duct of the troops. From the beginning of the
siege to the end, every man did his whole duty.
The cheerful looks and confident bearing which
met us at every turn, made it seem as though we
were sure of victory from the first. It is doubtful
whether any man within our lines had at any time
after the first forty-eight hours, any fear of the
result. All privations were borne, all hardships
undergone, with a spirit which indicated as plainly
as if written on the walls, that success would
attend our efforts. The troops of the Ninth and
Twenty-third army corps were chivalric rivals
where duty was to be done. Never before had
an engineer officer less cause to complain of the
manner in which his instructions and directions
were carried out."
In the same connection, he testified to the great
value of the contrabands' services, in many cases
voluntarily offered. "Nearly two hundred of them
labored during the siege, and for the first week,
regularly eighteen hours in the twenty-four. The
amount of their work, performed both day and
night, the whole time," he said, "was truly aston-
Captain Poe's Conclusions — President Lin-
coln's Proclamation — Generals Sherman
and Grant — Intercessions with Gen. Fos-
ter — Battle of Resaca — Influx of Ref-
ugees to Knoxville.
"What is the end of fame? 'Tis but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper."
"No more shall the war-cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red ;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead !
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day ; —
Love and tears for the Blue ;
Tears and love for the Gray."
F. M. Finch.
Captain Poe, towards the conclusion of his offi-
cial report to Gen. Burnside, has given a judicious
estimate of the events just narrated. He says:
"The siege of Knoxville passed into history. If
mistakes were made in the defence, they were cov-
ered by the cloak of success. That many were
made in the attack was apparent to us all.* That
the rebels made a great error in besieging, is as
evident as it now is, that to accept siege at Knox-
ville was a great stroke of military policy. The
* See Appendix: Note V.
286 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
results of the successful defence are, the defeat of
Bragg's army and consequent permanent estab-
lishment of our forces at Chattanooga, with toler-
ably secure lines of communication; the confirm-
ation of our hold upon East Tennessee; the dis-
comfiture and loss of prestige of the choicest
troops of the enemy's service. * * *
Is there any man of that part of the army of the
Ohio which was in Knoxville, who would exchange
his nineteen days of service there for any other of
the achievements of his life? Was there a regi-
ment there which will not put Knoxville on its
banners as they now bear Roanoke or Newbern,
Williamsburg or Fair Oaks, Chantilly or South
Mountain, Antietam or Vicksburg?"
The news of Burnside's successful defence car-
ried joy to Washington and to all friends of the
United States everywhere. The President issued
a proclamation concerning it, in which he spoke
of the retreat of the enemy from before Knox-
ville "under the circumstances rendering it proba-
ble that the Union forces" could not thereafter "be
dislodged from that important position." He rec-
ommended that "all loyal people" should "on re-
ceipt of this information, assemble at their places
of worship and render special homage and grati-
tude to Almighty God, for this great advancement
of the National cause." Congress joyfully thanked
Burnside and his army.
Maj. Gen. John G. Foster, Gen. Burnside's suc-
cessor in command of the Department, was a
wholly different type of man, and could not have
GENERAL SHERMAN. 287
sustained rivalry with Burnside in his characteristic
lines of life and conduct. Nor was Foster at all
emulous to excel him in that way. He sought to
do his duty after his own fashion, and the fault-
finding to a limited extent, with which his admin-
istration met, was largely due to the comparison
civilians would silently make in their minds be-
tween him and his predecessor, to his depreciation,
as the lesser of the two chief lights in their military
Gen. Sherman, who had arrived in town on De-
cember 6, remained only a few days. His freely
active temperament was a subject of observation.
He held himself in no severe restraint, such as
a small official's sense of dignity would impose.
A young Unionist who had been driven from his
home to take refuge in Knoxville, had some skill
in portrait painting, and desired to copy a portrait
of the deceased Bishop Otey of Tennessee that
hung in the parlor of the house then occupied as
headquarters. When he applied to Gen. Foster
for a loan of the picture, Gen. Sherman heard the
request and springing quickly to his feet, said:
"Bishop Otey! I knew Bishop Otey. Let's go
and see it."
When the company had gathered before the
likeness, he added —
"I must have that picture. I shall present it to
Bishop Otey's family."
The young artist, looking intently at the speaker,
said, with great sang" froid —
"What is your name?"
205 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
"Sherman," was the reply.
" General Sherman?" he persisted.
"Yes!" said the General: and asked,
"How long do you want the picture?"
Being told, he consented to the loan, and in all
probability forgot entirely that he had made it.*
Shortly after Gen. Sherman's departure from
the town, Gen. Grant visited it, and his reputation
for unaffected simplicity of manner, was con-
firmed to those who formed his acquaintance.
During an interview with him by a citizen, the
conversation turned upon the siege. The visitor
"General, I understand that General Longstreet
is loitering in upper East Tennessee."
"Yes," he replied, "I wish now that I had or-
dered Gen. Sherman to drive him out."
This frank admission of a failure to do what
ought to have been done, showed at least, that
his head was not turned by the laurels won at
Vicksburg and Mission Ridge, and that he was
not morbidly sensitive about the perfection of his
military judgment. If he had then known the
full extent of the ills to the people of upper East
Tennessee which Longstreet's stay among them
would inflict, the omission of the order to Sher-
man would have caused him greater regret; for
that stay was prolonged for months. It was in-
strumental of much annoyance to the United
* Bishop Otey was at first in the troubles of i860 — '6i, a decided Union man,
but when actual hostilities began, he espoused the cause of "the South. " Upon
the occupation of Memphis by the United States forces, Gen. Sherman showed
him kind and valuable attentions.
A TEXAN IN TROUBLE. 289
States troops at various points, and Longstreet's
army, by living upon the country, contributed
largely to bring upon its inhabitants the great des-
titution of food, from which they severely suffered
Gen. Foster had received a wound during the
Mexican war, from the effects of which he still
now and then suffered, and which furnished a con-
venient reason for his being refused to unwelcome
visitors. Upon one very cold afternoon, two visits
in quick succession were made to a citizen, by
persons who sought his mediation with General
Foster. First came a committee of Free Masons.
A Kentuckian, who belonged to a Texas regi-
ment, had been unavoidably separated from it at
the time of Longstreet's retreat from Knoxville,
and he had endeavored to rejoin it through the
country south of the Tennessee river. In doing
this, he had unfortunately for himself, worn,
in part at least, the uniform of a Federal soldier,
and had also entered in his diary that he had rep-
resented himself as one, in conversation with a
woman. He was captured while hiding in a hay
stack, was brought to Knoxville, tried by court-
martial and condemned to death as a spy. Strong
sympathy was felt for him by resident friends of
the Confederacy, and this was shared by the Free
Masons, of which fraternity he was a member.
A committee of that order desired the citizen they
visited to intercede with Gen. Foster to reprieve
the prisoner until further proof of his innocence,
which they believed to exist, could be produced.
29° THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
They had scarcely gone, when a regimental
officer from Mississippi made his appearance.
Longstreet, in going eastward, had left in a hos-
pital at the paper mill three miles northwest of the
town, a number of wounded men, among whom
were officers Moody and Smith. The former was
suffering from heart disease, which did not, how-
ever, prevent his really distinguished presence upon
the streets. His remarkable stature and aristo-
cratic physique crowned with a planter's broad-
brimmed hat, and his lordly bearing, combined to
embody the idea which the natives entertained of
"Southern chivalry," and to attract special atten-
tion. He was said to be withal, a cousin of the
Rev. Granville Moody, of the United States Army,
and known as "the fighting parson." The other
Confederate officer was Major Smith, who be-
cause of his wounds, was still confined to his room
in a private dwelling. On that day some rebel
soldiers at the town had broken their parole, seized
guns and absconded. In consequence, Gen. Fos-
ter had ordered that all other Confederate prison-
ers on parole should be arrested and sent to jail.
This confinement Major Moody averred that he
and Major Smith were physically unable to en-
dure in such severe weather; and his request was
that the citizen should intercede with the Com-
mander-in-chief to still allow them liberty in the
town. Equipped with this double errand, the
citizen went on his way over the sleety pavements
to that officer's dwelling and said to the orderly
who opened the door:
INTERVIEW WITH GEN. FOSTER. 29 1
"I wish to see General Foster."
"General Foster can't be seen; he is sick."
The citizen, at his own request, was then shown
to the room of another United States Officer in
the same house. There another visitor, General
, had preceded him. He was evidently under
the influence of potations from a bottle of strong
drink that stood on the table near him, and soon
the new comer's refusal to partake of his spirituous
devotions was resented by him with maudlin free-
dom and profanity. By and by came a knock at
the door, and who should enter but the veritable
General, who just before had been announced as
too ill to receive a visitor.
Not long before, Gen. Foster had sent copies of
a Proclamation by President Lincoln, to be dis-
tributed among the soldiers of Gen. Longstreet.
The latter thereupon had forwarded a sharp let-
ter to Foster, rebuking him for discourtesy, and
inviting him to transmit such documents directly
to the commander, instead of seeking to circulate
them privily among the soldiers of his command.
To that letter Gen. Foster had prepared an answer,
and he proceeded to read it to the owner of the
room, not probably without expectation of the
high encomium which that gentleman gave it.
When a suitable opportunity occurred, the citi-
zen sought to fulfill his mission, first by repeating
to Gen. Foster the statement of the committee of
Free Masons, and conveying their petition for a
short reprieve to the young Kentuckian.
"No!" was the General's reply, with knit brows
292 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
and emphatic tone, "he must die." And die he
did the next day, on the gallows. Afterwards it
was said that the execution might not or would not
have taken place, had not Longstreet's army, early
in its retreat, hung a Union man, and left on a tree
by the way-side his lifeless body, placarded with
offensive words. Information of the young Ken-
tuckian's death, and of the Christian faith and hope
with which he met it, was sent to Richmond, Ky.,
by a clergyman who was with him in his last days.*
Although it was conveyed to his aged father and
mother by their friend/f with all possible discre-
tion, the sorrowful news almost broke their hearts.
"But," the ruthless politician may ask, "must not
war as well as law, have both its just and unjust
verdicts? Must it not have its revenges as well as
its wrath?" If so, then let it stop altogether its de-
stroying marches and strife, and cease from breaking
hundreds and thousands of good old loving hearts
by the untimely death of their sons? Why not?
Concerning the second subject of intercession
with Gen. Foster, the imprisonment of Majors
Moody and Smith, he was so far lenient as to con-
sent that they should not go to the common prison,
but be confined in comfortable quarters. Mean-
while, however, Provost Marshal General S. P.
Carter, in consideration of their physical condition,
placed them again on parole.
Following upon the return of Generals Grant
and Sherman to Chattanooga, the defences of the
town were still further strengthened, and it re-
* Rev. Joseph II. Martin. f Judge Daniel Breck.
QUIET CONDITIONS. 293
mained without serious disturbances from enemies
until the end of the Confederacy. Once quite an
alarm was raised in consequence of a rapid move-
ment of Wheeler's cavalry through the country
and not far away from Knoxville, but the excite-
ment soon subsided and order and peace prevailed
as before. New conditions were attended by a
hopeful vitality. Some of the officers stationed at
the post during 1864-5 mingled freely in social in-
tercourse with the citizens. Among these were
Gen. Tilson of Maine and his staff; Gen. S. P.
Carter, among whose aides was Capt. Thomas;
Col. Gibson, Gen. Stoneman and Coi. Ewing. Gen.
J. D. Cox of Ohio impressed all who made his ac-
quaintance, by his fine character and culture. An
exhaustive list of officers worthy of mention would
include Captains Whitman and Chamberlain of the
Quarter-master's Department, Medical Directors
Jackson and Curtis, and Dr. S. H. Horner.
General Schofleld succeeded General Foster in
chief command. He administered affairs judi-
ciously and impressed observers as a serious per-
son, who understood the value of method in con-
ducting business, whatever its relations to human
Late in April, 1864, Gen. Schofield was ordered
from his post to join Gen. Sherman's army in its
famous march. Therefore, the Twenty-third army
corps, under his command, leaving Strawberry
Plains and Knoxville, arrived after a hard march
and was concentrated May 2 on the Hiwassee
River, near Charleston and Calhoun. That corps
294 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
included several Tennessee regiments, viz.: the
Third infantry, Col. Wm. Cross; the Fifth, Col.
James T. Shelley; the Sixth, Col. Joseph A.
Cooper;* the Eighth regiment, Col. Felix A.
Reeve; and, soon after added, the first infantry,
Col. R. K. Byrd.
The "loyal mountaineers" of Tennessee who
enlisted in the United States army proved their
courage upon various battle fields. No opportu-
nity has heretofore occurred in this narrative, to say
a word on that subject. The commendation which
Gen. Burnside gave his troops, of course included
the East Tennessee soldiers, who were a part of
his command before and during the siege of Knox-
ville. The valor which animated them and their
compatriots from the same region, was signally
illustrated by the conduct of the above named reg-
iments at the battle of Resaca. The army corps
to which they belonged having been united May
2d, on the Hiwassee River, proceeded to the vi-
cinity of Dalton, Georgia, before which place Gen.
Sherman was arranging his lines for the first of
the series of encounters with the Confederate
army which he had on his way to the sea. Gen.
Thomas on May 7th had a successful engagement
at Tunnel Hill. Schofield's corps — of which the
Third and Sixth Tennessee regiments were a part
— came into position on Thomas's left, and occu-
pied a steep ridge. On its side the men slept.
The right wing and centre of Sherman's army had
advanced so far that on the 9th Schofield was or-
* Soon after, for gallant conduct, made a Brigadier General.
BATTLE OF RESACA. 295
dered to extend his lines farther to the left. An
East Tennesseean, who was then a Union officer
and an actor in the scene, relates that Gen. Scho-
field, "forming his divisions in two lines of battle,
with his right resting at the base of the hills,
moved down the valley in the direction of the
Confederate lines, entrenched behind earthworks.
As these two long blue lines moved forward under
the eye of the soldiers who covered the crest of
■ the hills to the north, their hundreds of flags float-
ing in the breeze and their bayonets glistening in
the bright sunshine, a band began to play ' The
Star-spangled Banner,' and cheers rent the air
from ten thousand voices. It was a most inspirit-
ing pageant and filled the men with the wildest
Soon the skirmishing began, and was quickly
followed by firing from the Confederate artillery,
which continued during the afternoon, but did not
prevent the Union column from moving slowly
and steadily onward until when night fell, it was
within a few hundred yards of the Confederate
works. The losses of the day were not very
heavy, those of the Tennessee regiments being
perhaps a score killed and twice that number
wounded. The men lay during the night with
their cartridge boxes belted around them, greatly
anxious of mind because of the nearness to each
other of the hostile lines, and were compelled to
feed upon such rations as were possible without
kindling fires. The bayonet charge which they ex-
* dipt. William Rule.
296 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
pected to make early the next morning was not
ordered, for Gen. Sherman determined to flank
General Johnson's army and compel its sur-
render or retreat. To aid in that movement,
Schofield's divisions were quietly withdrawn — a
few troops, horse and foot, taking their place
— and were marched to the rear, from thence to
pass around the Union lines to the neighborhood
Gen. McPherson had preceded Schofield and
taken position, and on the 13th the Second divi-
sion of the latter's corps, commanded by Gen. H.
M. Judah, and its Third division commanded by
Gen. Jacob D. Cox, were formed into two lines
of battle. The Confederate works were a few
hundred yards distant, with a strip of woods inter-
vening. For two hours there was skirmishing
between the hostile forces. The Confederates,
after being driven back, made a more stubborn
resistance. Then at the word, "Forward!" the
main line of the Union troops advanced with fixed
bayonets. Soon they reached the crest of a ridge,
in full view of their entrenched enemy and within
range of his rifles. Twenty or more pieces of
artillery opened fire upon them with grape and
canister shot. The minnie balls they encountered
fell thickly like hail-stones in a storm. Down the
hill side to the assault they went at a double-quick
step. Their cheers, as they went, rose clear and
strong above the din of the battle. At almost
every step one man in every ten of them dropped
from the ranks, which still pressed forward and at
GEN. JOSEPH A. COOPER.
BATTLE OF RESACA. 297
the base of the hill entered an open field. There
a creek, parallel with both army lines, stopped
their way. The trees upon its banks had been
cut down, and presented a tangled mass which
forbid their progress. To attempt a passage
through it under their adversary's heavy fire,
would have been to incur a needless sacrifice of
human life. Therefore they were ordered to fall
back, and leaving many of their number up to
their necks in the water of the creek, until night
fell to their release, the survivors retreated across
the ridge and re-formed.
The losses of the command were distressingly
large. Of the two thousand men, First brigade,
Second division, Twenty-third army corps, who
went that day into action, between four hundred
and fifty and five hundred were killed and
wounded in fifteen minutes. In that brigade
the Third regiment Tennessee lost one hundred
and twenty-five: the Sixth Tennessee regiment
was strangely preserved, its losses being only
The subsequent movements of Gen. Sherman's
army resulted in the evacuation of Dalton by Gen.
Johnson, and during the night of May 15th, his
forces around Resaca were withdrawn. The
Confederate army, being forced from its first
stronghold of resistance in the Georgia campaign,
on the next day moved southward. The bloody
battle of Resaca has been thought to be interest-
ing to Tennesseeans from the fact that in it " the
valor of Tennessee soldiers on both sides was dis-
298 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
played, was fully tested and found equal to the
At that date, the siege of Knoxville was fully
numbered with the things of the past, and the
possession of East Tennessee by the United States
army had all the permanence possible in the cir-
cumstances. The country however, was in a sad
condition. It had been the previous year, not
only disquieted but impoverished, and in the win-
ter of i863-'64 there began an unexampled flood
of immigration into the town from adjoining and
eastern counties. It consisted not only of needy
white people. Everywhere the negroes upon ob-
taining their freedom during the war, manifested
a strong inclination for town life. On this occa-
sion that disposition was sharpened by the hope
of finding not only refuge from harm but neces-
sary food. At first the stream of new, homeless,
hungry population was small, but as confidence in
the security and certainty of rest which Knoxville
offered and of finding there the sufficient nourish-
ment which could not be had at home increased,
the tide of immigrants rose higher. It . filled
vacant tenements, and flowed into the rooms of
the University buildings not already occupied by
soldiers. The refugees came into town on rail-
road trains and lay all night on the uncovered de-
pot platform, exposed to the inclemencies of the
weather. The question which humanity as well
as Christianity prompted was, what should be
done with and for them. The calamity had many
* See Appendix: Note W.
INFLUX OF REFUGEES. 299
and deep sources, and threatened to grow with
the lapse of time. It would inevitably be fed
more and more from the large impoverishment
that extended over a wide region, and for which
there seemed to be no remedy. Its evil results,
thus brought home to the very doors of the peo-
ple of Knoxville, might be overcome in their pres-
ent magnitude; but how should they be met in the
future when full grown in size? The only feasible
method was to send forth supplies from there to
meet and overcome it. The sole yet fatal objec-
tion to such a plan was the absence of means to
carry it into effect.
But God is good, and His mercy is over all His
works. He had already put it into the heart of
one of His servants to begin an enterprise that
would by His blessing bring help from a distance
to the needy people, more than a few of whom
were ready to perish.
At that date war had wrought its ravages for
more than three and a half years. For a large
part of that period, in some regions of the land,
it had stayed the hand of the husbandman from
industrious toil and prevented the fruits of the
earth. In many instances the farmers' barns were
no longer, as formerly, filled with plenty, for the
words of Joel, so ominously read in churches on
the Sunday after the Baltimore fight in April 1861,
had proved truly predictive, and plough-shares
had been turned into swords. Multitudes of
hearts everywhere from Maine to the Gulf, and
from the Atlantic to the far West, were now
3°° THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
yearning for peace. Had not enough blood been
shed, enough human life sacrificed upon the altar
of Mars? Might not Americans cease now from
destroying each other and brethren be recon-
ciled? Perhaps the night of desolation and sor-
row was well nigh spent and the day of peace
about to dawn! And so it was, but men did not
Soon kindly hands came in and healed where
they could the wounds war had inflicted. They
fed the hungry and clothed the naked, until by
their industry they could feed and clothe them-
selves. It was a Christ-like work in which any
man might be thankful to be engaged.
Deplorable Condition of East Tennessee —
Watauga Scenery — Landon C. Haynes at
a Dinner Party — Nathaniel G. Taylor —
His Wrongs — His Fears for the People —
His Mission to the North and Work at
Philadelphia — Edward Everett's Speech
at Faneuil Hall.