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

The Battle of Big Creek

"Utter Destruction of Property & Life"

The Battle of Big Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, February 10, 2018
1. The Battle of Big Creek Marker
Inscription.  Along Big Creek the 2nd Illinois Artillery spent an uncomfortable night as a cold rain fell in the early morning hours of November 6, 1863. Nearby, under orders to strike the Union camp that morning, two Confederate brigades were crossing the Holston River. Confederate Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones pushed his troopers hard, splitting them into two columns. The first Confederate brigade approached from Rogersville (behind you) and struck the 7th Ohio Cavalry and the Union wagon train. A few moments later the second Confederate brigade under Col. Henry L. Giltner approached this intersection, overrunning the Illinoisans and capturing their two cannon. Splashing across the creek to your right, Giltner's men closed off the Union escape route. Union Maj. Daniel A. Carpenter recalled, "They (the rebels) raised a yell and commenced advancing from every direction." Within minutes, many of the men in Carpenter's 2nd Tennessee Infantry surrendered.

Union Col. Israel Garrard, who barely escaped, reported later that day, "I was attacked this a.m. and totally defeated." Jones reported that he captured 775 Federal prisoners and countless wagons,
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horses, and supplies. Kentuckian Edward Guerrant wrote, "I want to see no more battlefields. The utter destruction of property & life. All kinds of clothing & camp equipage; scattered in profusion over the ground. Horses shot dead at their hitching post, or rolling in the agonies of death - and the dead & wounded men neglected lying there alone-alone-alone." Rogersville, astride the turnpike between Knoxville and Virginia, remained in Confederate hands for the rest of the war. "The men all went forward with the greatest enthusiasm, making no halt for balls, shells or bullets."—Confederate Col. Henry L. Giltner, 4th Kentucky Cavalry.

Andrew Owen was born in Fentress County, where he worked as a farmer. He enlisted in Co. D, 2nd Tennessee Infantry (US), by December 15, 1861. He was captured at Big Creek (aka Rogersville) on November 6, 1863, and incarcerated at Andersonville, where he died of diarrhea on June 9, 1864. Aged 29, he left a widow and two daughters. He is buried in the Andersonville National Cemetery.
Pvt. Andrew Owen - Courtesy Owen descendant Sgt. Darren W. Smith, USA, Ret.
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition,
The Battle of Big Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, February 10, 2018
2. The Battle of Big Creek Marker
it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is November 6, 1863.
Location. 36° 25.103′ N, 82° 57.132′ W. Marker is in Rogersville, Tennessee, in Hawkins County. Marker is on West Bear Hallow Road north of Burem Pike (Tennessee Route 347), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rogersville TN 37857, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Michael Looney (approx. 1.7 miles away); Hawkins County Milestone (approx. 1.7 miles away); Amis House (approx. 2.1 miles away); Clay-Kenner House (approx. 3 miles away); Tennessee's First Newspaper (approx. 3 miles away); Alexander Peter Stewart (approx. 3.1 miles away); Hawkins County, Tennessee (approx. 3.1 miles away); Rogersville Engagements (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rogersville.
Dedication of The Battle of Big Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Bosse, April 23, 2016
3. Dedication of The Battle of Big Creek Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 1,433 times since then and 84 times this year. Last updated on March 12, 2018, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 11, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 2, 2024