A PLAN OF THE ENVIRONS OF KNOXVILLE
POE, ORLANDO, M.
Topographical Map of the Approaches and Defenses of Knoxville, Tennessee, shewing the Positions Occupied by the United States and Confederate Forces During the Siege. Surveyed by Direction of O. M. Poe, Chf. Engr. Dept. of the Ohio during Dec. Jan. and Feb. 1863-4. The Graphic Co. Photo-Lith, NY
Black and white photolithograph, 26” x 29”. Lined, a few repairs and one small stain to the very wide margins, otherwise very good condition.
Knoxville was an important transportation hub and commercial center for eastern Tennessee. While a Southern city, Knoxville was home to a strong pro-union element during the secession crisis of the early 1860s, and remained bitterly divided during the Civil War. The city was occupied by Confederated forces until September 1863, when Union forces entered the city unopposed. Confederate forces laid siege later that year but retreated after failing to breach the city’s fortifications during the Battle of Fort Sanders.
The immediate environs of Knoxville are laid down contemporary with the siege of December 1863, and on the grand scale of approximately two miles equals three inches. Topographical detail is minute, with every existing street in the city laid down. The Union fortifications are shown in blue, including Fort Sanders , on the northwestern edge of the city. The buildings of the predecessor of the University of Tennessee are shown, fortified, but not named. The lines of the attacking Confederate forces are shown in red.
The excellence of this map was due in large measure to the talents of O. M. Poe, chief engineer for the Union Army operating in east Tennessee. At Knoxville, Poe introduced a new and important innovation to warfare. He strung surplus telegraph wire was knee level around the Union fortifications. Poe later served as Sherman’s chief engineer for the Atlanta Campaign.
Stephenson, Civil War Maps, 427; McElfresh, Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War, p. 249
Inventory No. 7242