2 pages, 4to, endorsed or top left margin. " />
New York, East
12 May 1999
LONGSTREET, JAMES, Lt. General, C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("J Longstreet") to W. Preston Johnston, "Blain's X Roads," 6 December 1863. 2 pages, 4to, endorsed or top left margin.
LONGSTREET WITHDRAWS FROM KNOXVILLE, ENDING THE TENNESSEE CAMPAIGN
A fine letter giving an account of recent battles culminating in Longstreet's capitulation of Knoxville to Burnside and Sherman. Blaming the recently demoted Braxton Bragg, he writes: "Feeling myself cut off from Genl Bragg's Army by his falling back to Dalton [Georgia], and the Enemy getting in as far as Cleveland, I concluded that it would not be possible for my command to force a junction with Genl Bragg without his cooperation. From the tone of the dispatches...I thought it unsafe to count upon [him]...and concluded that the next most important thing for me to do was to hold the Enemy at Knoxville and force the Enemy to make a large detachment from his army at Chatanooga, and in that way relieve the pressure upon Genl Bragg's Army. I had some hope that the Enemy in sending succor to his garrison at Knoxville might expose himself in such a way as give me an opportunity to beat him out in detail." Running out of ammunition, and with a "force too weak to venture to hold against the enemy forces" Longstreet proposed taking a "position of safety somewhere near Beau's Station." From there, he could "strike the Enemy's Column...from Cumberland Gap, and if he should pursue me from Knoxville...destroy that force."
The decision to split the Army of the Tennessee was partly due to the personal emnity between the two Generals. With his army significantly weakened, Bragg was defeated at Missionary Ridge. This, and Longstreet's failed assault on Knoxville, marked the end of the Fall campaign in Tennessee.
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