Key facts about the East Tennessee Campaign of 1863.
Date and Location
- June 2–September 9, 1863
- Eastern Tennessee near Knoxville
Timeline of the East Tennessee Campaign
These are the main battles and events of the East Tennessee Campaign in order.
- September 7–9, 1863 — Battle of Cumberland Gap
- September 22, 1863 — Battle of Blountville
- October 10, 1863 — Battle of Blue Springs
Principal Union Commanders
- Major General Ambrose Burnside
Principal Confederate Commanders
- Major General Simon B. Buckner
- Brigadier General John Frazer
Union Forces Engaged
- Department of the Ohio (9th and 23rd Army Corps)
Confederate Forces Engaged
- Department of East Tennessee
Number of Union Soldiers Engaged
Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged
Estimated Union Casualties
Estimated Confederate Casualties
- Union victory
Impact of the East Tennessee Campaign
- When Tennessee seceded from the Union on June 8, 1861, the majority of the population in the eastern part of the state remained loyal to the Union.
- When the American Civil War began, the governor of Tennessee was forced to send military personnel to Knoxville to enforce the statewide vote for secession.
- Because of the number of loyalists in the area, President Abraham Lincoln considered the liberation of East Tennessee to be of paramount importance.
- On June 2, 1863, Major General Ambrose Burnside departed from Cincinnati, Ohio with a Federal force intent on capturing Knoxville.
- Major General Ambrose Burnside’s East Tennessee Campaign was delayed when one corps of his army was deployed to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
- Events occurring in the Chickamauga Campaign during the summer of 1863 forced Major General Simon B. Buckner to move most of his army to southern Tennessee, leaving only a token force to defend Knoxville.
- Major General Ambrose Burnside’s cavalry reached Knoxville on September 2, 1863, almost unopposed.
- On September 3, 1863, Major General Ambrose Burnside marched his army into Knoxville, and was warmly received by the citizenry.
- Confederate Brigadier General John Frazer surrendered the Cumberland Gap to Major General Ambrose Burnside on September 9, 1863.
- On September 22, 1863, Union forces commanded by Colonel John J. Foster defeated Confederate soldiers commanded by Colonel James E. Carter at the Battle of Blountville.
- On October 10, 1863, Union forces commanded by Major General Ambrose E. Burnside defeated Confederate Brigadier General John S. Williams’ forces at the Battle of Blue Springs.
- Major General Ambrose E. Burnside’s victory at the Battle of Blue Springs forced Confederate forces to evacuate northeast Tennessee in October 1863.
- Confederate General James Longstreet launched his Knoxville Campaign in November 1863.