Pushing Toward Knoxville

Pushing Toward Knoxville (HM27VG)

Location: Athens, TN 37303 McMinn County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 25.595', W 84° 41.261'

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Inscription

Union Armies on the Move

This interstate highway parallels the historic line of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroads. In September 1863, Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside led his army toward Knoxville along the line to take control of the strategically vital city.

At Niota (Exit 56), his men converted the brick depot (the state's oldest, constructed 1854) into a temporary fort. They removed bricks at shoulder height to fashion gun ports and scribbled their names—still visible—on the walls in the baggage area.

They also guarded Sweetwater (Exit 60). The nearby Great Craighead Cave, now called Lost Sea Cave, served as a saltpeter mine for the Confederate gunpowder industry from 1861 until the Federals arrived in 1863. Charles W. Hicks later wrote that he and others "camped there and worked faithfully for two years and a half until the Federal soldier came to Sweetwater...when he tore down our works and scattered to our homes."

Union Col. Frank L. Wolford commanded a garrison at Philadephia (Exit 68) to protect the tracks there. On October 20, 1863, Confederate forces under Gen. George G. Dibrell and Col. J. J. Morrison overran the position, captured six mountain howitzers, and achieved the first Confederate victory of the Knoxville Campaign.
Details
HM NumberHM27VG
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Tags
Year Placed2014
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, May 28th, 2018 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 709920 N 3922807
Decimal Degrees35.42658333, -84.68768333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 25.595', W 84° 41.261'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 25' 35.7" N, 84° 41' 15.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Interstate 75 Service Rd, Athens TN 37303, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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