Category Archives: Gen. Danville Leadbetter

The very ancient design of Fort Sanders

Fort Sanders was the combined work of (first) Confederate engineer  Danville Leadbetter and (second) Union engineer Orlando Poe, with impromptu assistance from Union artilleryman Samuel Nicoll Benjamin. But the overall design, from the fort’s earthen ramparts to the dry ditch surrounding … Continue reading

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Boy Battery’s experience shows Longstreet’s incompetence

Captain/Doctor William Watts Parker’s famous “boy battery” plays a prominent role in the novel, because its position on Cherokee Heights gives a literal overview of the battlefield. But also because the battery’s almost-incredible experience of being shuffled back and forth … Continue reading

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Builder of lighthouses

The designer of Fort Sanders, Confederate Gen. Danville Leadbetter, learned his engineering trade at West Point, where he graduated in 1836. He then designed Gulf of Mexico lighthouses, several of which still stand. His work included Sand island, off Mobile; … Continue reading

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Leadbetter at Mobile: Some slaves available

Confederate engineer Gen. Danville Leadbetter had no luck at all finding slaveholders willing to loan him their slave laborers to finish Fort Sanders, and so it remained only roughed-out when the Union took Knoxville. The planters of Alabama were just … Continue reading

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Hanging of the bridge burners

A drawing by Confederate engineering Col. (later Gen.) Danville Leadbetter of the Unionists hung after they burned several railroad bridges, threatening Knoxville’s ability to supply the Confederate armies. Their lawyer John Baxter lost his fight to save them from the … Continue reading

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Danville Leadbetter

“Leadbetter,” First Lieutenant J. Thompson Brown of the Boy Battery muttered when he heard that the Rebel infantry were to be expected to surprise the Yankees in Fort Sanders, instead of the fort being subjected to a concentrated artillery pounding. … Continue reading

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