Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

J. B. Sanders

Committee Members

S. J. Folmsbee, William H. Combs


Campaigns of the Civil War may be place in three major divisions: the fighting in Virginia, with it attendant invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania, between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac; the campaigns of the West, covering Kentucky, Middle and West Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas; and the trans-Mississippi struggles.

With the exception of the Chattanooga campaign, East Tennessee was not included in these larger maneuvers and battles, probably because of its topographical features and geographical location. However, there are certain facts regarding the region during the Civil War that are of interest. E. Kirby Smith, the commander of the trans-Mississippi, had previously commanded the Department of East Tennessee. Sherman started the famous "march to the sea" from Chattanooga. Longstreet (Old Pete) had two independent commands in his military career, and one of these was directing the Knoxville campaign. Literature has immortalized "Sherman's Ride," but his command at Missionary Ridge has been largely neglected. The famous partisan leader, John Morgan, lost his life at Greenville, killed by a member of an East Tennessee Union regiment. And some of the soldiers who had fought so fiercely for the possession of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, assaulted Fort Sanders five months later.

In this thesis, frequent use will be made of such terms as company, battalion, regiment, division, corps, and army. The first of these consisted of approximately one hundred men and was commanded by a captain. A battalion consisted of four companies and was commanded by a major; a regiment was made up of three battalions and was commanded by a colonel. Four regiments constituted a brigade, commanded by a brigadier-general; and two to four brigades constituted a division, commanded by a major-general. Two or more divisions constituted a corps, and two or more corps, an army, each commanded by a major-general. A strict military organization was an exception, however, and many times during the Civil War a colonel or a lieutenant-colonel had a brigade under his orders. Moreover, the captain, who had the duty and authority of a company commander, often led a battalion or a regiment.

Union armies which fought in the Civil War were named for rivers, while those of the Confederacy adopted the names of states or other sections of the South.


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