“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Pocahontas in Hardeman County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Hell on the Hatchie

Engagement at Davis Bridge


—October 5, 1862 —

Hell on the Hatchie Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 23, 2012
1. Hell on the Hatchie Marker
Inscription. Here along the Hatchie River, Confederate and Union forces fought a short but brutal battle. Repulsed with devastating losses from an unsuccessful attempt to retake Corinth, the Confederates discovered their retreat blocked when Union troops from Bolivar, Tennessee, successfully contested their crossing of Davis Bridge. The aggressive Federals charged across the bridge, only to find themselves bottled up in a dense thicket. Southern artillery and musketry blasted the river bend, and heavy casualties ensued.

Eventually, the Federals seized the heights dominating the bend, but there fighting ceased. The Confederates, content with simply delaying the enemy, escaped south into Mississippi along another road. As darkness fell the exhausted Union troops tended to the wounded and buried the dead from one more bitter military action in the continuing bloody campaign for control of the Mississippi Valley.

At bottom left is a photograph of a bridge captioned Woodbury Bridge across the Chickahominy appears here much as Davis Bridge would have looked in October of 1852.

At top right are photographs of the opposing commanders. The caption for General Van Dorn reads: The commander of the Confederate forces, General Earl Van Dorn, was headstrong and impulsive. Troops under his leadership incurred serious defeats at
Hell on the Hatchie Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 23, 2012
2. Hell on the Hatchie Marker
Marker is at the end of the trail. The Hatchie River is on the left side.
both Pea Ridge and Corinth. Better suited to cavalry tactics, he conducted the daring raid on the Union supply depot at Holly Springs in December 1862, which helped thwart General U.S. Grant's first attempt to capture Vicksburg. The caption for General Ord reads: General E.O.C. Ord, commander of the Union troops, was wounded at Davis Bridge and referred to it as "the miserable bridge." After recovering from his wounds, Ord returned to active duty during the Siege of Vicksburg. He served under General U.S. Grant through the remainder of the War and in 1865 commanded the Army of the James, directing it with great skill at both Petersburg and Appomattox.

At bottom right a map shows troop movements during the battle.
Erected by National Park Service - Shiloh National Military Park.
Location. 35° 1.7′ N, 88° 47.701′ W. Marker is near Pocahontas, Tennessee, in Hardeman County. Marker can be reached from Essary Springs Road 1.3 miles south of Wolf Pen Road, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. The marker is at the bank of the Hatchie River at the present (2012) end of a trail which starts at Essary Springs Road. The marker is a 1500 foot walk from the road. A related NPS marker is located at the trailhead and parking area
The Hatchie River image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 23, 2012
3. The Hatchie River
Near the site of Davis Bridge
at the road. Marker is in this post office area: Pocahontas TN 38061, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 18 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Davis Bridge (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Engagement at Davis Bridge (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Davis Bridge (approx. 1.6 miles away); Battle Of Chewalla (approx. 8.4 miles away); The Trail of Tears (approx. 15.1 miles away); The Hurst Nation (approx. 17.7 miles away).
Regarding Hell on the Hatchie. The trail to the marker follows the Civil War-era route of State Line Road and ends at the Hatchie River. Property has been acquired as park land on the east bank where most of the battle occurred. A footbridge across the river and additional signage is planned.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 560 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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