November 4, 1863
---On this date, Gen. Braxton Bragg makes the fatal decision to order Gen. Longstreet on an expedition to Knoxville, to eject Gen. Burnside from East Tennessee. Whether Bragg does this from a sound strategic basis of judgment, or from his exacerbated inability to tolerate Longstreet in his command is still uncertain and open to debate. Longstreet, however, is the only remaining officer of the cabal that sought his being relieved. Hill, Polk, and others had been sent away to other duties. Bragg orders Longstreet and his divisions (McLaws and Hood), with artillery, to march to Knoxville and drive Burnside out. Longstreet protests, believing that two divisions is not enough to take on Burnside’s Ninth Corps plus supports. In addition, he points out, as do others, that Bragg is weakening his army precisely at the wrong time, as Grant and his troops are gaining strength day by day.
|Lt. Gen. James Longstreet|