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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 702

On Monday, November 16, 1863 Confederate troops under General James Longstreet, ordered  north from Chattanooga, were nearing Knoxville, Tennessee.  Union forces under General Ambrose Burnside had successfully withdrawn into Knoxville; the city was now besieged for all practical purposes. 

Longstreet initially wanted to attack the city from the south, but lacking the means to carry the necessary pontoon bridges to cross the Tennessee River, he was forced to cross the river further downstream at Loudon on November 14 and march against the city's heavily fortified, western section. 

On the 16th a concerned President Abraham Lincoln telegraphed Burnside, making his familiar query “What is the news?” and received the distressful information that Longstreet had crossed the Tennessee River and was preparing to assault Knoxville and Burnside’s besieged Union forces.