This is where Union forces stood as they attacked Blountville on September 22, 1863, during a campaign to control the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. The railroad running through this section was the chief means of communication, travel and supply for the South. For this reason, the bridges, telegraph lines and tracks had to be protected. Confederate forces possessed the railroad lines for nearly three years of the war, but when Burnside was assigned to the command in East Tennessee, reaching Knoxville, September 3, 1863, he mapped out an aggressive campaign to gain control of the railroad. In the Battle of Blountville, Confederate forces numbered 1,257 men, while there were double that number on the Federal side. The four-hour siege began at noon when Union Col. John W. Foster attacked and shelled the town, setting fire to the Courthouse, initiating a flanking movement and compelling the Confederate forces to withdraw. Confederate men, women and children retreated through Brown's meadows, resulting in what many felt was a Union victory. Skirmishing continued until Burnside received news of the bloody battle at Chickamauga, and Union General Henry Halleck ordered a retreat toward Knoxville.
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