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

Battle of Britton Lane

An Unexpected Clash

Battle of Britton Lane Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 21, 2014
1. Battle of Britton Lane Marker
Inscription. In August 1862, Confederate Gen. Sterling Price ordered Gen. Frank C. Armstrong to conduct a raid with his 2,000-man cavalry brigade to determine the strength and location of Union forces in West Tennessee. The raiders left Guntown, Mississippi, on August 22 and arrived in Holly Springs four days later, where Col. William H. Jackson’s mounted regiments joined them. The combined force of 3,000 men crossed into Tennessee on August 29. Riding northeast, they encountered Union Col. Mortimer Leggett’s brigade near Bolivar and engaged it in a fight that lasted most of the day. Both commanders claimed victory, but the Federals held the field. Bypassing the fortifications at Bolivar, Armstrong’s troopers destroyed railroad and telegraph facilities between Toone and Medon. Several Federal detachments gathered at Medon Station, constructed a cotton-bale barricade, and held off a Confederate attack.

Anticipating that Armstrong’s raiders were moving toward Jackson, Union Col. Elias S. Dennis led the 20th and 30th Illinois Infantry, and Illinois artillery battery, and two Ohio cavalry companies east to intercept them. The two forces collided unexpectedly on September 1 at Britton Lane. The outnumbered Federals took a strong defensive position behind a rail fence on a small ridge and drove back repeated dismounted Confederate assaults. The
Close up of map shown on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 21, 2014
2. Close up of map shown on the marker
Federal infantry countercharged and reclaimed two captured Union cannons. At about 3 p.m., Armstrong ended the attack, withdrew his troops, and headed south. Nearly 200 Confederates lay dead. Union casualties were light, although more than 200 were captured and paroled at Denmark Church. Armstrong had accomplished his mission, although at a heavy cost.

"Oh such carnage you never saw or heard of. It is said never to have been equaled except at Fort Donelson.” — Sgt. Edwin H. Fay, Minden Rangers

(lower left) Gen. Frank C. Armstrong and Col. Elias S. Dennis Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper center) Capturing cannons - Courtesy Library of Congress
(lower right) Battle of Britton Lane
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 29.417′ N, 88° 57.493′ W. Marker is in Denmark, Tennessee, in Madison County. Marker is on Britton Lane 0.6 miles west of Steam Mill FerryRoad, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Denmark TN 38391, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the
Battle of Britton Lane image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 21, 2014
3. Battle of Britton Lane
crow flies. Battle of Britton's Lane (a few steps from this marker); Britton Lane (within shouting distance of this marker); Denmark Presbyterian Church Mulberry Grove (approx. 3.7 miles away); Flag Bearer for Denmark Danes (approx. 3.7 miles away); Denmark Presbyterian Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); Denmark Danes (approx. 3.8 miles away); Armstrong's Raid (approx. 5.5 miles away); John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (approx. 8.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Denmark.
Categories. War, US Civil
Battle of Britton Lane image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 21, 2014
4. Battle of Britton Lane
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 339 times since then and 90 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of San Salvador, El Salvador. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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