Category Archives: Civil War armament

Reprise: Kershaw’s Brigade

Kerhsaw’s Brigade of South Carolinians didn’t actually fight in the Fort Sanders attack. They were held in reserve. But they provided plenty of sharpshooting (i.e. snipers) during the weeks-long runup to the battle. And there’s a dandy history of the … Continue reading

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Reprise: Sharpshooter

Literary critic and writing professor David Madden’s 1996 novel Sharpshooter is the only other fiction I’m aware of about the Siege of Knoxville and, very briefly, the Battle of Fort Sanders. It’s a good story, worth your money (as little as one … Continue reading

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Ninth Georgia artillery emplacements

Site of the Morgan Hill archeological dig in the summer of 2009, where artifacts such as belt buckles and friction primers convinced University of Tennessee scientists they had found the 1863 emplacements of the Ninth Georgia Artillery Battalion. The Ninth … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Boy Battery, Civil War armament, Edward Porter Alexander, Gen. James Longstreet, Knoxville | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Own your own Whitworth

The Rebs fatally sharpshot Fort Sanders’ namesake Union Gen. William P. Sanders, with a thirteen-pound English Whitworth rifle like this one. It was fired more than a mile away, from the tower  of the Bleak House mansion, Gen. Longstreet’s headquarters. … Continue reading

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A reenactor explains the cavalry

Cavalry played no part at all in the attack on Fort Sanders and little enough in the whole Siege of Knoxville. But General Joseph Wheeler’s rebel cavalry had an early role, and that’s my excuse for including this good video … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Civil War accoutrements, Civil War armament, Civil War clothing, Knoxville, Reenactors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sharpshooter

Literary critic and writing professor David Madden’s 1996 novel Sharpshooter is the only other fiction I’m aware of about the Siege of Knoxville and, very briefly, the Battle of Fort Sanders. It’s a good story, worth your money (as little … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Bleak House, Civil War armament, Gen. William P. Sanders, Tennessee | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reprise: The LeMat revolver

The revolver which the historical Lt. Col. Alfred George Washington O’Brien pointed at the novel’s fictional Sergeant Timothy Chase’s nose was a curious one. The LeMat,first made in New Orleans in 1856, had two barrels: the upper one was a smoothbore … Continue reading

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Reprise: Niter for gunpowder

Before his death in June, 1863, the novel’s Major Clayton Ellis already was planning to recover niter from bat guano in the caves around Knoxville. His superiors in Nashville wanted it to make gunpowder for Confederate arms as the conventional … Continue reading

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