Fort Dickerson 1863-64

Fort Dickerson 1863-64 (HM2AL)

Location: Knoxville, TN 37920 Knox County
Country: United States of America

N 35° 56.919', W 83° 54.977'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 152 views
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Inscription
Fort Dickerson was one of the sixteen Federal forts and battery emplacements constructed around Knoxville during the Civil War. Temporary earthworks were thrown up here in November 1863. Designed by Capt. Orlando M. Poe, Chief Engineer of the Army of the Ohio, the fort was completed between December 1863 and February 1864 by the 21st Ohio Artillery Battery. This irregular shaped fort was constructed of earth and timber with 25 gun embrasures (openings through which cannon were fired). These enabled the defenders to move cannon to the area under attack. Only four to six cannon were usually stationed in the fort.

The forts surrounding Knoxville were named for Federal officers who died during the Knoxville Campaign. Ft. Dickerson was named in honor of Capt. Jonathan C. Dickerson of the 112th Illinois Mounted Infantry, who was killed in action at Cleveland, TN.

Ft. Dickerson, rising 200 feet above Knoxville and the Holston (now Tennessee) River, was flanked on the west by Ft. Higley and on the east by Ft. Stanley. These forts were designed to protect Knoxville from the south and guard the roads from Maryville and Sevierville.

The fort came under direct attack only once during the early stages of Confederate Gen. James Longstreet's Campaign to capture Knoxville. Confederate Gen. "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler was ordered to take the heights opposite Knoxville and, with 4,500 cavalry, surprised the Federal cavalry outpost at Maryville on the morning of November 14, 1863. The sound of the attack alerted Gen. William P. Sanders' Federal Cavalry Division of 1,500 men who were headquartered a few miles away at Rockford. Although vastly outnumbered, Sanders stubbornly fought a series of delaying actions that enabled the Federals to dig rudimentary earthworks and man the fort with both artillery and infantry. The surprised Confederates found not only cavalry, but also infantry and artillery waiting at Ft. Dickerson. After exchanging artillery and small arms fire Wheeler was convinced that the heights could not be easily taken. Due to the formidable heights, steep slopes and unexpected firepower, Wheeler decided that further attacks would be too costly in both manpower and time. The Confederates retreated southward, rejoining Longstreet's force after the Battle of Campbell's Station on November 16th.

Ft. Dickerson has survived for over 140 years, but it is now a mere shell of the 1864 fort. The parapet which once sheltered the soldiers with its six foot walls is now barely knee high, gun embrasures are marked by mere hints of depressions in the walls; the collapsed powder magazine is a shallow depression and the dry ditch around the fort is now partially filled with the earth washed down from the parapet. Abuse, overgrowth and erosion from thee wind and rain have ravaged its strong design, but Fort Dickerson still stands as an enduring reminder of East Tennessee's role in the Civil War.
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Details
HM NumberHM2AL
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 12:31am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 236956 N 3982184
Decimal Degrees35.94865000, -83.91628333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 56.919', W 83° 54.977'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 56' 55.14" N, 83° 54' 58.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3000 Fort Dickerson Rd SW, Knoxville TN 37920, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. This marker needs at least one picture.
  2. Is this marker part of a series?
  3. What historical period does the marker represent?
  4. What historical place does the marker represent?
  5. What type of marker is it?
  6. What class is the marker?
  7. What style is the marker?
  8. Does the marker have a number?
  9. What year was the marker erected?
  10. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?