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

Battle of Dover

War Returns to Stewart County

Battle of Dover Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
1. Battle of Dover Marker
Inscription.  Union and Confederate forces clashed near here again on February 3, 1863, almost one year after the Battle of Fort Donelson. Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler attacked Dover’s 800-man Federal garrison after he failed to disrupt Union shipping on the Cumberland River.

Lt. Col. Arthur A. Smith was posted in the cemetery with Companies I and F, 83rd Illinois Infantry (Co. C in reverse), and one gun from Battery C (“Flood’s Battery”) to defend the Union right flank. At 3 P.M., Confederate Gen. John A Wharton’s brigade advanced here in coordination with Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry charge on the Union left. The attack met stiff resistance as three more Union cannons arrived in support. The extra firepower was not enough, however, and the gunners pulled back their cannons with difficulty. The Confederates captured the cemetery as well as one of the guns.

Although Wharton now controlled the entire western side of Dover, his advance slowed because of a lack of ammunition. The 83rd Illinois counterattacked with six companies of infantry and retook this position by 7 P. M. Fearing Federal reinforcements, as well
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as support from U.S. Navy gunboats, Wheeler ordered a withdrawal to a line about four miles south of Dover. Forrest bitterly denounced Wheeler’s decision. The Federals suffered 126 casualties, the Confederates 670.

According to local tradition, cannon fire during the battle damaged many of the headstones here. The Confederate dead left on the field were buried in a shallow mass grave. Later, the local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans dedicated a monument nearby to their memory.

Gen. Joseph Wheeler Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress
Dover and vicinity — Courtesy Tennessee State Library & Archives
Artillerists under infantry assault — 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 Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 36° 28.741′ N, 87° 52.016′ W. Marker was
Battle of Dover Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
2. Battle of Dover Marker
in Dover, Tennessee, in Stewart County. Marker could be reached from the intersection of Donelson Parkway (U.S. 79) and Moores Drive, on the left when traveling west. The marker is located on the grounds of the Stewart County Visitor Center. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 117 Visitor Center Lane, Dover TN 37058, United States of America.

We have been informed that this sign or monument is no longer there and will not be replaced. This page is an archival view of what was.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. 6-pounder Gun (approx. 0.3 miles away); Porter's Battery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Donelson Confederate Monument (approx. half a mile away); Confederate Monument (approx. half a mile away); Union Camp (approx. half a mile away); Lauman's Brigade (approx. half a mile away); Graves' Battery (approx. half a mile away); Holding the Outer Lines (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,066 times since then and 112 times this year. Last updated on May 10, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 22, 2024