Early in the Civil War, in 1861, the railroad bridge at Strawberry Plains was one target of Union sympathizers who aimed to burn several East Tennessee bridges to hinder Confederate military progress. The conspirators failed in their efforts to burn the Strawberry Plains bridge, but succeeded in their attacks of some of their other targets.
CAMPAIGN: Operations About Dandridge Tennessee
DATE(S): December 1863-January 1864
PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Major General Samuel Sturgis [US] Major General James Longstreet [CS]
FORCES ENGAGED: 0 total (US 0; CS 0;)
ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 150 total (US 150; CS 0;)
Union forces under Maj. Gen. John G. Parke advanced on Dandridge, Tennessee, near the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad, on January 14, forcing Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Confederate troops to fall back. Longstreet, however, moved additional troops into the area on the 15th to meet the enemy and threaten the Union base at New Market. On the 16th, Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, commanding the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Ohio, rode forward to occupy Kimbrough's Crossroads. Within three or four miles of his objective, Sturgis's cavalry met Rebel troops, forcing them back towards the crossroads. As the Union cavalry neared the crossroads, they discovered an enemy infantry division with artillery that had arrived the day before. The Union cavalry could not dislodge these Rebels and was compelled to retire to Dandridge. About noon the next day, Sturgis received information that the Confederates were preparing for an attack so he formed his men into line of battle. About 4:00 pm, the Confederates advanced and the fighting quickly became general. The battle continued until after dark with the Federals occupying about the same battle line as when the fighting started. The Union forces fell back to New Market and Strawberry Plains during the night, but the Rebels were unable to pursue because of the lack of cannons, ammunition, and shoes. For the time being, the Union forces left the area. The Confederates had failed to destroy or capture the Federals as they should have.
RESULTS: Confederate Victory