After finally seizing Knoxville, the Federal Army under General Ambrose Burnside began building a number of defensive positions on the hills across the river to the southeast of the city, the Confederate Army having concentrated on Chattanooga. Burnside was thus guarding the back door of Knoxville from attack. His plan worked and the Confederates failed in their attempt led by General Longstreet to recapture the city in mid-November of 1863.
Little more than an earthen fortification for gun emplacements, Fort Dickerson alone among these embattlements survives to this day, providing a great overlook towards the city and the University of Tennessee campus. It's a great place to stop and appreciate our history. Plan your picnic for two or group outing at http://www.cityofknoxville.org/parks/fortdickerson.asp.