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Lawrenceburg in Lawrence County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Skirmish at Lawrenceburg

Saving the Courthouse

 
 
Skirmish at Lawrenceburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, March 13, 2012
1. Skirmish at Lawrenceburg Marker
Inscription. In November 1862, Confederate cavalrymen under Col. Albert G. Cooper camped near Lawrenceburg. He confined captured Federal soldiers and Union sympathizers in the jail here on the town square. Union Maj. Thomas C. Fitz Gibbon, commanding the post at Columbia, selected a detachment of 120 troopers from the 14t Michigan Mounted Infantry and set off to surprise the Confederates here the next morning. Unknown to Fitz Gibbon, however, Confederate scout Tom Moss heard of the plan and hurried ahead to warn Cooper of the impending attack.

When Fitz Gibbon and his forces arrived at Lawrenceburg the morning of November 3, they found almost 500 Confederates waiting for them behind several lines of cotton bale barricades that surrounded the town. Outnumbered but armed with Spencer repeating carbines and pistols, the Federals charged, scattered the defenders and took possession of the square. Seeing that the courthouse and log jail were empty of prisoners, the Union soldiers placed loose cotton inside the jail and set it on fire.

As the men of the 14th Michigan prepared to do the same to the courthouse a group of local citizens pleaded with the Federal commander to spare the building. The three-story 1821 brick structure also housed the Freemasons and the Odd Fellows. Fitz Gibbon realized that burning the courthouse would probably
Skirmish at Lawrenceburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, March 13, 2012
2. Skirmish at Lawrenceburg Marker
ruin the nearby Mexican War monument. As a gesture of respect to the memory of the Lawrence County volunteers who had died in the defense of their country during the Mexican War, the Union officer order his men not to harm the building.
 
Erected 2012 by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 14.45′ N, 87° 20.119′ W. Marker is in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, in Lawrence County. Marker is at the intersection of Waterloo Street and Military Street, on the right when traveling west on Waterloo Street. Click for map. Located in the public square. Marker is in this post office area: Lawrenceburg TN 38464, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lawrence County War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Courthouse - Lawrence County Tennessee (within shouting distance of this marker); Mexican War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Col. David Crockett (within shouting distance of this marker); James David Vaughn (within shouting distance of this marker); Trail of Tears Memorial
Maj. Thomas C. Fitz Gibbon Courtesy Maury County Archives image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, March 13, 2012
3. Maj. Thomas C. Fitz Gibbon Courtesy Maury County Archives
(within shouting distance of this marker); David Crockett's Home (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pioneers in Textiles (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Lawrenceburg.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Lawrence County Courthouse, demolished 1904, Photo ca. 1900 – Courtesy Lawrence County Archives image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, March 13, 2012
4. Lawrence County Courthouse, demolished 1904, Photo ca. 1900 – Courtesy Lawrence County Archives
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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