Tag Archives: Fort Sanders

At First Light

This new painting of the 9th Georgia Artillery Battalion opening fire on Fort Sanders on Nov. 29, 1863, is one of the few that’s ever been done on the battle that is the subject of my historical novel Knoxville 1863.

Artist Ken Smith of Pulaski, Virginia, is offering a print for sale here. The novel recently made its 100th sale, in paper and as a Kindle ebook, both in the US and the UK. A pittance, indeed, but not bad considering its trifling promotion.

6th U.S. Cavalry

6CavRegtCOAWorking a future post on my knoxville1863 blog I was tickled to find out that Brig. Gen. William P. Sanders, for whom Knoxville’s Fort Sanders was named, was a veteran of the 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment in the Virginia Peninsula Campaign and at Antietam/Sharpsburg.

I was a lieutenant-platoon commander in the 6th’s descendant unit, the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 1968-69.

We were then rumored to be headed to Vietnam to replace the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, though, in fact, most of our troops were combat veteran returnees at a time when a one-year combat tour was all that was required.

Instead, we spent most of our time training for riot control in those days of race riots, though we didn’t have to control any. Instead we guarded President Nixon’s inaugural ceremonies. The unicorn is the 6th’s shoulder patch and coat of arms.

All that remains of Fort Sanders


Just a historical marker two blocks south of the military crest of the ridge. I posted this on the novel’s Web site as well. Will post it here also to give the novel site a little boost. It is not yet attracting as many hits as the 13th MS one, which is understandable I suppose. The MS brigade was famous and still is among the war’s buffs. Fort Sanders was, at best, obscure. Forgotten is even more accurate. That was my gamble novelizing it, but also my opportunity.

Hero of Fort Sanders

Samuel_Nicholl_BenjaminColonel Samuel Nicoll Benjamin, West Point Class of 1861, was one of the very few Union officers to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous bravery. He is one of the principal heroes of my historical Civil War battle novel “Knoxville 1863.”

Among other things the story chronicles Benjamin’s brilliant command of the three-sided, red-clay Fort Sanders during the November 29, 1863,  dawn attack by three reduced brigades under General Longstreet.

Knoxville 1863

I’m happy to announce the first edition of my new historical novel, Knoxville 1863, is now available in e-book format at Smashwords here. Multiple e-book formats, in fact, from Kindle to Stanza (iPod and iPod Touch) to Palm and Sony. Also available in paperback here.

The novel is  equal parts history and fiction about a Civil War battle that’s largely been passed over by historians despite its involving some of the most famous commanders and units of the Union and the Confederacy. Indeed, President Lincoln considered a Union victory at Knoxville a key to winning the Civil War.

Since reviews are so hard to come by, I’m offering a free copy of the e-book in any format you like to any rare reader who will agree to write a review at Smashbooks, whatever you think of the novel. I’m easy. After years in the news biz  I have a pretty thick skin. So leave a comment if you’re interested and I’ll use your private email address to tell you how to get your free copy.