At the end of August, Maj. Gen. Simon B. Buckner’s troops abandoned East Tennessee in the face of a Union invasion, to join with Bragg’s Army of Tennessee. A. P. Stewart’s Division was assigned to Buckner, which, with his existing division under William Preston, created a new infantry corps.
From the journal of Sgt. William E. McAnally, 37th Tennessee, Bate’s Brigade, Stewart’s Division; describing the movements and difficulties in his command:
Charleston Tennessee, September 4, 1863:
On the morning of the 1st of September, Bate’s brigade left Loudon and came on the train to this point. After we left Tyner’s, all our wagons and teams were turned over to another division and we are now without transportation. We 9the ordnance Sgts of the brigade) have our ammunition, etc., in a house on the main street of this dusty village and are now awaiting orders and transportation to move. Nearly all of Buckner’s army have crossed the Weiwossa [Hiwassee River] and are now in this vicinity. Scott’s cavalry brigade are between here and Loudon watching the enemy who are said to be advancing from that direction. Our forces destroyed the fine railroad bridge at Loudon before they fell back. . . . Our army is concentrating rapidly and if the enemy dare meet us I fear not the result, but I fear they will by a flank movement compel us to take a position further to the rear.