1862 Civil War Battles Timeline

12 JANUARY 1862
Gen. Felix Zollicoffer CSA, entrenched about 40 miles north of the Tennessee border, on the “wrong” (unfordable) side of the Cumberland River, is facing a Federal force about 10,000 strong. Confederate reinforcements are said to be on their way.
~ New York Times


14 JANUARY 1862
Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden CSA leaves Knoxville to join Zollicoffer in Kentucky. Gen. George H. Thomas USA advances toward Zollicoffer.

19 JANUARY 1862
Battle of Mill Springs
At the Battle of Mill Springs near Somerset, Kentucky, General George H. Thomas defeats the Confederate force under Generals Crittenden and Zollicoffer, compelling the Confederates to retreat into Middle Tennessee. Zollicoffer wanders into the Union forces in the dark and is killed. The victory secures Union control of eastern Kentucky.

Cumberland Gap remains under Confederate control when CSA Gen. Carter Stevenson moves in and reinforces the Gap.

14 FEBRUARY
Skirmish near Cumberland Gap.

White Rocks Cliffs at Cumberland Gap
These rock formations served as a landmark for early settlers who were traveling through the Cumberland Gap.
nps.gov/articles/nps-geodiversity-atlas-cumberland-gap-national-historical-park-kentucky-tennessee-and-virginia.htm

25 FEBRUARY
Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith CSA assigned to command in Northeast Tennessee.

8—23 MARCH
Battle of Big Creek Gap.

9 MARCH
Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith CSA assumes command of the Department of East Tennessee.

alchetron.com/Edmund-Kirby-Smith

14 MARCH
Skirmishes at Big Creek Gap and Jacksborough.

21—23 MARCH
Reconnaissance to and skirmishes at Cumberland Gap.

28 MARCH
Expedition into Scott County.

Oldest available image of Huntsville, Scott County, Northeast Tennessee
tngenweb.org/scott/fnb_v2n1_huntsville_emergence.htm

28 MARCH – 18 JUNE
Cumberland Gap campaign.

8 APRIL
Martial law is declared in East Tennessee.

17 APRIL
Affair near Woodson’s Gap.
Capture of Union refugees.

29 APRIL
Skirmish at Cumberland Gap.

10 JUNE
Skirmishes at Rogers Gap.
Rogers Gap is a saddle in Tennessee and has an elevation of 1,893 feet.

Map of Rogers Gap
mapcarta.com/21654210/Map

11—13 JUNE
Skirmishes at Big Creek Gap.
nps.gov/civilwar/tennessee.htm

15 JUNE
Action at Big Creek Gap.

18 JUNE
Occupation of Cumberland Gap by Union forces.

7—11 JULY
Operations about Cumberland Gap.

22 JULY
Affair at Tazewell.

Map of Tazewell, Cumberland Gap and other areas in Northeast Tennessee

26 JULY
Skirmish at Tazewell.

2—6 AUGUST
Operations around Cumberland Gap.

6 AUGUST
Action at Tazewell.

13 AUGUST
Skirmish at Huntsville, Scott County.

14 AUGUST
Skirmish at Rogers Gap.

16 AUGUST
Army of Kentucky CSA under Gen. E. Kirby Smith crosses the Cumberlands into Kentucky.

Kirby Smith Invades Kentucky
Inscription.
Heth’s Division, with the army’s artillery and subsistence trains, passed into Kentucky through Walker’s and Big Creek Gaps, while other combat elements of the Army of East Tennessee moved through Roger’s Gap. The two columns reunited at Barbourville, moving thence to Richmond, Ky., where on Aug. 30, they routed the Federal force under Maj. Gen. William Nelson.
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission.
Marker is in Jellico, Tennessee, in Campbell County. 
hmdb.org/m.asp?m=121322

16—22 AUGUST
Operations about Cumberland Gap.

19 AUGUST
Department of the Ohio re-established.

23 AUGUST
Maj. Gen. J. P. McCown CSA assigned temporarily to command of the Department of East Tennessee.

26 AUGUST
Skirmish at Cumberland Gap.

27 AUGUST
Skirmish near Cumberland Gap.

Civil War in Tennessee Marker
War in the Mountains
Inscription.
Tennessee’s mountain residents were bitterly divided about secession in 1861, although most were Unionist. In Huntsville, Scott County residents voted to secede and join Kentucky if Tennessee joined the Confederacy.
Confederate commanders struggled to defend Tennessee’s lengthy border with Kentucky and western Virginia. A confederate fort in LaFollette overlooked Big Creek Gap, a mountain pass, in case a Federal advance came that way. Other gaps were similarly fortified. Although when Confederated Gen. Simon B. Bruckner inspected the posts from Clinton east to Cumberland Gap in June 1863, he found them “very imperfect.” Buckner strengthened the Cumberland Gap defenses; today, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park preserves both early Confederate fortifications and later Federal works.
The Confederate forts were intended to protect Knoxville, an important transportation center. In the city, Knoxville National Cemetery contains the remains of white Federal soldiers and U.S. Colored Troops who died in the area fighting. Both Confederate and Unionist leaders are buried in adjacent Old Gray Cemetery. The East Tennessee History Center on Gay Street interprets the region’s divided loyalties and the effects of the war.
Follow the routes of the armies along the Tennessee Civil War Trails. Colorful markers at each stop tell the story of the war’s interesting people, places, and events. A free map guide to the Tennessee Trails network is available in the Welcome Center. Please drive carefully as you enjoy the beauty and history of the Tennessee Civil War Trails.
(captions)
“Drawing Artillery Across the Mountains,” Harper’s Weekly, Nov. 21, 1863
Cumberland Gap Courtesy Lincoln Memorial University
Union Monument, Knoxville National Cemetery (statue of Union soldier replaced the eagle in 1906) Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker is in Jellico, Tennessee, Campbell County. 
hmdb.org/Photos2/275/Photo275192o.jpg

31 AUGUST
Skirmish at Rogers Gap.

1 SEPTEMBER
Maj. Gen. John McCown CSA assumes command of the Department of East Tennessee.

4 SEPTEMBER
Skirmish at Big Creek Gap.

6—10 SEPTEMBER
Expedition from Cumberland Gap to Pine Mountain, Sullivan County, Northeast Tennessee.

Looking down the spine of Pine Mountain, to the southwest.
highlonesometrails.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/pine-mountain-trail-birch-knob-to-blowing-rock-cliffs/

7 SEPTEMBER 1862
Skirmish at Pine Mountain Gap.

7—9 SEPTEMBER 1862
Several engagements occur in and around the Cumberland Gap and are known collectively as the Battle of the Cumberland Gap.

10 SEPTEMBER
Operations at Rogers and Big Creek Gaps.

17 SEPTEMBER—3 OCTOBER
Union Army Evacuates Cumberland Gap.
Its garrison marches to Greensburg KY.

Confederate Army of Tennessee
This army is formed on 20 November 1862, when General Braxton Bragg renames the former Army of Mississippi. It is divided into two corps commanded by Leonidas Polk and William J. Hardee. A third corps is formed from troops from the Department of East Tennessee and commanded by Edmund Kirby Smith; it is disbanded in early December 1862, after one of its two divisions are sent to Mississippi.
alchetron.com/Army-of-Tennessee

27 SEPTEMBER
Maj. Gen. John McCown CSA assigned to command the Department of East Tennessee.

11 NOVEMBER
Skirmish at Huntsville, Scott Country.
Home Guard.

20 NOVEMBER
Confederate Army of Tennessee consists of E. Kirby Smith’s, Leonidas Polk’s, and Wm. Hardee’s corps.

20 DECEMBER 1862 – 5 JANUARY 1863
General Samuel P. Carter’s raid into East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

23 DECEMBER
E. Kirby Smith CSA resumes command of the Department of East Tennessee.

Cumberland Gap in Winter
Cumberland Mountains ridge line looking southwest from Cumberland Gap with Tennessee on the left and Kentucky on the right.
wikiwand.com/en/Cumberland_Gap

24 DECEMBER 1862 – 1 JANUARY 1863
Expedition into East Tennessee.

30 DECEMBER
Capture of Blountville, Northeast Tennessee.

31 DECEMBER
Skirmish at Carter’s Depot, Northeast Tennessee.

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