Lieutenant Ezra K. Parker of the First Rhode Island Light Artillery was in the Northwest Bastion during the Confederate attack on Fort Sanders. He wrote a memoir in 1913, in which he recollected events during the siege of Knoxville:
“While lying with my section on the right of Fort Saunders, on a cold, wet day, the colonel commanding the brigade to which I was attached directed his quartermaster to furnish me with a tent. There was sent round an old sibley tent and my men pitched it a short distance in rear of the line, on a slightly elevated dry patch of ground.
“I went inside, but found that as the top of the tent was above our parapet, the rebels were shooting bullets through the top in a lively manner. I went outside and estimated about how low the shots could come through the tent. I made a mark on the inside, and those who happened to be in the tent kept heads below the line. The colonel referred to this line as the dead line.”
More later from Lieutenant Parker’s diary.