First of all I would like to congratulate LMU's Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. I am not certain but I think most of the group I saw on Sunday, September 9, 2007 were some of the same re-enactors that presented The Battle of Tazewell more than a year ago. I am certain that General Robert E. Lee was portrayed by the same man that presented the program and final salute to arms. He, by far, improved his presentation being more about the pain and suffering that both sides felt. There was a sound system where at the Battle of Tazewell there was none that played music and narratives that also followed the pain and suffering theme. Overall it was, as one would expect, in following with the fine LMU tradition of being a well planned and historically accurate event.
I filmed the event in 2007 and in 2008 also and will look forward in comparing this with the 2006 Battle of Tazewell to see if General Robert E. Lee was as I suspect, the same man.
WBIR Channel 10 said the following:
Both sides facing each other in straight lines is a realistic representation of Civil War fighting. But there was no actual frontal assault at Cumberland Gap.
"What we're seeing is a representation of a lot of skirmishes that took place all around the Cumberlands," said Tom Mackie, Director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at LMU.
Cumberland Gap was strategic for both sides because it was a main transportation route.
For timesnews.net article with pictures and film you can click here.
I took video of the events and short experts of the gathering on Sunday mornings, "Meeting of the Generals" are seen below. The video of WBIR's reporting of a strange occurrence at a Civil War re-enactment that took place shorty after LMU's event will start first Strangely the sickness took place in front of a display of medical equipment, the specialty of Dr. Edgar Archer, Bohemian Brigade Books, past curator of the Lincoln Museum and Library for who I worked as a student there in 1977 and 1978. I assure you that Dr. Edgar Archer had nothing at all to do with this sickness. I would estimate from the amount of gun powder used in these reenactments that the sickness came from the sulpher or some other component of the powder. I had the pleasure of talking for some time during the 2009 Battle of Cumberland Gap to my friend Edgar Archer and he said that while strange that the children took sick around his tent and the reporter seemed to insinuate by her reporting just that fact might have had some believing that something in or around his exhibit might have been at fault. If ever there was a man of integrity it is Edgar Archer in my opinion and I know these re-enactors deserve better than I or any report could give them credit for.
You will have to manually start each of my video of LMU's event.
Other Names: Fort Loudon
Location: Knox County
Campaign: Knoxville Campaign (1863)
Date(s): November 29, 1863
Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside [US]; Lt. Gen. James Longstreet [CS]
Forces Engaged: Department of the Ohio [US]; Confederate Forces in East Tennessee [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 880 total (US 100; CS 780)
Description: In attempting to take Knoxville, the Confederates decided that Fort Sanders was the only vulnerable place where they could penetrate Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s fortifications, which enclosed the city, and successfully conclude the siege, already a week long. The fort surmounted an eminence just northwest of Knoxville. Northwest of the fort, the land dropped off abruptly. Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet believed he could assemble a storming party, undetected at night, below the fortifications and, before dawn, overwhelm Fort Sanders by a coup de main. Following a brief artillery barrage directed at the fort’s interior, three Rebel brigades charged. Union wire entanglements-–telegraph wire stretched from one tree stump to another to another-–delayed the attack, but the fort’s outer ditch halted the Confederates. This ditch was twelve feet wide and from four to ten feet deep with vertical sides. The fort’s exterior slope was almost vertical, also. Crossing the ditch was nearly impossible, especially under withering defensive fire from musketry and canister. Confederate officers did lead their men into the ditch, but, without scaling ladders, few emerged on the scarp side and a small number entered the fort to be wounded, killed, or captured. The attack lasted a short twenty minutes. Longstreet undertook his Knoxville expedition to divert Union troops from Chattanooga and to get away from Gen. Braxton Bragg, with whom he was engaged in a bitter feud. His failure to take Knoxville scuttled his purpose. This was the decisive battle of the Knoxville Campaign. This Confederate defeat, plus the loss of Chattanooga on November 25, put much of East Tennessee in the Union camp.
Result(s): Union victory