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The Battle of Bull's Gap

November 11-13, 1864 in Hamblen and Greene Counties, Tennessee

Union Forces Commanded by:
Brig. Gen. Alvan C. Gillem
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 5 36 200*

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
2,400 est. - - -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Confederate Victory


In November, Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge undertook an expedition into East Tennessee, anticipating that Confederate sympathizers would join his force and help drive the Federals from the area. The Federals initially retired in front of this force and, on November 10, were at Bull's Gap on the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad. The Confederates attacked them on the morning of the 11th but were repulsed by 11:00 A.M.. Artillery fire continued throughout the day. The next morning, both sides attacked;  the Confederates sought to hit the Union forces in a variety of locations but they gained little. The next day, firing occurred throughout most of the day, but the Confederates did not assault the Union lines because they were marching to flank them on the right. Before making the flank attack, the Union forces, short on everything from ammunition to rations, withdrew from Bull's Gap after midnight on the 4th. Breckinridge pursued, but the Federals received reinforcements and foul weather played havoc with the roads and streams. Breckinridge, with most of his force, retired back to Virginia. This victory was a temporary Union setback in the Federal plans to rid East Tennessee of Confederate influence.
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