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

Surprise and Chaos

Surprise and Chaos Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
1. Surprise and Chaos Marker
The heavy fire of their infantry unexpected and unlooked for by all..."
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest

An Unanticipated Event
As the two sides met under the flag of truce, Colonel John W. Fuller's Ohio Brigade attacked the Confederate rear. The charge took General Nathan Bedford Forrest completely by surprise. Chaos ensued as Forrest's men fled the onrushing Union infantry.

The arrival of Union reinforcements astounded Forrest because he had left four companies at Clarksburg to guard against this very thing. Forrest wrote, "to my surprise and astonishment a fire was opened on us in our rear and the enemy in heavy force under General [J.C.] Sullivan advanced on us."

Fuller's Ohio Brigade Sweeps the Field
Union soldiers also expressed amazement at the turn of events. Corporal Lucius Corbin, with Dunham south of the fence, remembered: "After charging the Rebs in our rear, we formed in position on another hill and awaited a second attack of the enemy, but they came not for about that time a brigade of reinforcements came up in the rear of the rebels and swept
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the field to our favor."

Private William Peter recalled that after Dunham refused the second demand for surrender "even before he [the Confederate officer] was out of sight we herd [sic] firing off to the north the good news came that we were reinforced."

A Confused Retreat
Confederate Colonel George Dribrell wrote, "General Forrest then ordered us to retreat, which we did in much confusion, as our horse-holders were demoralized and many men were captured in trying to get their horses." Among them was Forrest's Adjutant, Major John Strange. Dunham's soldiers were so dumbfounded by what they beheld, Fuller said, that "the command of Colonel Dunham [did not] fire a shot at the enemy as he moved past their flanks to their rear."
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° 47.084′ N, 88° 23.111′ 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
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8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Confederate Escape (within shouting distance of this marker); Forrest Averts Disaster (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Federal Forces (about 400 feet away); 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery (about 400 feet away); A Lull in the Fighting (about 500 feet away); Union Wagon Train (about 500 feet away); A Dogged Defense (about 600 feet away); Russell & Woodward's Advance (about 600 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 106 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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Feb. 24, 2024