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Decatur in Meigs County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Wheeler's Crossing

"A ford which they made for themselves"

 
 
Wheeler's Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, January 17, 2021
1. Wheeler's Crossing Marker
Inscription.  Union Gen. William Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland, pushed back into Chattanooga after the disastrous Battle of Chickamauga on September 19-20, 1863, found itself short of food and ammunition. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg besieged the city and ordered Gen. Joseph Wheeler's cavalry corps to cut the Federal supply line that ran from Chattanooga west to McMinnville through the Sequatchie Valley. To accomplish this mission, wheeler needed to cross the Tennessee River from east to west.

In the early morning hours of September 30, Wheeler and his men attempted several crossings at fords and shoals southwest of here. The efforts failed until he enlisted Washington resident Lt. William G. Allen, 5th (McKenzie's) Tennessee Cavalry, as a guide. Allen led the corps to Kelly's Shoals, about seven miles southwest of here, where Wheeler took advantage of difficult terrain and darkness and crossed the river. Union Gen. George Crook, who led his cavalry brigade in pursuit, reported that "the rebels crossed last night in heavy force at a ford which they made for themselves".

Wheeler moved through the valley for several days, clashing periodically

Wheeler's Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, January 17, 2021
2. Wheeler's Crossing Marker
with Crook, and disputed the Federal supply line. The harassment was only temporary and could not be sustained, especially after Union Gen. Ulysses Grant assumed command and forced open the supply line with superior numbers.

(captions)
Gen. Joseph Wheeler
Gen. George Crook
Cavalry Charge All images courtesy Library of Congress
 
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 Tennessee Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 35° 30.889′ N, 84° 47.379′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Tennessee, in Meigs County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and East Memorial Drive, on the left when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur TN 37322, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Meigs County War Memorial (here, next to this marker); Washington Ferry (approx. 5.1 miles away); a different marker also named Washington Ferry (approx. 5.7 miles away); David Campbell Memorial (approx. 6.6 miles away); Town of Washington, Tennessee (approx. 6.8 miles away); Watts Bar Turbine (approx.

Wheeler's Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, January 17, 2021
3. Wheeler's Crossing Marker
7.3 miles away); Watts Bar (approx. 7.3 miles away); Road to Chattanooga (approx. 8.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 31, 2021, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 31, 2021, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 4, 2021