Picture: three-inch rifle at Fort Dickerson.
Monday, May 31, 2010
We had a chance this past Saturday to get out into the field once again. Our local SCV camp tries to take a field trip every year. This year, we visited a few of the sites in Knoxville, Tennessee. We started off our tour at the McClung Museum in Knoxville. The museum has a half-hour-long movie on the battle of Fort Sanders that was not half bad. The only thing I would complain about was that the movie said Burnside moved into east Tennessee and forced the Confederates out of the area. Actually, the Confederates in east Tennessee (save Frazier’s brigade at Cumberland Gap), were withdrawn to General Bragg in north Georgia, thus allowing Burnside to take east Tennessee. Much of the downstairs area is full of original artifacts pertaining to the war. I really enjoyed the original case of canister shot. There were also artifacts excavated from the construction site where a sorority house has now been built by UT. Next, we visited the Mabry-Hazen House, built in 1858 and full of original furnishings. Then we were off to Bethel Cemetery, a couple of blocks away. This cemetery contains the graves of 1,600 Confederate soldiers, including numerous Tar Heels from the 29th, 39th, 58th, 60th, and 64th NCT regiments. Finally, we headed over to the south side of town and visited the entrenchments at Fort Dickerson. As General Wheeler attacked from the south, Federal troops fell back into this earthen fort and stopped this portion of the Confederate advance. We tried to find neighboring Fort Stevens, but did not have much luck. We also drove over a portion of the Fort Sanders battlefield, and saw the two 15-inch Rodmans on the courthouse grounds. Overall, it was a great day, and I look forward to Camp 1946’s next outing.