Longstreet and his rebels may have left Knoxville in defeat but the half of the town that was Confederate apparently was still holding its own under Union occupation. To wit this item on page 3 of the Feb. 27, 1864 edition of the Charleston Mercury of Charleston, South Carolina:
“Spirit of the Knoxville Ladies.–The Federals in Knoxville are having no easy task in subjugating the rebel ladies, if we may judge by a few instances of spirit which have come to our knowledge.
“Mrs. H_____n, a remarkably handsome dark eyed widow lady, was required to leave without more than an hour’s notice, and no opportunity was offered her to dispose of her furniture for her own benefit. The harpies were even besieging her door, with the expectation of appropriating the entire contents of the residence the moment she should vacate the premises. Aware of this, by some little dexterity, she kept them at bay, whilst she manufactured a loblolly, consisting of her pickles, sweet meats, wines, marmalades, preserves, flour, vinegar, mustard, sugar, slops, &c., and deliberately spread this over her parlor carpets; broken mirrors and crockery were quickly added, whilst a bucket or two of ashes and suds completed the ruin of her household treasures, sacrificed within hearing of the enemy.
“It is beyond our power of description to portray, the rage, and astonishment of the Yankee crew, as they rushed in to seize upon the widow’s property, and became aware of the trick which had prevented them from satisfying their keenest appetite upon her “goodies.”
“Mrs. H_____n’s remark to the officer, who escorted her out of town, was an admonition to him, to make haste back to her residence before his brother officers appropriated his part of the plunder, and eat his share of the entertainment she had provided for them.”
Via University of Texas at Tyler & Poore Boys in Gray.