Original Fort Sanders may have been bigger than historians thought

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For most, Fort Sanders is a neighborhood of Victorian homes, hospitals and college housing near the University of Tennessee. But for historians and Civil War enthusiasts, it's the site of an 1863 battle that helped seal the Confederate defeat in East Tennessee.

"So many people I talk to think it's just the name of a neighborhood like you'd name a subdivision," says East Tennessee Civil War Alliance President Steve Dean. "I am not exaggerating when I say that when I speak to people who are not Civil War historians, they say, 'Oh, there was a fort there?' "

The earthwork fort actually stood for decades after the war; there was some unfulfilled hope the federal government would buy it for a monument. Over time, streets were cut through it. Starting in the late 19th century a lot of ground where soldiers fought and died got pushed about as houses were built....

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