaged in a bitter feud.
His failure to take Fort Sanders was the decisive
battle of the Knoxville Campaign.
The Confederate defeat combined with the loss of
Chattanooga on November 25th, put much of East Tennessee under Union control.
[Battlefield Lost Integrity]
- having a decisive influence on a
campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war
having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign
having observable influence on the
outcome of a campaign
having a limited influence on the
outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important
2 Casualties are
someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.