Longstreet's East Tennessee Campaign: "Another Shirt and Two Blankets"


Brigadier General
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Mar 15, 2013

...We are in a country entirely exhausted of forage and subsistence......This [corn] could only be obtained with great difficulty, by sending forage trains from fifty to sixty miles from our lines. Our horses were fast dying and breaking down.

...Wherever we go we will go in very light marching order. Gen. Longstreet has but one wagon for himself and staff; one wagon is assigned to two brigadiers and staffs -- one wagon for field and staff, and all of the company officers of battalions of artillery and regiments. We have all come down to "another shirt" and two blankets.

This description of the situation in East Tennessee after the failed assault on Fort Sanders was originally published in the Mobile Advertiser and reprinted in the Memphis Daily Appeal. The author is unknown, but he certainly seems to be intimately familiar with the events experienced and the challenges faced by Longstreet's command. I just have a couple of questions.
  • Is there an official description of what was to be carried for "very light marching order?" Or was it just intended to imply that everyone carried as little as possible?
  • What is the best public domain drawing or image of a soldier demonstrating "very light marching order?"
The article also mentions the general re-enlistment that took place among the various brigades of Longstreet's command. If you'd like more information on the re-enlistment fever - initiated by Humphreys' Mississippi brigade -- you can find it in this thread https://civilwartalk.com/threads/re...eys-mississippi-brigade-february-1864.165929/




Memphis Daily Appeal., March 20, 1864, page 1.

Image by Alfred R. Waud entitled "Figure wrapped in blanket sitting on a barrel and reading" from LOC
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Pete Longstreet

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Mar 3, 2020
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Weather was certainly a huge factor in that campaign... although I think Grant said it best when he learned of Davis's decision to detach Longstreet for Knoxville:

"On several occasions during the war he [Davis] came to the relief of the Union army by means of his superior military genius."