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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

November 23rd, 1863 - The Siege of Knoxville

Conflict: American Civil War

Combatants: Confederates vs. Federals

Location: Tennessee (USA)

Outcome: Federal victory


In September of 1863, miserable road conditions and broken supply lines stalled the Federal Army of Ohio, under command of Major General Ambrose Burnside, at Knoxville, Tennessee. In November, Confederate General James Longstreet and 20,000 troops besieged the beleaguered Federal army. Longstreet withdrew on December 4th following a failed assault on the fortifications and two days before General Sherman's relief forces arrived.

Major General Ambrose Burnside by Mathew Benjamin Brady


Points of Interest:

  • Although the siege was unsuccessful, Burnsides' failure to pursue the retreating Confederates forced the Union to keep considerate number of troops in Tennessee for the following months.

  • Just four days later after Longstreet's withdrawal, President Abraham Lincoln addressed the Congress and announced the first offer of pardon for Confederates (with exceptions for government officials, general officers, and others).


Lt. General James Longstreet by an unknown photographer

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