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Cumberland Gap

gen, possession, south and north

CUMBERLAND GAP, on the dividing line of Virginia and Kentucky on the north, and Ten nessee on the south, is the main gateway of the Cumberland Mountains, between eastern Ken tucky and East Tennessee. Early in the Civil War it was occupied by the Confederates and remained in their possession until 18 June 1862, when, in view of a concentration of the Con federates at Chattanooga, which was threatened by the advance of Gen. O. M. Mitchell from Huntsville and Bridgeport, Ala., it was evacu ated, and was occupied by Gen. Geo. W. Mor gan, who, with a division of 8,000 men, had been operating against it for nearly two months. Morgan fortified it, established magazines and an arsenal, from which thousands of arms, with ammunition, were distributed to the Union men of East Tennessee, and remained in possession until 17 Sept. 1862. Then Gen. E. Kirby Smith, having crossed the mountains south and de feated General Nelson at Richmond, Ky. (29 and 30 August), thus cutting off communication from the north, while Gen. C. L. Stevenson with a division of 9,000 men was pressing him in front, Morgan, short of provisions and forage, and not prepared for a siege, blew up his arsenal and magazines, set fire to his storehouses, and at night, 17 September, started on a march of 200 miles through an almost unbroken wilderness to Greenup, on the Ohio River. He reached there

3 October without the loss of a gun or a wagon, and with the loss of only 80 men, although pur sued some distance by Stevenson, and harassed much of the way by Morgan's cavalry. Bragg retreated through the Gap, after the failure of his Kentucky campaign, and it remained in Confederate possession a year. General Burn side entered Knoxville, 3 Sept. 1863, and find ing the Gap occupied by Gen. John W. Frazer, with a brigade of 2,300 men, ordered General Shackleford with a cavalry brigade to approach it from the south and co-operate with Colonel DeCourcy, who, with a division of new troops, had been ordered to march on it from the north. Shackleford reached the south end of the Gap on the 7th and communicated with De Courcy, w.ho had arrived on the north side, and both summoned Frazer to surrender, who refused. Burnside led an infantry brigade from Knoxville, joined Shackleford on the morning of the 9th and at his demand Frazer surrendered his force of over 2,000 men, with 12 guns and a large supply of ammunition. The Gap re mained in Union possession to the close of the war. Consult