January 18, 2022

“James Longstreet in Chattanooga and Knoxville”

– COL (ret) Ed Lowe

January 18, 2022

 

Following the Battle of Gettysburg, James Longstreet’s First Corps of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was sent to support Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee. As the Army of the Cumberland and William Rosecrans withdrew to Chattanooga after their defeat at Chickamauga (September 1863), Bragg’s army setup a partial siege of Chattanooga. A tumultuous command climate soon arose within Bragg’s army. Upon the arrival of General Grant and the Confederates losing its stranglehold on Union supply efforts, Bragg sent Longstreet to handle Ambrose Burnside and the Union forces in and around Knoxville, TN to the north. A stifled attack on Fort Sanders in Knoxville and the threat of Union reinforcements obliged Longstreet to withdraw deeper into East Tennessee. During this period, Longstreet had to handle his own command issues with some of his more senior commanders. Eventually, Longstreet’s First Corps reunited with Lee just in time for the Battle of the Wilderness in early May, 1863. 

COL (ret) Ed Lowe served 26 years on Active Duty with deployments to Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Haiti, Afghanistan (2002 & 2011), and Iraq (2008). He attended North Georgia College and has graduate degrees from California State University, U.S. Army War College, U.S. Command & General Staff College, and Webster’s University. He is currently an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland/Global Campus where he teaches humanities and government. He is awaiting publication of his first book with Savas Beatie that covers Longstreet’s First Corps from Gettysburg to East Tennessee. He currently serves as President of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga Civil War Round Table, reconstituted in September of 2020.