Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Lenoir, Tenn., October 28th, 1863.

I said yesterday that I was puzzled. I am more than ever today. I am confounded, disappointed, chagrined.

Our forces evacuated Loudon early this morning. The Rebels took immediate possession. Everything of value that could not be removed was destroyed. Only last night a locomotive was run across the river to be used on that side as we advanced. Four cars had been left there by the Rebels when they evacuated. As we had no time to remove them, the engineer put on steam and ran them off the embankment into the river. The Union people left with us. We have fallen back six miles and encamped for the night. A strong force is posted on the heights to prevent surprise.

I am simply stating facts as they occur. Of course, I cannot know the whys and wherefores of these movements. Perhaps they are part of the “original plan,” and not a retreat. We all have confidence in Burnside, but, if we do not see Knoxville between now and Sunday I am much mistaken. To my heated imagination the Cumberland Mountains loom up with wonderful distinctness.

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