Today in History:

36 Series I Volume XXXI-II Serial 55 - Knoxville and Lookout Mountain Part II

Page 36 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.


Memphis, and had gone into battle immediately on their arrival at Chattanooga, to send him with his command, and orders in accordance therewith were sent him at Calhoun to assume command of the troops with Granger, in addition to those with him, and proceed, with all possible dispatch, to the relief of Burnside. General Elliott had been ordered by Thomas, on the 26th of November, to proceed from Alexandria, Tennessee, to Knoxville, with his cavalry division, to aid in the relief of that place. The approach of Sherman caused Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville, and retreat eastward on the night of the 4th of December. Sherman succeeded in throwing his cavalry into Knoxville on the night of the 3rd. Sherman arrived in person at Knoxville on the 6th, and, after a conference with Burnside in reference to "organizing a pursuing force large enough to either overtake the enemy and beat him or drive him out of the State", Burnside was of the opinion that the corps of Granger, in conjunction with his own command, was sufficient for that purpose, and on the 7th addressed to Sherman the following communication:

KNOXVILLE, December 7, 1863.

Major-General SHERMAN:

I desire to express to you and to your command my most hearty thanks and gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief during the siege of Knoxville, and I am satisfied that your approach served to raise the siege. The emergency having passed, I do not deem for the present any other portion of your command but the corps of General Granger necessary for operations in this section, and inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the forces immediately with him in order to relieve us, thereby rendering the position of General Thomas less secure, I deem it advisable that all the troops now here, save those commanded by General Granger, should return at once to within supporting distance of the forces in front of Bragg's army. In behalf of my command, I again desire to thank you and your command for the kindness you have done us.



Leaving Granger's command at Knoxville, Sherman, with the remainder of his forces, returned by slow marches to Chattanooga. I have not spoken more particularly of the result of the pursuit of the enemy because the more detailed reports accompanying this do the subject justice. For the same reason I have not particularized the part taken by corps and division commanders. To Brigadier General W. F. Smith, chief engineer, I feel under more than ordinary obligations for the masterly manner in which he discharged the duties of his position, and desire that his services be fully appreciated by higher authorities.

The members of my staff discharged faithfully their respective duties, for which they have my warmest thanks.

Our losses in these battles were 757 killed, 4,529 wounded, and 330 missing; total, 5,616. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was probably less than ours, owing to the fact that he was protected by his intrenchments, while our men were without cover. At Knoxville, however, his loss was many times greater than ours, making his entire loss at the two places equal to, if not exceeding, ours. We captured 6,142 prisoners, of whom 239 were commissioned officers, 40 pieces of artillery, 69 artillery carriages and caissons, and 7,000 stand of small-arms.

The Armies of the Cumberland and the Tennessee, for their energy and unsurpassed bravery in the three days' battle of Chattanooga and the pursuit of the enemy, their patient endurance in marching

Page 36 KY., SW. VA., Tennessee,MISS., N. ALA., AND N. GA.