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he wore the badge of the Bunker Hill right. Christ's brigade, of our division, Club, on which was engraved the fa- at once changed front. Buckley exemiliar line from Horace, which Warren cuted the same movement with his batquoted just before the battle of Bunker tery, and, by a well-directed fire, checked Hill, — “Dulce et decorum est pro pa- the enemy's progress in that direction. triâ mori.” In the death of Lieuten- The enemy next manæuvred to turn ant Holmes, the Thirty-sixth M sa- our left. Falling back, however, to a chusetts offered its costliest sacrifice. stronger position in our rear, we estabFrank, courteous, manly, brave, he lished a new line about four o'clock in had won all hearts, and his sudden re- the afternoon. This was done under a moval from our companionship at that heavy fire from the enemy's batteries. moment will ever remind us of the Ferrero was now on the right of the great price with which that morning's road. Morrison's brigade was placed success was bought.
in rear of a rail fence, at the foot of the The enemy now manquvred to cut ridge on which Benjamin's battery had us off from the road, and pressed us so been planted. The enemy did not seem hard that we were obliged to oblique to inclined to attack us in front, but pushed the left. Moving on the double-quick, along the ridge, on our left, aiming to receiving an occasional volley, and strike Hartranft in flank and rear. He barely escaping capture, we at length was discovered in this attempt; and, just emerged from the woods on the out- as he was moving over ground recently skirts of the little village of Campbell's cleared, Roemer, changing front at the Station. We were soon under cover of same time with Hartranft, opened his our artillery, which General Potter, un- three-inch guns on the Rebel line, and der the direction of General Burnside, drove it back in disorder, followed by had placed in position on high ground the skirmishers. Longstreet, foiled in just beyond the village. This village all these attempts to force us from our is situated between two low ranges of position, now withdrew beyond the hills, which are nearly a mile apart. range of our guns, and made no further Across the intervening space, our in- demonstrations that day. Our troops fantry was drawn up in a single line of were justly proud of their success; for, battle. Ferrero's division of the Ninth with a force not exceeding five thouCorps held the right, White's division sand men, they had held in check, for of the Twenty-third Corps held the an entire day, three times their own centre, and Hartranft's division of the number, — the flower of Lee's army. Ninth Corps held the left. Benjamin's, Our loss in the Ninth Corps was twenBuckley's, Getting's, and Van Schlein's ty-six killed, one hundred and sixty-six batteries were on the right of the road. wounded, and fifty-seven missing. Of Roemer's battery was on the left. The these, the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts Thirty-sixth Massachusetts supported lost one officer and three enlisted men Roemer.
killed, three officers and fourteen enlistThe enemy, meanwhile, had disposed ed men wounded, and three enlisted his forces for an attack on our position. men missing. At noon he came out of the woods, just At six o'clock, P. M., Ferrero's divi. heyond the village, in two lines of bat- sion, followed by Hartranft's, moved to tle, with a line of skirmishers in front. the rear, taking the road to Knoxville. The whole field was open to our view. White's division of the Twenty-third Benjamin and Roemer opened fire at Corps covered the retreat. Campbell's once; and so accurate was their range, Station is a little more than sixteen that the Rebel lines were immediately miles from Knoxville ; but the night was broken, and they fell back into the so dark, and the road so muddy, that woods in confusion. The enemy, un- our progress was much retarded, and der cover of the woods on the slope of we did not reach Knoxville till about the ridge, now advanced against our four o'clock the next morning. We had now been without sleep forty-eight and Buckley's batteries, was not only hours. Moreover, since the previous not finished, but was little more than morning we had marched twenty-four begun. It required two hundred nemiles and fought a battle. Halting just groes four hours to clear places for outside of the town, weary and worn, the guns. There was also a fort in we threw ourselves on the ground, and process of construction on Tempersnatched a couple of hours of sleep. ance Hill. Nothing more had been Early in the day – it was the 17th of done. But the work was now carried November-General Burnside assigned forward in earnest. As fast as the the batteries and regiments of his com- troops were placed in position, they mand to the positions they were to commenced the construction of rifleoccupy in the defence of the place. pits. Though wearied by three days Knoxville is situated on the northern of constant marching and fighting, they bank of the Holston River. For the gave themselves to the work with all most part, the town is built on a table- the energy of fresh men. Citizens and land, which is nearly a mile square, and contrabands also were pressed into the about one hundred and fifty feet above service. Many of the former were loyal the river. On the northeast, the town men, and devoted themselves to their is bounded by a small creek. Beyond tasks with a zeal which evinced the inthis creek is an elevation known as terest they felt in making good the deTemperance Hill. Still farther to the fence of the town ; but some of them east is Mayberry's Hill. On the north- were bitter Rebels, and, as Captain Poe, west, this table - land descends to a Chief-Engineer of the Army of the broad valley; on the southwest, the Ohio, well remarked, “worked with a town is bounded by a second creek. very poor grace, which blistered hands Beyond this is College Hill; and still did not tend to improve." The confarther to the southwest is a high ridge, trabands engaged in the work with that running nearly parallel with the road heartiness which, during the war, charwhich enters Knoxville at this point. acterized their labors in our service. Benjamin's and Buckley's batteries oc- At noon, the enemy's advance was cupied the unfinished bastion-work on only a mile or two distant; and four the ridge just mentioned. This work companies of the Thirty-sixth Massawas afterwards known as Fort San- chusetts - A, B, D, G — were thrown ders. Roemer's battery was placed in out as skirmishers, — the line extendposition on College Hill. These bat- ing from the Holston River to the Kingteries were supported by Ferrero's di- ston road. But the enemy was held in vision of the Ninth Corps, his line ex- check at some little distance from the tending from the Holston River on the town by Sanders's division of cavalry. left to the point where the East Tennes. The hours thus gained for our work in see and Georgia Railroad crosses the the trenches were precious hours, indeed. creek mentioned above as Second There was a lack of intrenching tools, Creek. Hartranft connected with Fer- and much remained to be done ; but rero's right, supporting Getting's and all day and all night the men continthe Fifteenth Indiana Batteries. His ued their labors undisturbed; and, on lines extended as far as First Creek. the morning of the 18th, our line of The divisions of White and Hascall, of works around the town presented a forthe Twenty-third Corps, occupied the midable appearance. ground between this point and the Hol- Throughout the forenoon of that day ston River, on the northeast side of the there was heavy skirmishing on the town, with their artillery in position on Kingston road; but our men – disTemperance and Mayberry's Hills. mounted cavalry ----still maintained their
Knoxville at this time was by no position. Later in the day, however, means in a defensible condition. The the enemy brought up a battery, which, bastion-work, occupied by Benjamin's opening a heavy fire, soon compelled
our men to fall back. The Rebels, now bank of the Holston. He then compressing forward, gained the ridge for menced the construction of a line of which they had been contending, and works. The four companies of the established their lines within rifle range Thirty-sixth Massachusetts which had of our works.
been detailed for picket duty on the It was while endeavoring to check morning of the 17th, remained on post this advance that General Sanders was till the morning of the 19th. Thencemortally wounded. He was at once forward, throughout the siege, both borne from the field, and carried into officers and men were on picket duty Knoxville. While a surgeon was ex. every third day. During this twentyamining the wound, he asked, “ Tell four hours of duty no one slept. The me, Doctor, is my wound mortal ?” rest of the time we were on duty in
Tenderly the surgeon replied, “San- the trenches, where, during the siege, ders, it is a fearful wound, and mortal. one third, and sometimes one fourth, of I am sorry to say it, my dear fellow, but the men were kept awake. The utthe odds are against you.”
most vigilance was enjoined upon all. Calmly the General continued, “Well, Meanwhile, day by day, and night by I am not afraid to die. I have made up night, with unflagging zeal, the troops my mind upon that subject. I have gave themselves to the labor of strengdone my duty, and have served my thening the works. Immediately in country as well as I could."
front of the rifle-pits, a chevaux-de-frise The next day he called the attention was constructed. This was formed of the surgeon to certain symptoms of pointed stakes, thickly and firmly which he had observed, and asked him set in the ground, and inclining outwhat they meant.
wards at an angle of forty - five deThe surgeon replied, “General, you grees. The stakes were bound togethare dying."
er with wire, so that they could not If that be so," he said, “I would easily be torn apart by an assaulting like to see a clergyman.”
party. They were nearly five feet in Rev. Mr. Hayden, chaplain of the height. In front of Colonel Haskins's post, was summoned. On his arrival, position, on the north side of the town, the dying soldier expressed a desire the chevaux - de - frise was constructed that the ordinance of baptism should with the two thousand pikes which be administered. This was done, and were captured at Cumberland Gap then the minister in prayer commended early in the fall. A few rods in front the believing soul to God, - General of the chevaux-de-frise was the abatis, Burnside and his staff, who were pres- formed of thick branches of trees, ent, kneeling around the bed. When which likewise were firmly set in the the prayer was ended, General Sanders ground. Still farther to the front, were took General Burnside by the hand. wire entanglements stretched a few Tears - the language of that heartfelt inches above the ground, and fastened sympathy and tender love belonging to here and there to stakes and stumps. all noble souls – dropped down the In front of a portion of our lines anothbronzed cheeks of the chief as he lis er obstacle was formed by constructtened to the last words which followed. ing dams across First and Second The sacrament was now about to be ad- . Creeks, so called, and throwing back ministered, but suddenly the strength the water. The whole constituted a of the dying soldier failed, and like a series of obstacles which could not be child he gently fell asleep. “Greater passed, in face of a heavy fire, without love hath no man than this, that a man great difficulty and fearful loss. lay down his life for his friends."
Just in rear of the rifle-pits occupied The enemy did not seem inclined to , by the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts was attack our position at once, but pro
an elegant brick mansion, of recent ceeded to invest the town on the north construction, known as the Powell
House. When the siege commenced, Massachusetts were detached to supfresco-painters were at work ornament- port Roemer's battery on College Hill. ing its parlors and halls. Throwing While on this duty the officers and open its doors, Mr. Powell, a true men were quartered in the buildings of Union man, invited Colonel Morrison East Tennessee College. Prior to our and Major Draper to make it their occupation of East Tennessee, these head-quarters. He also designated a buildings had been used by the Rebels chamber for the sick of our regiment. as a hospital ; but, after a vigorous use Early during the siege, the southwest- of the ordinary means of purification, ern and northwestern fronts were they afforded us pleasant and comfortloopholed by order of General Burn- able quarters. side, and instructions were given to The siege had now continued several post in the house, in case of an attack, days. The Rebels had constructed two companies of the Thirty-sixth works offensive and defensive in our Massachusetts. When the order was front; but the greater part of their announced to Mr. Powell, he nobly force seemed to have moved to the said, “ Lay house level with the right. On the 22d of November, howground, if it is necessary.” A few feet ever, they returned, not having found from the southwestern front of the evidently the weak place in our lines house, a small earthwork was thrown which they had sought. It was now up by our men, in which was placed a thought they might attack our front section of Buckley's battery. This work that night; and orders were given to was afterwards known as Battery No- the men on duty in the outer works to ble.
exercise the utmost vigilance. But the Morrison's brigade now held the line night passed quietly. of defences from the Holston River - With each day our confidence in the the extreme left of our line — to Fort strength of our position increased ; and Sanders. The following was the posi- we soon felt able to repel an assault tion of the several regiments of the from any quarter. But the question of brigade. The Forty-fifth Pennsylva- supplies was a serious one. When nia was on the left, its left on the the siege commenced, there was in the river. On its right lay the Thirty- Commissary Department at Knoxville sixth Massachusetts. Then came the little more than a day's ration for the Eighth Michigan. The Seventy-ninth whole army. Should the enemy gain New York (Highlanders) formed the possession of the south bank of the garrison of Fort Sanders. Between Holston, our only means of subsistence the Eighth Michigan and Fort Sanders would be cut off. Thus far his atwas the One Hundredth Pennsylvania tempts in this direction had failed ; (Roundheads).
and the whole country, from the French On the evening of the 20th, the Broad to the Holston, was open to Seventeenth Michigan made a sortie, our foraging parties. In this way a and drove the Rebels from the Arm- considerable quantity of corn and wheat strong House. This stood on the King- was soon collected in Knoxville. Bread, ston road, and only a short distance made from a mixture of meal and flour, from Fort Sanders. It was a brick was issued to the men, but only in half house, and afforded a near and safe and quarter rations. Occasionally a position for the enemy's sharpshooters, small quantity of fresh pork was also which of late had become somewhat issued. Neither sugar nor coffee was annoying to the working parties at the issued after the first days of the siege. fort. Our men destroyed the house, The enemy, foiled in his attempts to and then withdrew. The loss on our seize the south bank of the Holston, part was slight.
now commenced the construction of a For a few days during the siege, raft at Boyd's Ferry. Floating this four companies of the Thirty-sixth down the swift current of the stream, he hoped to carry away our pontoon, operations would allow. He knew the and thus cut off our communication rations were short, and that the day with the country beyond. To thwart would be unlike the joyous festival we this plan, an iron cable, one thousand were wont to celebrate in our distant feet in length, was stretched across the homes; and so he reminded us of the river above the bridge. This was done circumstances of trial under which our under the direction of Captain Poe. fathers first observed the day. He Afterwards, a boom of logs, fastened also reminded us of the debt of gratiend to end by chains, was constructed tude which we owed to Him who durstill farther up the river. The boom ing the year had not only prospered was fifteen hundred feet in length. our arms, but had kindly preserved our
On the evening of the 23d the Reb- lives. Accordingly, we ate our corn els made an attack on our pickets in bread with thanksgiving; and, forgetfront of the left of the Second Division, ting our own privations, thought only Ninth Corps. In falling back, our men of the loved ones at home, who, uncerfired the buildings on the ground aban- tain of our fate, would that day find litdoned, lest they should become a tle cheer at the table and by the fireshelter for the enemy's sharpshooters. side. Among the buildings thus destroyed Allusion has already been made to were the arsenal and machine-shops the bastion-work known as Fort Sannear the depot. The light of the blazing ders. A more particular description buildings illuminated the whole town. is now needed. The main line, held The next day the Twenty-first Massa- by our troops, made almost a right chusetts and another picked regiment, angle at the fort, the northwest basthe whole under the command of Lieu- tion being the salient of the angle. tenant-Colonel Hawkes of the Twenty- The ground in front of the fort, from first
, drove back the Rebels at this which the wood had been cleared, point, and reoccupied our old position. sloped gradually for a distance of eighty
The same day an attack was made yards, and then abruptly descended to by the Second Michigan on the ad- a wide ravine. Under the direction of vanced parallel, which the enemy had Lieutenant Benjamin, Second United so constructed as to envelop the north- States Artillery, and Chief of Artillery west bastion of Fort Sanders. The of the Army of the Ohio, the fort had works were gallantly carried ; but be- now been made as strong as the means fore the supporting columns could come at his disposal and the rules of military up, our men were repulsed by fresh art admitted. Eighty and thirty yards troops which the enemy had at hand. in front of the fort, rifle-pits were con
On the 25th of November the enemy, structed. These were to be used in having on the day previous crossed the case our men were driven in from the Holston at a point below us, made an- outer line. Between these pits and the other unsuccessful attempt to occupy Fort were wire entanglements, running the heights opposite Knoxville. He from stump to stump, and also an abatis. succeeded, however, in planting a bat- Sand-bags and barrels were arranged tery on a knob about one hundred and so as to cover the embrasures. Travfifty feet above the river, and twenty- erses, also, were built for the protection five hundred yards south of Fort San- of the men at the guns, and in passing ders. This position commanded Fort from one position to another. In the Sanders, so that it now became neces- fort were four twenty-pounder Parrotts sary to defilade the fort.
(Benjamin's battery), four light twelveNovember 26th was our national pounders (of Buckley's battery), and Thanksgiving day, and General Burn- two three-inch guns. side issued an order, in which he ex- Early in the evening of the 27th there pressed the hope that the day would was much cheering along the Rebel be observed by all
, as far as military lines. Their bands, too, were unusually