on the 19th (June,) and drove them to within a mile of the city.
Leaving a portion of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry on the southwest
side of the town, he moved the rest of his command as soon as it
was dark by another road entirely around to the other side, driving
in the pickets at several places, and cut the railroad, so that no
troops could be sent to the bridges above. At daylight he moved
up to the city on the Tazewell road and found the enemy well
posted on the heights and in the adjacent buildings, with eight or
nine pieces of artillery. The streets were barricaded with cotton
bales, and the batteries protected by the same material. Their
force was estimated at 3,000, including citizens who were im-
pressed into service. After about one hour's skirmishing Sanders
withdrew, capturing near the city two pieces of artillery, 6 pounders,
the tents, and all the camp equipage of a regiment of conscripts,
about eighty Confederate States horses, and thirty-one prisoners.
He then started for Strawberry Plains, following the railroad, and
destroyed all the small bridges and depots to within four miles of
the latter place at Flat Creek, where he burned a finely built, cov-
ered bridge and also a county bridge. The guard had retreated.
He left the railroad three miles below the town, and crossed the
Holston River, so as to attack the bridge on the same side the
enemy were. As soon as he came in sight they opened on the ad-
vance with four pieces of artillery. He dismounted the infantry and
sent the 44th Ohio, under Major Moore, up the river, and the rest
under Colonel Byrd and Major Dow, to get in their rear. After
about an hour's skirmishing, the enemy was driven off, and leaving
a train and locomotive with steam up in waiting, a portion of them
escaped. All their guns (five in number), 137 enlisted men and two
officers, a vast amount of stores, ammunition, and provisions, (in-
cluding (500 sacks of salt) about seventy tents and a great quantity
of camp equipage were left in his hands. He remained at the
place all night and destroyed the splendid bridge over the Holston
River, over 1,600 feet long, built on eleven piers, the trestle in-
At daylight on the 21st (June) he started up the railroad for the
Mossy Creek bridge, destroying the road at all convenient points.
At Mossy Creek, New Market and vicinity, he captured 120 prison-
ers and destroyed several cars, a large quantity of stores, several
hundred barrels of saltpetre, 200 barrels of sugar, and a large
amount of other stores. The bridge burned at Mossy Creek was a
fine one, over 300 feet in length. Near this place he also destroyed
the machinery of a gun factory and a saltpetre factory.
He determined to leave the railroad here and endeavor to cross
the mountains at Rogers' Cap, as lie knew every exertion was being
376 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
made on the part of the enemy to capture his command. Fording
the Holston, at Hayworth's Bend, he started for the Powder Spring
Gap of Clinch Mountain. There a large force was found directly in
his front, and another strong force overtook and commenced skirm-
ishing with his rear guard. By taking country roads he got into the
Gap without trouble or loss, and had all this force in his rear. On
arriving within a mile and a-half of Eogers' Gap, he found that it
was blockaded by fallen timber, and strongly guarded by artillery
and infantry, and that all the gaps practicable were obstructed and
guarded in a similar manner. He then determined to abandon his
artillery and move by a wood path to Smith's Gap, three miles from
Eogers' Gap. The guns, carriages, harness and ammunition were
completely destroyed, and left. He had now a large force, both in
front and rear, and could only avoid capture by getting into the
mountains, and thus place all his foes in the rear, which he suc-
ceeded in doingr, after driving a regiment of cavalry from Smith's
Gap. The road through this pass was only a bridle path, and very
rough. He did not get up the mountain until after night. About
170 of his men and officers got on the wrong road, and did not re-
join the command until it reached Kentucky.
Owing to the continual march, many horses gave out and were
left, and although several hundred were captured on the march, they
were not enough to supply the men. He reached Boston, Ky., on
the 24th, with a loss of two killed, four wounded and thirteen miss-
ing. The number of prisoners paroled by him was 461.
After acknowledging his indebtedness for. the success of the ex-
pedition to several officers of his command, Col. Sanders did so
chiefly to Sergeant Reynolds, First East Tennessee volunteers, and
his guides. He said: "Reynolds' knowledge of the country was
thorough, reliable and invaluable." " All the officers and men de-
served great credit and praise for the cheerfulness with winch they
submitted to great hardships and fatigue, and their energy and read-
iness at all times either to fight or march."
Appendix. Note P. Page 207.
[Confederate account of the fight at Knoxville, in the Sanders Raid, condensed
from the Report of Lieut. Col. Milton A. Haynes, C. S. Artillery, to Maj. Von
Sheliha, Chief of Gen. Buckner's staff.]
Department of East Tennessee,
Knoxville, June 21, 1863.
Major General Buckner had marched toward Big Creek Gap with
all the artillery and all the other disposahle force at this post, except
Colonel Trigg's 51st (54th) Virginia Regiment, and Colonel J. J.
Finley's 7th (6th) Florida Regiment; effective force about 1,000
men; leaving Colonel Trigg temporarily in command at Knoxville.
On the morning of the 19th, Maj Von Sheliha, Acting Chief of Staff,
was informed that the enemy in large force had passed by Loudon,
and were at Lenoir's Station, twenty-four miles from Knoxville, and
he requested Lieut. Col. Haynes to take charge of the artillery de-
fence of the city, and to organize his force from the convalescents
in the hospitals and from citizens, to man his guns then in the city.
At the same time he ordered Maj. S. H. Reynolds, Chief of Ord-
nance, to issue to Lieut. Col. Haynes as many field pieces as could pos-
sibly be put in condition within a few hours, and to furnish him with
all necessary equipments and one hundred rounds of ammunition.
This order was fulfilled as far as was practicable
In the mean time the citizens of Knoxville had been ordered to
report to Col. Haynes or to Col. (E. D ) Blake for duty for the de-
fence of the city.
At 3 o'clock in the afternoon of that day it was known that the
enemy was within five miles of the city, and their advance were
skirmishing with thirty-seven of our cavalrymen, being all that
were then in Knoxville. The eight pieces of artillery at the ord-
nance department were immediaiely posted in sections. First, at
College Hill, under Maj. Baker (the exposed point); second, on
McGhee's Hill, under Capt. Hugh L. McClung, and third, under
Lieut. Patterson ami Lieut. J. J. Burroughs, at Summit Hill. This
last battery had been fortified during the afternoon, under the su-
perintendence of Capt. (W. F ) Foster, of the engineers, with a cot-
ton bale revetment. During that evening, the enemy failing to ad-
vance, Colonel Trigg removed Major Baker's battery from College
Hill to a point near the Asylum Hospital. In the evening about 200
persons, citizens and convalescent soldiers from hospitals, had re-
ported for duty, and each of the batteries was fully manned, al-
37Â§ THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
though in the morning of the samp day there was no artillery force
whatever in the city.
During the night the pickets of the enemy advanced upon the
city, but the Confederate pickets, thrown out by Col. Trigg, after an
hour's skirmish, drove them back at about 2 o'clock in the morning.
At 7 o'clock on the 20th, four pieces of artillery, detached by Gen.
Buckner from his command, reached the ordnance depot, and were
immediately taken to the rear as a reserve. Soon after, the enemy
advanced at double quick time from beyond the workshops in North
Knoxville, where the Confederates had neither battery nor soldiers
to oppose them. Colonel Haynes took '* a section of Wyly's
battery, and moved them at a gallop to a point immediately
in front of the advancing column, and opened fire upon them
with spherical case. The enemy took shelter behind houses and
fences, and threw forward sharpshooters within 200 yards of the
Confederate Battery, which was entirely unsupported by infantry,
and 400 yards from any support. At the same time a battery of
three-inch rifled guns belonging to the enemy opened upon the Con-
federates at 800 yards, and during the first two or three shots killed
and wounded some of their men and several horses. The battery
was then advanced and ordered not to fire at the artillery, but at the
infantry. The enemy at this moment forming a column, advanced
rapidly, but after receiving two rounds of canister, they retreated."
" During the same time the battery under Lieut. J. J. Burroughs and
Lieut. Patterson on Summit Hill, were also engaged and kept up a
continual fire, during which Capt. McClung and Lieut. Fellows were
killed. The section under Lieut. Whelon, before ordered by Col.
Trigg to Temperance Hill, opened fire from there upon the retreat-
ing enemy, which, with the fire from Wyly's battery, Burrough's
battery and Maj Baker's, completed the victory. ******
" The enemy had one battery of artillery and about 2, GOO men. op-
posed by about 1,000 men, part of whom were citizens and conva-
Col. Haynes says in his report : "Among many citizens who re-
ported to me that day for duty, I must not forget to mention Hon.
Landon C. Haynes, Hon. Win. H. Sneed, Hon. John H. Crozier,
Rev. Joseph H. Martin and Rev. Mr. Woolfolk, and many others.
who do not desire me to mention their names. AVith such compa-
triots and such fellow-soldiers a man might willingly at any time
meet the foe.
" Our loss was two officers and two enlisted men killed and four
enlisted men wounded. Loss of enemy, forty-five."
Appendix : Note R : Page 227.
[Gen. Longstreet, concerning the military situation in East Tennessee, Nov., 1863.]
Whether or not the movement of Longstreet against Burnside
originated with Mr. Jefferson Davis, as Gen. Grant was informed,
it appears from the following letter puhlished in 1871,* that Gen.
Longstreet was dissatisfied with the way in which Gen. Bragg had
ordered things and was conducting operations in front of Chatta-
nooga ; that lie attributed the idea of his own expedition to Bragg's
mind ; that he thought it was the least favorable of opportunities
for relief to the situation, but that having heard of it, he had proposed,
without avail, a plan to make the movement greatly advantageous.
Gen. Grant in his Memoirs, puts the force with which Longstreet
left Chattanooga "to go against Burnside" at about 15,000 troops
besides Wheeler's Cavalry, 5,000 more.
Extract from a letter written by Gen. Longstreet, dated July 12th,
"I have just concluded to send you a copy of a letter written by me
just on the point of mounting my horse to start upon the East Ten-
nessee campaign. It was written after my tent was struck, sitting
in the rain, (a light drizzle) from the head of an empty flour barrel ;
but I think that, concise and hurriedly as it was written, it plainly
indicated that I understood what Grant's campaign would he ; that
is, I understood the conditions and situations of the two armies well
enough to know what Grant should do, and it is always safe to as-
sume, with such a man, that he will do what he should do. Seeing
the letter that I send a copy of, amongst my papers that 1 was over-
looking. I determined to send it, in order that you might be assured
of our force and of my appreciation of the campaign when it was
projected by General Bragg:"
* In a pamphlet, entitled " Recollections of the East Tennessee Campaign,'" by
Will H. Brearley, Company E, 17th Michigan Volunteers." Detroit.
380 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
Headquarters, Chattanooga, Nov. 5, 1863.
" S. B. Buckner, Major General.
My Dear General â€” I start to-day for Tyner's Station, and expect
to get transportation to-morrow for Sweetwater. The weather is so
bad, and I find myself so occupied that I shall not be aide to see you
to say good bye.
When I heard the report around camp, that I was to go into East
Tennessee, I set to work at once to try and plan the means of making
the move with security, and the hope of great results.
As every other move had been proposed to the General and re-
jected, or put off till time made them more inconvenient, I came to
the conclusion as soon as the report reached me, that this was to be
the fate of our army ; to await till all good opportunities had passed,
and then, in desperation, to seize upon the least favorable one.
As no one had proposed this East Tennessee campaign to the Gen-
eral, I thought it possible that we might accomplish something by
encouraging his own move, and (I) proposed the following plan , viz :
To withdraw from our present lines, and the forces now in East Ten-
nessee : the latter to be done in order to give the impression to the
enemy that we were retiring from East Tennessee, and concentra-
ting here for battle or for some other movement, and place our army
x n a strong (concentrated) position. The moment the army was to-
gether, make a detachment of 20,000 to move rapidly against Burn-
side and destroy him; and by continued rapid movements, to
threaten the enemy's rear and his communications to the extent that
might be necessary to draw him out from his present position. This,
at least, is a tedious process, but I thought it gave promise of some
results, and was therefore better than lying here destroying our-
The move, as I proposed it, would have left this army (Bragg's)
in a strong position and safe, and would have made sure the capture
of Burnside. That is, the army here could spare 20,000 if it were in
the position that I proposed, better than it can spare 12,000, occu-
pying the lines that it now does. Twenty thousand men well han-
dled could surely have captured Burnside and forces. Under pres-
ent arrangements, however, the lines are to be held as they now
are, and the detachment is to be of say, 12,000. We thus expose
both to failure, and really take no chance to ourselves of great re-
sults. The only notice my plan received was a remark that General
Hardee was pleased to make : ' I don't think that that is a bad idea
of Long-street's.' I undertook to explain the danger of having such
a long line under the fire of the enemy's batteries, and he concen-
trated, as it were, right in our midst, and within twenty minutes
march of any portion of our line. But I was assured that he would
not disturb us. I repeated my ideas, but they did not even receive
notice. 'Twas not till I had repeated my plan, however, that Gen.
Hardee even noticed me.
Have you any maps that you can give or lend me? I shall need
every thing of the kind. Do you know any reliable people living
near and east of Knoxville, from whom I might get information of
the condition, strength, &c, of the enemy. I have written in such
hurry and confusion of packing and striking camp, that I doubt if I
have made myself understood.
I remain very sincerely your friend,
(Signed) J. Long street,
Appendix : Note S : Page 246.
[The night ride of Refugees to Kentucky.]
One of the party of refugees from Knoxville, as Longstreet ap-
proached it, relates : "The attention of wayside inhabitants, on the
occasion of this escapade was the sharper, because the news of
Longstreet's advance had already spread through the country ; and
many were the questions with which the excited and curious popula-
tion plied the fleeing party ; such as "What is the matter," etc.,
etc. The discomfort of the travellers was especially relieved by the
tongue of an elderly woman whom they encountered. In order to
relish the amusement her sallies afforded them it should be remem-
bered that "Parson Brownlow" as he was often called, not only had
great popular notoriety, but was as highly esteemed by one party to
the strife as he was intensely hated by the other. By the rebels
he was thought to be,
"The ver) r head and front of their offending."
382 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
By the Union people he was everywhere known as their fearless
and indomitable champion ; and the idea of his giving way before
the coming of their foes, could find place in their minds only
along side of a desperate emergency.
"As we plunged along with the north star for our main guide, we
were continually hailed to know what was the trouble, and what
was the state of things at Knoxville ? It is specially remembered
that just after entering Anderson County, we were saluted by one
of the numerous families peculiar to that region, headed by the
matron, torch in hand :
"What in the name of goodness does all this mean? and where
are you men going? Is Burnside retreating? or who are you any
It was mildly answered to her by one of the more polite-man-
nered gentlemen of the party, that Gen Burnside, so far from being
able to retreat, was in all probability a prisoner with his whole
'And are you running,' exclaimed she, 'without firing a gun?'
'Oh no !' said an elderly gentleman ; 'we are simply retiring in good
order, to save the country. '
'Yes!' said she, as she flamed her torch with a sort of patriotic
fierceness; 'I expect the next thing I'll hear will be that Old Bill
Brownlow is running too!'
At this juncture, the reverend gentleman so irreverently referred
to, in a subdued tone of voice, remarked :
'Gentlemen, this is no place to make a stand ; I think I'd rather
encounter Longstreet's army, or Vaughn's cavalry, than that
Capt A. J. Ricks, the military escort of the party says: "One
man of the group, from the beginning of the hazardous ride, im-
pressed me with the coolness, judgment and courage, with which he
confronted dangers, and advised as to the best means of avoid-
ing them ; and it was soon apparent that the distinguished
band looked to him as leader and adviser. And when, at an
hour that all agreed my orders required me to leave them to
their own chances and I parted from them with many misgivings as
* "The Nashville (Tenn.) Union."
to their safety, I noticed that they all instinctively turned to John
Baxter, as pilot and commander."
They did so with good reason, for he had quick and accurate
judgment and a powerful will. Mr. Ricks, now of Massilon, Ohio, in
his address at a meeting of the bar of northern Ohio, held at Cleve-
land, Ohio, April 6, 1886, concerning the recent death of the Hon.
John Baxter, of the U.S. Circuit Court, related some interesting in-
cidents in the Judge's personal history during the civil war.
"No one of all the famous Union men of that conspicuously loyal
section, (East Tennessee,) was more fearless, consistent or aggres-
sive in the struggle against secession than our departed friend.
He was a leader in the historic Union Convention of 1861,
which held its session, planning open opposition to the Con-
federacy, while rebel regiments by the train load, destined for
Virginia, were passing by within hailing distance. Johnson, May-
nard, Brownlow, Nelson and Baxter were the leading spirits in its
"Although the disposition of many members of that convention
to make organized armed resistance at once, and to put Baxter in
command of the forces was not approved by his knowledge of the en-
vironment, he was recommended from Greeneville to President Lin-
coln for a Brigadier General's commission in the army. This honor
was tendered, but for satisfactory reasons was declined.
" In 1862, while on professional business at Memphis, he was ar-
rested by the Confederate military authorities and confined to prison
sixteen days, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Southern
Confederacy, but finally, he was unconditionally released."
" In 1861, he defended three Union men* before a Confederate Mil-
itary Commission. They were charged with having burned railroad
bridges in aid of the Union cause. He argued against the jurisdic-
tion of the tribunal, contending that so long as the civil courts were
open and the due course of legal proceedings was uninterrupted, the
citizens arraigned were entitled to a trial by jury, after indictment
by a grand jury, a doctrine long afterwards affirmed by the Supreme
Court, in the Milligan case."
" In 1862. a gallant band of Ohio soldiers, known as the Mitchell
*Haun, and the two Harmons, father and son, executed at Knoxville.
384 THE LOYAL MOUNTAINEERS.
raiders, who, in a lawful military expedition, had seized some en-
gines and cars and run them towards the Federal lines, were cap-
tured and tried before a court martial as spies. Baxter volunteered
to defend them and made a fearless argument for them before the
court martial at Knoxville, urging that they were not spies en-
gaged in a sneaking expedition, hut that taking the risks of war,
they had made an open venture as soldiers under legitimate
military orders, and were entitled to he treated as prisoners of war,
subject to exchange, &c. But the spirit of animosity was then so
great, that the argument of the Union lawyer was of no avail, and
seven of the brave men were shot as spies, while five others escaped
during the excitement of a retreat. One of them is now a promi-
nent Methodist clergyman of this State.
" Oue other incident of this stormy and eventful part of his life,
forcibly illustrates his fearless character. In 1861, happening one
day to step into the Court-house, he found a meeting of citizens
called to devise means for raising troops for the rebel army. A per-
son in the audience, unfriendly to him, and desiring to provoke him
to talk in the presence of soldiers, suggested that perhaps Colonel
Baxter would make them a speech. He did so, and made quite a
different speech from what they wanted to hear. He compared the
resources of the North and South â€” told them that superior numbers
and wealth and advantages in arming and equipping forces were
sure to give the North success ; and that the war. if prosecuted long,
would end in the liberation of their slaves, loss of life and treasure
and final defeat. He also argued against the policy of conscripting
Union men for the Confederate army, and advised the soldiers pres-
ent, that such men would be of no service or aid to them. A garbled
report of the speech was published in a Confederate paper, making
it even more obnoxious than it was as delivered. A Georgia regi-
ment stopped a few days afterwards, on the way to Virginia, and a
few personal enemies of Baxter supplied them with drink and copies
of the paper containing the garbled speech and suggested that he
ought to be hanged. They proceeded to the Court-house where, it
was reported, that Colonel Baxter was engaged in the trial of a case.
His friends, learning of the danger that threatened him, reached the
Court-house in advance of the soldiers and advised him to flee for
his life. Instead of doing so, he walked out of the Court-house in
the midst of ^the soldiers and inquired if they were looking for
him. One of the leaders thrust a copy of the rebel paper into his
hands and asked him if he was the man who made that speech?
He told them in a cool, deliberate, fearless manner of the circum-
stances under which he had made a speech and of the character of
the one actually delivered â€” of the spirit that actuated the men in
calling on him for the speech, and of the motive that prompted the
publication of it in a garbled form ; and then portrayed the cow-
ardice of those who had incited them through drink to come by
hundreds to take the life of an unarmed and unprotected man.
He asked them if they proposed to be the tools of such men, who
dared not confront him personally? His manner, his tact,
his manly courage, first startled them, then arrested their at-
tention to his defence and finally won their admiration. Instead
of hanging him, they applauded his pluck and approved his
denunciation of his enemies. And it is believed that he could easily
have turned their fury against his assailants, if he had made the at-
Appendix : Note T. Page 251.
[The Topography of Knoxville and Its Vicinity.]
"On the north bank of the river, a narrow ridge is formed, ex-
tending from a point about two and a-half miles east of Knoxville,