The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Siege of Knoxville

What happened to Longstreet?

The sending away of Longstreet’s corps in early November had practically doomed Bragg’s army. For his part, Longstreet enjoyed being away from the Army of the Cumberland, and—for one of the few times in the war—being in full command. His goal was to take Knoxville, which had been occupied by the Federals for several months.

Longstreet’s reputation as one of the best offensive fighters on either side remained intact, and his men were confident as they took the railroad east to the outskirts of Knoxville. In a rather short time, however, everything began to go wrong. “Old Pete,” as his men called him, did not seem disturbed by the fragility of the supply lines, or the difficulties of the terrain, but his men—who were much more accustomed to fighting in the Eastern theater—began to show signs of discontent.


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