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Near Wildersville in Henderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Raiders' Escape Route

Retreat from Parkers Crossroads

 

— Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid —

 
Raiders' Escape Route Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, July 24, 2021
1. Raiders' Escape Route Marker
Inscription.  
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry brigade on a raid through West Tennessee, Dec. 15, 1862 - Jan. 3, 1863, destroying railroads and severing Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's supply line between Columbus, Kentucky and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Forrest crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton, defeated Union Col. Robert G. Ingersoll's cavalry at Lexington, captured Trenton and Union City, and ranged briefly into Kentucky. He raided back through Tennessee, evaded defeat at Parker's Crossroads, and crossed the river again at Clifton. Forrest's success forced Grant to switch his supply base to Memphis.

Parker's Crossroads Battlefield, where the last engagement of Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid took place is five and a half miles northwest of here. After the battle Forrest and his men passed this way en route southeast to the Tennessee River and safety.

Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's army occupied this part of Tennessee in the spring of 1862, and Forrest launched his raid late in the year to disrupt Federal communications and supply routes. After reaching Kentucky, Forrest turned back, with Union

Raiders' Escape Route Marker at the entrance to the Natchez Trace State Park Headquarters image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Chris Hill, October 21, 2020
2. Raiders' Escape Route Marker at the entrance to the Natchez Trace State Park Headquarters
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Cols. Cyrus Dunham's and John Waller's brigades in pursuit. On the morning of December 31, Dunham almost trapped Forrest at Parker's Crossroads. Forrest's artillery, however, was posted on a wooded ridge north-west of the Federals, and the gunners' fire forced Dunham's brigade to withdraw half a mile. Forrest counterattacked and demanded Dunham's surrender. Dunham refused, and before Forrest could attack again, Fuller's brigade arrived from the north. With the Federals at his front and back, Forrest ordered his men to "Charge 'em both ways." The Confederates broke through Dunham's line and continued their withdrawal, riding through present-day Natchez Trace State Park.
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is December 31, 1862.
 
Location. 35° 47.796′ N, 88° 15.884′ W. Marker is near Wildersville, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker is on Camden Road (Tennessee Route 114) 1.7 miles south of Interstate 40, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Westport TN 38387, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Battle of Parker's Crossroads
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(approx. 6½ miles away); Enfilading the Line (approx. 6.7 miles away); Forrest Seizes the Advantage (approx. 6.7 miles away); Dunham Strikes Back (approx. 6.8 miles away); Casualties of War (approx. 6.8 miles away); A Fire Terrible In Its Intensity (approx. 6.8 miles away); A Lull in the Fighting (approx. 6.8 miles away); A Concealed Assault (approx. 6.8 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2020, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 104 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 24, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia.   2. submitted on October 21, 2020, by David Austin of Scotts Hill, Tennessee. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A close-up and legible photo of the marker at higher resolution. • Can you help?

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May. 18, 2022