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

Morton's Battery

Forrest's Artillery

Morton's Battery Monument image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
1. Morton's Battery Monument
Front view
Dedicated to
Morton's Battery
Forrest's Artillery
Captain John W. Morton, Jr.
The Confederacy's Youngest
Captain of Artillery

Morton's Battery fought near here
December 31, 1862
in the Battle of
Parker's Crossroads, TN.
with Two Mountain Howitzers
and Two 3" Steel Rifled

Morton's Battery
December 27, 1862 — May 9, 1865

Porter's Battery was captured at Fort Donelson, TN and imprisoned at Johnson Island., Ohio. After being exchanged, Lieutenant John Watson Morton, Jr. and ten of his men were assigned to General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Artillery. Captain Samuel L. Freeman commanded Forrest's Artillery and was acquainted with Lieutenant Morton, who was a personal friend of long standing. Freeman loaned Morton two cannon and sufficient men to man the pieces so Morton could accompany Forrest on his West Tennessee Raid, in December of 1862. On December 18, 1862, Forrest's command captured two three-inch steel-rifled Rodman guns made by Singer-Nimick Company of Pittsburgh, PA, fully equipped from the 14th Indiana Battery. These pieces were given into Morton's possession, enabling him to return to Captain Freeman the two which had been loaned. These two captured cannon became the famous "bull pups,"
Morton's Battery Monument image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
2. Morton's Battery Monument
Rear Side
of Forrest's Artillery. Three other cannon were also captured during the raid of 1862. Napier's Battalion, which had joined General Forrest shortly after the Battle of Trenton, TN, contained two mountain howitzers, commanded by Lieutenant A.W. Gould. These were consolidated with Morton's guns at Dresden, TN, December 27, 1862, forming the battery known thereafter as Morton's Battery, with John W. Morton Jr., Captain; A.W. Gould, 1st Lieutenant, and T. Sanders Sale, 2nd Lieutenant. The battery numbered sixty-three non-commissioned officers and men.

Morton's Battery served at Parker's Crossroads on December 31, 1862. The artillery was placed at close range and ordered by Forrest to "Give 'em Hell." During the battle, one of the Confederate guns exploded. While the U.S. forces were surrendering, Forrest's was surprised by the brigade of Colonel John W. Fuller under the command of Brigadier General Jeremiah Sullivan. What looked like victory began to resemble a defeat. Forrest was able to extract most of his command. With the exception of the exploded gun, all the Confederate artillery, including the "bull pups," was safely removed. The three captured pieces were left behind, as their horses had been killed and there was not time to substitute others. Eighteen members of Morton's Battery were captured along with three hundred cavalrymen. Freeman and Morton were conspicuous for
Morton's Battery Monument image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
3. Morton's Battery Monument
Bronze plaque on rear.
their coolness, their intelligent, intrepid management of their guns, and General Forrest attributed the larger part of the loss inflicted that day on the enemy to this and the bravery of their companies. In his official report General Forrest commended the action of his artillery. "Captain Freeman and Lieutenant Morton, of our batteries, with all of their men, deserve especial mention, keeping up, as they did, a constant fire from their pieces, notwithstanding the enemy made every effort at silencing them by shooting down the artillerist at their guns."

After Captain Freeman's death, April 10, 1863, Captain Morton later became General Forrest's Chief of Artillery.

Erected December 27, 2007
Freeman's Battery Forrest's Artillery
Camp 1939
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Erected 2007 by Sons of Confederate Veterans (See end of text).
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans marker series.
Location. 35° 47.78′ N, 88° 23.418′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker can be reached from Tennessee Route 22 0.6 miles north of Interstate 40, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is
Morton's Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
4. Morton's Battery Marker
Marker to left of 3 sided Kiosk
on the North Loop Walking Trail 340 feet from the start of the trail near where the trail splits. The North Loop Walking Trail is at Tour Stop #1 (Parkers Crossroads City Park) of the Parkers Crossroads Driving Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Wildersville TN 38388, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (here, next to this marker); The Tides of War (a few steps from this marker); Forrest's West Tennessee Raid (a few steps from this marker); Forrest's Tactics (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (about 300 feet away); Freeman's Battery (about 300 feet away); Flight to Safety (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
More about this marker. The marker has an engraved Confederate States artillery symbol on the front and is topped by a stylized pyramid of cannonballs.
Categories. War, US Civil
View North from Morton's Battery Monument image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
5. View North from Morton's Battery Monument
The monument is near the start of the North Loop Walking Trail (at left) and Parkers Crossroads City Park.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 349 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   4. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   5. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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