James Hicks enlisted in Buckner Guards Kentucky Infantry (confederate) October 15, 1861 in Bowling Green and was discharged November 15 1862 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He fought in the following battles:
April 6 1862 Shiloh TN
Fought on 23 August 1862 at Big Hill.
Fought in November 1862 at Knoxville, TN.
The 3rd Regiment of Infantry, Kentucky State Guard, was formed when Thomas L. Crittenden was commissioned colonel on May 8, 1861. Hubbard L. Buckner, was appointed lieutenant colonel on the same date. Hamilton Guards, Parris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, was commissioned on May 20, 1861. Officers were: John S. Hope, Captain; Ben W. Buckner, 1st Lieutenant; Samuel B. Hawes, 2nd Lieutenant, and L. Towles, 3rd Lieutenant.
Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee or Pittsburg Landing
This battle was located in Hardin County on April 6th and 7th 1862. The result was 13,047 dead in the Union and 10,699 dead in the Confederacy. As a result of the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander in the area, was forced to fall back, giving up Kentucky and much of West and Middle Tennessee. He chose Corinth, Mississippi, a major transportation center, as the staging area for an offensive against Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee before the Army of the Ohio, under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, could join it. The Confederate retrenchment was a surprise, although a pleasant one, to the Union forces, and it took Grant, with about 40,000 men, some time to mount a southern offensive, along the Tennessee River, toward Pittsburg Landing. Grant received orders to await Buell's Army of the Ohio at Pittsburg Landing. Grant did not choose to fortify his position; rather, he set about drilling his men many of which were raw recruits. Johnston originally planned to attack Grant on April 4, but delays postponed it until the 6th. Attacking the Union troops on the morning of the 6th, the Confederates surprised them, routing many. Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon, they had established a battle line at the sunken road, known as the "Hornets Nest". Repeated Rebel attacks failed to carry the Hornets Nest, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded most. Johnston had been mortally wounded earlier and his second in command, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, took over.
The Union troops established another line covering Pittsburg Landing, anchored with artillery and augmented by Buell's men who began to arrive and take up positions. Fighting continued until after dark, but the Federals held. By the next morning, the combined Federal forces numbered about 40,000, outnumbering Beauregard's army of less than 30,000. Beauregard was unaware of the arrival of Buell's army and launched a counterattack in response to a two-mile advance by William Nelson's division of Buell's army at 6:00 am, which was, at first, successful. Union troops stiffened and began forcing the Confederates back. Beauregard ordered a counterattack, which stopped the Union advance but did not break its battle line. At this point, Beauregard realized that he could not win and, having suffered too many casualties, he retired from the field and headed back to Corinth. On the 8th, Grant sent Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, with two brigades, and Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, with his division, in pursuit of Beauregard. They ran into the Rebel rearguard, commanded by Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, at Fallen Timbers. Forrest's aggressive tactics, although eventually contained, influenced the Union troops to return to Pittsburg Landing. Grant's mastery of the Confederate forces continued; he had beaten them once again. The Confederates continued to fall back until launching their mid-August offensive.
Battle of Big Hill
This battle was located in Madison County, Kentucky on August 29th and 30th in 1862. The end results were 4900 dead in the Union and 750 dead in the Confederacy. In Maj. Gen. Kirby Smith's 1862 Confederate offensive into Kentucky, Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne led the advance with Col. John S. Scott's cavalry out in front. The Rebel cavalry, while moving north from Big Hill on the road to Richmond, Kentucky, on August 29, encountered Union troopers and began skirmishing. After noon, Union artillery and infantry joined the fray, forcing the Confederate cavalry to retreat to Big Hill. At that time, Brig. Gen. Mahlon D. Manson, who commanded Union forces in the area, ordered a brigade to march to Rogersville, toward the Rebels. Fighting for the day stopped after pursuing Union forces briefly skirmished with Cleburne's men in late afternoon. That night, Manson informed his superior, Maj. Gen. William Nelson, of his situation, and he ordered another brigade to be ready to march in support, when required. Kirby Smith ordered Cleburne to attack in the morning and promised to hurry reinforcements (Churchill's division). Cleburne started early, marching north, passed through Kinston, dispersed Union skirmishers, and approached Manson's battle line near Zion Church. As the day progressed, additional troops joined both sides. Following an artillery duel, the battle began, and after a concerted Rebel attack on the Union right, the Yankees gave way. Retreating into Rogersville, the Yankees made another futile stand at their old bivouac. By now, Smith and Nelson had arrived and taken command of their respective armies. Nelson rallied some troops in the cemetery outside Richmond, but they were routed. Nelson and some men escaped but the Rebels captured approximately 4,000 Yankees. The way north was open.
Battle of Knoxville
President Abraham Lincoln stated, "If the Union armies could take East Tennessee, we will have the Rebellion by the throat and it must dwindle and die." In September 1863, Confederates under Gen. Braxton Bragg, with the aid of Gen. James Longstreet and the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, won a smashing victory at Chickamauga. The Confederates succeeded in driving the Federals under Gen. William S. Rosecrans back into Chattanooga. In spite of the urging of subordinates, Bragg chose to besiege the Federals rather than attack the city. While the Federal Army gained strength, Bragg split his army, sending Gen. Longstreet and his Corps to Knoxville to capture or drive out the Federal Army of the Ohio under Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.
Delays in securing supplies for the campaign and the stubborn resistance of Burnside's troops slowed Longstreet's advance and forced a battle at Campbell's Station, 16 miles west of Knoxville, where Burnside successfully held off the Confederates on 16 November 1863. From Campbell's Station, the Federals hurriedly withdrew to Knoxville.
On 29 November 1863, at Fort Sanders, an earthworks bastion atop a hill west of Knoxville, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet launched an attack with 4,000 of the Army of Northern Virginia's finest troops. In the cold air of dawn, the Confederates charged up this hill, and passed through the abatis with little difficulty. An invisible entanglement of telegraph wire strung from stump to stump slowed the momentum somewhat as the men tripped, some falling headlong into the ditch surrounding the fort.
Here in the ditch the attack stalled. The ditch surrounding the fort proved to be unusually deep and the parapet unusually steep. The Confederates found themselves facing an almost perpendicular 20-foot high icy wall. From inside the fort, the fire into the ditch was devastating. The Federal artillerists shortened the fuses on their shells and dropped them into the ditch, taking a terrible toll. Unable to move forward up the steep icy sides of the Fort and unable to retreat under the galling fire, the Confederates could do nothing but surrender. In only 20 minutes, Longstreet lost over 800 men, Burnside only 13.
This Confederate drum was used by a member of General Longstreet's command during the Siege of Knoxville. It was found in a camp near Blaine, Tennessee, in December 1863.
Only hours after the attack on Fort Sanders, Longstreet learned of Bragg's defeat at Chattanooga. For five more days he held his position around Knoxville, but was forced to retreat northward at the approach of a 25,000 man relief column under Union Gen. William T. Sherman. The 17-day Siege of Knoxville (17 November-4 December 1863) had reduced Burnside's Army to quarter rations, but had failed in its objective of capturing the city. Longstreet lingered in upper East Tennessee, hoping for a chance to return and take Knoxville. Hampered by record cold and inadequate supplies, the chance never materialized.\
The Opposing Generals
General Ambrose E. Burnside (USA) On August 16, 1863, he left Nicholasville, Kentucky, with 15,000 men to travel 220 miles across the desolate Kentucky mountains into East Tennessee. One diarist wrote of this march: "If this is the kind of country we are fighting for, I am in favor of letting the Rebs take their land and go to Hell for I wouldn't give a bit of an acre for all the land I have seen in the last four days."
On September 3, 1863 Burnside reached Knoxville without opposition. Senator Harris of New York received this message from his son: 'Glory be to God, the Yankees have come! The flag's come back to Tennessee!' Such were the welcomes all along the road, as we entered Knoxville, it was past all description. The people seemed frantic with joy. I never knew what the Love of Liberty was before. The old flag has been hidden in mattresses and under carpets. It now floats to the breeze at every staff in East Tennessee. Ladies wear it -- carry it -- wave it! Little children clap their hands and kiss it.
General James Longstreet (CSA) After the battle of Chickamauga, General Braxton Bragg, commanding the Confederate forces around Chattanooga, felt that chasing General Ambrose Burnside from Knoxville back to Kentucky would ease the pressure on him at Chattanooga. He sent an expeditionary force to Knoxville under Longstreet with his 12,000 infantry and General Joe Wheeler's 5,000 cavalry to oppose Burnside, who had about 23,000 troops in East Tennessee, of which 14,000 were stationed at Knoxville.
THE BATTLE OF KNOXVILLE
Two battle-scarred generals -- Burnside and Longstreet -- faced one another in the Knoxville Campaign. One can only imagine Longstreet's state of health, fatigue level, and state of mind at this point of the war. His decisions during the impending Battle of Knoxville would reflect them. No doubt Burnside was tired, too, but this time he had the advantage of a strong defensive position.\par In an attempt to buy time for his engineers to put the final touches on fortifications in Knoxville, Burnside planned an orderly withdrawal of about 5,000 troops he had detached to Loudon, southwest of the city. They were to march to Lenoir Station (now Lenoir City), through a crucial road crossing at Campbell's Station, and into the protection of his positions in Knoxville. Longstreet with about 12,000 combined infantry and artillerymen advanced northward from Chattanooga on a parallel route. The race was on, made more difficult by the heavy rain that was falling and mud -- mud again. The Federal troops won the race to the crossing by some 15 minutes. The sharp contest that occurred there on November 16, 1863 resulted in the loss of 318 Federals and 174 Confederates killed and wounded. In a forced night march, the Federal troops retired to their defensive positions in Knoxville. For most of the men it was their third night without sleep, and they were in pitiable condition. Since the previous morning, they had marched 24 miles and fought a battle. After much delay in reconnaissance and the preparations for battle, and because of the terrible weather, Longstreet scheduled the assault on Fort Sanders, where he thought Burnside was most vulnerable. These are the facts:
Fort Sanders was constructed on an eminence near downtown Knoxville, at present-day 17th Street and Laurel Avenue.
The staging area for the Confederate attack was northwest of the fort, near present-day Forrest Avenue Market and the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks.
Both sides lacked food, adequate clothing, and shoes. After 17 days of siege, Burnside's Army had been reduced to quarter rations.
The fort was surrounded by a ditch 6-8 feet deep and appeared to be only 3-4 feet deep. Some planks had been placed across it and, from distant Confederate observation posts, troops were observed crossing easily -- but they were using the planks.
The earthen walls were 13 feet high in most places, and had cotton bales piled on top to protect the riflemen and were wrapped in rawhide to prevent fire.
Water had been poured down the side of the earthen fort. It froze overnight and created ice on its sides and in the ditch.
Longstreet had been warned he would need scaling ladders, but he was deceived by the apparent shallow depth of the ditch and did not prepare them.
For perhaps 30 to 80 yards in front of the northwest bastion that was selected for the assault, there were 18-inch tree stumps between which the engineers had stretched telegraph wire to trip and delay the attackers.
General Porter Alexander, Confederate artillery commander, had 34 guns in the Knoxville area. Burnside had 51, not all of them in the fort. Inside the fort, First Lieutenant Samuel Benjamin had 335 Union riflemen and 105 artillerymen manning 12 cannons. Longstreet had 4,000 Confederate veterans of Lee's campaigns in the East (almost a 10-to-1 ratio). His first assault troops crouched low and approached the fort at dawn on November 29, 1863. Seymour (p. 193) describes the scene:
With a rush and a yell the surging gray column advanced up the hill toward Ft. Sanders. As they neared the fort the leading lines crashed through brush barriers and bowled them aside like tenpins, but in the darkness the men tripped and stumbled over the telegraph wires stretched between the stumps. As the lead troops began tearing and kicking at the wires, they were knocked over by the sheer weight of numbers of the rest of the onrushing troops. At the moment of delay and confusion, one cannon...in the fort fired two quick rounds of canister into the storming party, but quickly closing their ranks the Confederates reached the ditch and chased away the gunners exposed on the platform.
The rapid advance in almost complete darkness over terrain filled with obstacles and converging furrows brought the attacking force in a packed mass whose officers could no longer distinguish their own men. Hesitating only momentarily, the men swarmed into the ditch which they had been told was no more than four feet deep. They expected to get a toe hold on the berme and scale the parapet with one leap. But as they surged into the ditch they discovered to their horror that in places it was more than eleven feet deep, the embankment was slippery and icy, the berme had been cut away, and the parapet had been built up very high with cotton bales. Many of the men, not knowing what else to do, fired into the embrasures at any of the Federals foolish enough to show their heads.
In 20 minutes the battle was finished. There was nothing for the men in the ditch to do but surrender. Longstreet had lost over 800 men, Burnside only 13. Longstreet took a few days to assemble his wounded men and retreated through Strawberry Plains and Mossy Creek (present-day Jefferson City) to Russellville. There he spent two miserable months with record cold weather and inadequate supplies before he proceeded back to the battlefields of Virginia. The Union army controlled Knoxville for the remainder of the war. Both armies had stripped East Tennessee of its foodstuff and livestock. Guerrilla warfare, hunger, and deprivation marked the period.