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Drawing by Henry M. O'Connor: Fort Sanders [Knoxville, Tennessee], represented by Childs Gallery

Henry M. O'Connor

American (1891-1975)

Fort Sanders [Knoxville, Tennessee], 1913
Pen and ink wash

Inscribed lower right: “Fort Sanders / WHAT IS LEFT OF THE FORT”. In fine condition aside from very faint areas of toning in lower right of sheet, with two notebook punch holes in the left edge. The Battle of Fort Sanders on Nov. 29, 1863 was the culmination of a seige on Knoxville, Tennessee by Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet. Union fortifications in Knoxville were defended by Major Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside and his troops. The fort was believed to be the most vulnerable place to attack the Union defences. However, Confederate troops were thwarted by the fort’s deep outer ditch and lost the battle in a short 20 minutes. The Battle of Fort Sanders was the most decisive of the Knoxville campaign and, along with the Nov. 25 loss of Chatanooga, caused much of Eastern Tennessee to be under Union control. The fort was named after Union General William P. Sanders who fell during the assault. This drawing dates to the year of the 50th anniversary of the battle.