Category Archives: The Northwest Bastion

Regimental Histories: “A Scythe of Fire”

“A Scythe of Fire is the history of the Eighth Georgia [Infantry Regiment] as experienced by those who carried its standard into battle: doctors and farmers, landowners and simple folk — each dedicated to victory, yet proud and unbroken in … Continue reading

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Reprise: The post-war Union view

The Nov. 28, 1863, Rebel attack on the Union pickets in front of Fort Sanders’ northwest bastion was as clear a tip off as anything could be that a larger ground attack was imminent, according to these recollections in the … Continue reading

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Reprise: East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad

Its roadbed, somewhat elevated from the surrounding terrain, gave the novel’s Private Bird Clark and his fictional cousin, the historical Lt. Col. Alfred George Washington O’Brien, a convenient place from which to view Fort Sanders. Although, unfortunately, not enough of … Continue reading

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Attacking in column

The decimated Phillips Georgia Legion and the Seventeenth Mississippi led the two columns of Rebel infantry that attacked Fort Sanders. The arrangement, with the PGL at the head of the left column and the 17th leading the right one, was … Continue reading

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Starving privates, gorging generals

Gen. Burnside’s Union troops were so hungry, according to some diaries and memoirs, they were stealing corn meal from the feed bags of the artillery and cavalry horses. So when Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops arrived on Dec. 6 to … Continue reading

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The Eighteenth Georgia

One of the battle flags of the 18th Georgia Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, apparently when it was part of Hood’s Texas Brigade. After Sharpsburg/Antietam, it was brigaded with other Georgians. At Knoxville it was part of Wofford’s Georgia Brigade which … Continue reading

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General Order 100: Code of Conduct

In the novel, some Confederate prisoners are killed in the Northwest Bastion. The killings are supported in the historical record by one cryptic sentence in Lieutenant Benjamin’s after-action report to General Burnside. The lieutenant, in describing the zeal of the … Continue reading

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Lt. Col. David Morrison

The Seventy-Ninth New York Cameron Highlanders was commanded at Knoxville by Lt. Col. Morrison, a veteran of the Crimean War, a native Scot and a former British officer in the 42nd Highland Infantry, known as the Black Watch. Via Antietam … Continue reading

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