Union Account of Capture of Cumberland Gap

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Union Account of the Capture of the Cumberland Gap

General Grant was cognizant of the importance of the Cumberland Gap during the Civil War, having resided in neighboring states for most of his life. The Army of the Cumberland was a Union army named for the area. Grant traveled through the Cumberland Gap in 1864 and said, "With two brigades of the Army of the Cumberland I could hold that pass against the army which Napoleon led to Moscow."

Cumberland Gap Civil War Map
Cumberland Gap Civil War Map.jpg
Cumberland Gap Civil War era map

Union take control of Cumberland Gap
Union take control of Cumberland Gap.jpg
The Union Army held the Cumberland Gap from Sept. 1863 onward

Cumberland Gap, Tenn.
Sept. 8-10, 1863

Troops of the Department of the Ohio.

The Confederate garrison at Cumberland gap consisted of 2,500
men under the command of Brig.-Gen. John W. Frazer.

Maj.-Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, commanding the Department of
Ohio, determined upon the reduction of the place and sent
Brig.-Gen. J. M. Shackelford with his cavalry brigade to
invest the south side of the gap. At the same time a new
division of infantry, commanded by Col. J. F. De Courcy, was
ordered to occupy the north side of the mountain.

Shackelford reached his position at 8 a. m. on the 8th and
immediately demanded the surrender of the garrison. This
demand was refused and a few hours later De Courcy appeared on
the north side of the gap and made similar demand.

In the meantime Burnside himself, with Gilbert's brigade,
Hascall's division, 23d corps, left Knoxville, and after a
march of 60 miles in 52 hours joined the forces before the gap
on the morning of the 9th.

A third demand for the surrender of the garrison was now made
and this time it was complied with, the entire Confederate
force surrendering as prisoners of war.

At the same time there fell into Burnside's hands 36 pieces of
artillery, about 3,000 stands of small arms, large quantities
of ammunition, commissary and quartermaster stores, etc.

The occupation of Cumberland gap placed the Union forces in
possession of all the important points in eastern Tennessee.

Civil War occupation of Cumberland Gap
Union Army in the Cumberland Gap.jpg
Union Army in the Cumberland Gap

Four times was a charm
Control for the Cumberland Gap.jpg
It was back and forth between Union and Confederate control for the Cumberland Gap

Source: The Union Army, Vol. 5, p. 333
 
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For related studies, try the Search Engine with the following: The Cumberland Gap Civil War History, List of Battles, Union Account of the Capture of the Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, Kentucky, Union Confederate Army, Captured Soldiers Regiments Troops Prisoners.

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