East Tennessee Civil War Trails.
In November 1863, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet led
a force from Chattanooga to attack Union Gen. Ambrose
E. Burnside’s army at Knoxville.
The campaign failed, and
in December Longstreet’s men marched east along the
East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad to winter quarters at
Russellville, where they remained until March 1864. Numerous
small engagements between Longstreet’s and Burnside’s
armies occurred during the winter.
BATTLE OF HAY’S FERRY
Fighting for Food December 24th 1863
Hay’s Ferry once operated near here. The landscape you see
now was quite different during the Civil War. Then, fields
of corn grew along the banks of the French Broad River,
now submerged beneath the waters of Douglas Lake.
This corn, left on the stalk, was often all that stood
between Confederate soldiers in East Tennessee
and starvation during the winter of 1863. On
the cold morning of December 24, hungry men
from both sides began a battle near here that
ended hours later, three miles away.
MOSSY CREEK ENGAGEMENT
December 29th 1863
Download our PDF showing our other Civil War locations with details of the history and maps.