The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Dec. 7, 1863
|Capt. B.P. Fuller, Co. A, 5th Texas Infantry|
Hood's Texas Brigade. His brigade was
among the Confederate troops besieging
(A Soldier's Letters to Charming Nellie)
A correspondent of the Atlanta Confederacy, writing from near Knoxville, on the 22d ult., gives the following about the investing of Knoxville:
Longstreet's forces completely invest the city, even so that a eat could not in or out without being seen by some one. On the evening of the 20th our guns were put in position, with the intention of charging the depot and stopping the engines and cars that are there; but by some "devilish centric slight" they learned our intention, and set on fire seven large houses, as near as possible to their entrenchments and redoubts. I was two miles from the city, and could easily read letters made with a pencil. The night was very dark, and the effect of the conflagration was magnificent beyond description.
The wind was blowing southward, and great clouds of white smoke, bedecked with glowing cinders, rising to the height of two hundred feet from each building, were massed in one and blown to the South as far as the eye could reach, whilst ever and anon the crash of rafter, roof, or joist, would send up a volume of flame that seemed to reach the very clouds themselves. With this was the noise of a hundred things — mules and trumpets braying, pigs squealing, cocks crowing, men whooping, maimers, saws, axes, picks, drums, fifes, cymbal, rattle of wagons and artillery carriages — altogether making a "fuss" as that at Babel was a mere whisper to. I watched the flames until darkness mustered them, and fastened to the confusion until all was quiet, save the occasional crack of a picket's rifle, or the sound of some, drowsy sentinel's challenge, when I "fell back" to where Col. Morrison and staff were restlessly dreaming on the sod, to woe myself as best I could in "tired nature's swart restorer."
We have reinforcements coming, I hear, and I have no doubt we will take the place with all the troops and stores. The boys have made some pretty good huts already in the way of sutler's wagons. We have scouts from Big Creek Gap, who report 18,000 head of hogs at that place, and the of eight men drove 3,000 of them through the gap this way, and put them in a lot. We are ordered to cook up two days rations, and I suppose we are to go after these hogs. The roads are in very had condition, but the weather bids fair to be fair for some time, and I hope to see them good again.