Tag Archives: Knoxville 1863

Christmas wishes from Old Cahawba

The novel’s Union-sympathizing Parthenia Leila Ellis hailed from Alabama where her family’s plantation, The Cedars, was near the former-state capital of Cahawba. In 1864, Cahawba still had a Female Academy for the young daughters of plantation owners in the vicinity, … Continue reading

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Signal flags at Knoxville

Gen. Edward Porter Alexander was a colonel at Knoxville, in charge of Longstreet’s artillery, where he put to good use the signal flags he’d learned to use as a U.S. Army officer under Albert J. Myer, an army surgeon, before … Continue reading

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Rough Rider Joe Wheeler

Confederate cavalry attacking the city was the first thought of the novel’s fictional Parthenia Leila Ellis when the sounds of battle awakened her the night the Rebels drove in the pickets at Fort Sanders. That cavalry was commanded by Gen. … Continue reading

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Colonel Solon Z. Ruff

SOLON Z. RUFF, colonel of the 18th Georgia which followed the Phillips Georgia Legion in the attack on Fort Sanders, was a graduate of the Georgia Military Institute and a professor there until the war began, according to the web … Continue reading

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Tail coats

“Men in claw-hammer coats and tall, beaver hats and ladies in silk dresses and sunbonnets were standing looking down at us from above the red-clay walls we had tried so hard to climb…” So says Private Lafayette Bolton of the … Continue reading

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Find Fort Sanders

Curious caption, since I can’t figure out where Fort Sanders is, and this only a year or so after the battle. Given that the river would be more or less on the east side of Knoxville, I think the fort would … Continue reading

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Those sharpshooters

Sharpshooters, like the unknown Rebel one who felled Fort Sanders’ namesake, General William P. Sanders, from more than a mile away, were special troops with their own drill and esprit. It helped that they often had special arms such as … Continue reading

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Reprise: General McLaws’ courts martial

Although convened in February, 1864, McLaws’ courts martial for dereliction of duty in the assault on Fort Sanders at Knoxville, was on-again, off-again, for the next several weeks. Finally, on March 11, the trial commenced at a private home in … Continue reading

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