Thursday, December 5, 2013

November 16, 1863

November 16, 1863

---Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman writes a report to the editor of the Louisville Journal, after his arrival in Chattanooga, and his corps arriving in nearby Bridgeport:

Louisville Journal:

Sitting in General Thomas’ quarters I read the Journal of the 13th, and see you are uneasy about my command. I have made the junction, and lived well on Confederate corn and pork. My own corps, Fifteenth, is at Bridgeport in fine order, having marched all the way from Memphis, and we effected a good military purpose on the way. I left a strong force at Elk River, also, to fulfill a design. General Halleck and General Grant were daily advised of my progress, but the public were not, and I hope the fact escaped Bragg’s knowledge. I have been all day studying maps and position, and am ready to work. I still retain my old notions about heralding my acts and progress, and therefore give you this privately and not for publication. I at the same time assure you of my great personal respect and esteem.


---Longstreet’s Southern troops have crossed the Tennessee River south of Knoxville, and today drive Burnside’s troops that were supposed to keep an eye on the Rebels’ progress, and resist their advance.  There are skirmishes at a number of key points along the highway to Knoxville; the Rebels are less able to follow up the Federal retreats since rains have made the roads into quagmires.  Also, the Federals are fighting a spirited and cunning delaying action as they pull back.  Near Loveville, at Campbell Station, Burnside’s troops form a strong line, and Longstreet deploys both McLaws’ and Micah Jcnkins’ divisions.  Just before the Southern attack steps off, Burnside orders a retreat, and so a major fight is avoided here.  The Federals lose 31 killed, 211 wounded, and 76 missing.  Confederate casualties are unknown, but estimate to be even higher.

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