By late in 1863, the Union army had turned Knoxville into one of the most fortified cities in the country. Chief Engineer Capt. (later Gen.) Orlando M. Poe used civilians and slaves to assist his 300-man engineering battalion, while Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside marched south to block Confederate Gen. James Longstreet's approach. On returning, Burnside's men joined in the digging and surrounded the city with 16 forts and batteries, miles of earthworks, and two dams to flood the area just north of Knoxville. Three of the forts - Dickerson, Higley, and Stanley - loomed on the ridges across the Tennessee River.
As Confederate infantry advanced on the river's north side, Longstreet sent 4,000 cavalrymen under Gen. Joseph Wheeler through Maryville and Blount County
On November 25, Confederates attacked earthworks on Armstrong Hill, adjoining the site of Fort Higley, driving the Federals from their trenches. Union troops rallied and forced the Confederates back to their original position on Cherokee Heights. A Confederate diversionary attack took place in this area four days later in conjunction with the attack on Fort Sanders. The Confederate defeat in November 1863 was largely due to Poe's design of Knoxville's extensive fortifications.
Erected by Tennesse Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 56.9′ N, 83° 54.95′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is on Fort Dickerson Road SW when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located within Fort Dickerson Park. Marker is in this post office area: Knoxville TN 37920, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Dickerson 1863–64 (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Knoxville (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1863 Siege of Knoxville (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Dickerson (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Dickerson (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forts Dickerson and Stanley (about 700 feet away); Back Door to Knoxville (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Dickerson (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 19, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 410 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 17, 2016, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.