Longstreet goes West, part Eight: Knoxville, and Huzzah!

Emerging Civil War

(Fear not, dear reader: Our extended blog-essay is winding down; part nine will cover actual operations in East Tennessee, and part ten will conclude things with a summary of James Longstreet’s troubled interlude beyond Virginia. Thank you for your forbearance.) 

braggs-hq The site of Bragg’s Headquarters, Missionary Ridge

On November 3, Bragg, Longstreet, Hardee and the Army of Tennessee’s other senior officers gathered at Bragg’s headquarters to discuss their next move. In what by now should come as no surprise to any student of the Army of Tennessee, accounts vary as to the exact details of this conference.

Longstreet opened with a plan that was well in line with his current worries: He proposed to cross the Tennessee River near Bridgeport, and by means of threatening or destroying the Army of the Cumberland’s forward supply base, compel a retreat from Chattanooga. While in theory this was the soundest strategy, the idea…

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