Chattanooga Civil War Round Table Meeting is February 18

Siege and Battle of Knoxville is Topic

Thursday, February 13, 2014

 The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.  The meeting is at 7 PM and will be held in the Millis-Evans Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus  of the The McCallie School (enter the campus from Dodds Avenue and follow the signs to the Academic Quadrangle and Caldwell Hall). 

Historian Dorothy Kelly of Knoxville is the speaker.  Historian Kelly's address is entitled "’...a Want of Confidence:’ Longstreet's East Tennessee Campaign;" it examines the November, 1863, Siege and Battle of Knoxville.  The meeting is free and open to the public.            

"At the appointed hour I fired the signal guns from a batter near where we had had the fight with {Union Brigadier General William P.} Sanders, putting in shells & sending them to burst over the enemy's line.  Soon we heard a chorus of rebel yells break out & we knew our infantry was on the go.  I put a few guns, which could shoot without firing over our infantry, to throwing shell just behind the fort to catch any reinforcements........"

So James Longstreet's defacto Chief of Artillery Colonel Edward Porter Alexander described the beginning of the assault on Fort Sanders at Knoxville.  For those who participated in this action on both sides, Knoxville was as much a battle as any of the others they experienced during the war. 

But, aside from the actual assault on Fort Sanders and the campaign's origin with Braxton Bragg relative to his dispute with Longstreet, Old Pete's Knoxville Campaign is usually overlooked or just "footnoted," overshadowed by what happened on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge 110 miles or so and a few days earlier. 

While in the end perhaps not as determinative as say the Forts Henry-Donelson, or Vicksburg, or Chattanooga, or Atlanta, campaigns, the November-December, 1863, Knoxville Campaign deserves far more attention than it usually gets.  It is insight into several key players in the war--Longstreet, Ambrose Burnside, even Ulysses Grant and William Sherman. Its outcome guaranteed conditions that set the stage for one of the most vindictive environments to come out of the war.

 In her talk "’...a Want of Confidence:’ Longstreet's East Tennessee Campaign” Historian Dorothy Kelly will examine this under appreciated campaign that played out over the ground several scores of miles to the northeast that drew it many of those who had or would play a role in the environs of the Gateway to the Deep South.  Come out and learn some of the reasons why we should ourselves become better students of at least this Knoxville Campaign. 

 Ms. Dorothy "Dot" Kelly is a life-long Knoxville- and East Tennessean long interested in that region's history, particularly that of the Civil War-era.  Now a retired health care professional, she has long been active in the Knoxville Civil War Round Table as an officer, committee chairman, and program chairman.  She has played important roles in the Round Table's efforts to preserve and interpret Fort Dickerson over the years and most recently in it's Sesquicentennial recognition of the Siege and Battle of Knoxville.  She has also served in various roles with and/or for the Tennessee War's Commission, the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association, and the East Tennessee Historical  Society.  She speaks regularly on Knoxville's Civil War history to both local groups and other Civil War Round Tables and has spoke several times over the years to the Chattanooga Civil War Round Table on such subjects as Sanders' and Carter's raids and most recently, the Bridge Burners. 


James Ogden, III, President

Chattanooga Civil War Round Table

 {The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table is a group of area citizens interested in the study of the American Civil War.  The Round Table meets on the third Tuesday of each month, normally in the Millis-Evans Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus of The McCallie School on Missionary Ridge (enter off Dodds Avenue at Union Street).  At each month’s meeting, a historian or author from the region or from across the nation, or a member, makes a presentation on some aspect of the conflict.  The meetings are free and open to the public and membership in the Round Table is open to all with an interest in the era of the War Between the States.}

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