Monday, January 17, 2011
A Forage Fight
Union Major General John G Parke upon receiving reports of forage to the south of the French Broad River, moved on Dandridge, Tennessee on January 14th 1864. The Union troops crossed the river and occupied the area, forcing Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet to fall back from the area to Kimbrough’s Crossroad. On January 15th 1864 Longstreet brought in 61 regiment of infantry, cavalry and 20 pieces of artillery to threaten the Union base at New Market. Union cavalry under Brigadier General Samuel D Sturgis moved from Dandridge on January 16th 1864 to occupy Kimbrough’s Crossroad where they ran into some of Longstreet’s infantry and artillery. Skirmishing continue throughout the day. The Union cavalry couldn’t move the Confederate troops and were forced to fall back to Dandridge.
About noon on January 17th 1864 the Union received information of the Confederate preparation for an attack. The Union had about 26,000 men with 34 pieces of artillery. Around 4 pm the Confederates advanced on Dandridge. The fighting went on until well after dark, without the battle lines moving much from their starting position. Parke feared that Longstreet’s entire force was in front of him, and ordered a withdrawal in the night to New Market and Strawberry Plains. Longstreet’s men pursued, but do to a lack of supplies fell back to Dandridge.