Fort Byington

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Fort Byington (1863-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort first established in 1863 in present day Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee. Named Fort Byington in G.O. 37, 11 Dec 1863 (Army of the Ohio), after Major Cornelius Byington, 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry, who fell mortally wounded while leading an assault on Confederate rifle trenches at Fort Sanders on 24 Nov 1863. Fort abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Ayres Hall, University of Tennessee Atop "The Hill".

History of Fort Byington

Fort Byington was one of 20 named Union fortifications surrounding Knoxville, Tennessee (8 Forts and 12 Batteries) during the U.S. Civil War. This ring of defenses was established late in 1863 to counter a Confederate threat to the city. Confederate forces attempted to capture the city in November-December 1863 and laid siege to the city. Large losses were sustained by Confederate forces attempting to take Fort Sanders and the Confederates withdrew, lifting the siege.

The Fort was hastily built to help counter the Confederate threat to the city during Longstreet's November 1863 siege. The post was established on "The Hill" on the campus of the present-day University of Tennessee and included a Union gun battery along with a brigade of infantry. It served as an interior "keep" to the western side of the defensive line.

Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Current Status

Fort Byington Marker.

No remains in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee. The location is now the site of Ayres Hall of the University of Tennessee, referred to as "The Hill". Several identical markers at the site.

Location: Ayres Hall, 1403 Circle Dr, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.

Maps & Images

Lat: 35.95750 Long: -83.92611

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 965'

GPS Locations:

See Also:



Visited: 21 May 2016

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