Parkers Crossroads in Henderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Casualties of War
"I hastened back to find Sammy but Oh was too late. He was to far gone too recognize me I could but fall beside him and weep bitter tears."
Friends and Neighbors
The 122nd Illinois Infantry mustered in at Carlinville in Macoupin County, Illinois, on September 4, 1862. Most of its members resided in the county, and many in Company D were from the small town of Brighton. Among them were three close friends: nineteen-year-old George E. Finch; twenty-year-old Samuel W. Peter; and Samuel's brother, William Henry Peter, then twenty-one.
By October, the three young men were in Tennessee guarding the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. On December 18, 1862, they marched with their regiment to Jackson, Tennessee. On December 31, William, Sammy and George were on the field at Parker's Crossroads.
A Sorrowful Letter Home
On January 4, 1863, William Peter wrote his parents and siblings from his tent in Jackson. The fighting at Parker's Crossroads on December 31, he told them, began at eight o'clock in the morning and three hours later they were behind a fence where they came under a "terrific fire
The regiment turned to attack the Confederates, who had gotten behind them. As they charged, William's brother Sammy fell. William could not get to him until after the battle, and when he found him, Sammy was dying. William wrote: "I hastened back to find Sammy but Oh was too late. He was to [sic] far gone too [sic] recognize me I could but fall beside him and weep bitter tears."
United in Death
William buried his brother, Samuel, and George Finch in the same grave. Later, the Peter family removed the remains of both to Brighton City Cemetery where they rest today. William survived the war only to die in October 1865. He, too, rests in Brighton City Cemetery. The 122nd Illinois suffered more casualties at the Battle of Parker's Crossroads than any other Union regiment.
William Peter drew this map showing the grave where he buried his brother, Sam, and George Finch. It is on the right side of the map, just north of the split-rail fence.
Erected 2015 by Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is December 31, 1862.
Location. 35° 47.241′ N, 88° 23.085′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker is on Federal Lane 0.2 miles east of Tennessee Route 22, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located along the South Battlefield Trail, at Auto Tour Stop No. 7 of the Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Auto Tour. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wildersville TN 38388, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Freeman's Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); A Concealed Assault (within shouting distance of this marker); A Dogged Defense (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forrest's Artillery (about 400 feet away); A Lull in the Fighting (about 500 feet away); Desperate Fighting (about 500 feet away); Enfilading the Line (about 500 feet away); Union Cemetery (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
Also see . . . Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association. (Submitted on May 29, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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