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Parkers Crossroads in Henderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

7th Wisconsin Light Artillery

The Badger State Flying Artillery

 
 
7th Wisconsin Light Artillery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
1. 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery Marker
Inscription.  The 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery did not fare well at the Battle of Parker's Crossroads; in fact, the battery was in trouble even before the battle began. As a result of the losses suffered in Forrest's raids on Humboldt and Trenton, the battery was short of men, ammunition, and horses. In addition, only three of the battery's six guns were present at Parker's Crossroads, the other three being detailed to Fuller's Ohio Brigade. Those three guns were no match for Forrest's eight or more.

At Hicks' Field, one gun was disabled when most of its horses were killed. Its gunner, Sergeant Minott Marsden, was mortally wounded. After withdrawing from Hicks' Field, the battery took position east of the Lexington-Huntingdon Road. Although it fired repeatedly on Forrest's advancing column, it inflicted little damage.

Throughout the battle, the 7th was caught in a crossfire from Confederate artillery. L.C. Halstead, the battery's surgeon, wrote his brother "...the shell, hard shot, and grape fell in uncomfortable proximity to us. Our horses, one by one, dropped." The men dropped, too. Sergeant Alfred Walworth, Corporal John Graham,
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and Private O. L. Clark fell at the guns, dead or mortally wounded. More fell with serious wounds.

"...yet did the boys right nobly stay to their guns drawing them with two horses...to the very mouth of the enemy's guns, giving them as good as received till their ammunition failed..."
L.C. Halstead.

With no ammunition and no infantry support, the 7th had no choice but to withdraw their guns from the field. They spiked the guns and, defenseless, waited for the Confederates. They had been captured when the 122nd Illinois arrived and drove the Confederates from the scene. Moments later Fuller arrived on the field, ending the battle.

One account states, "...the three pieces of artillery belonging to the command of Colonel Dunham had been literally knocked to pieces." The enemy fire the battery endured was so fierce that all but one of the battery's horses was killed during the battle.

The 7th Wisconsin suffered heavy losses at Parker's Crossroads; out of less than 40 men engaged, 5 were killed, 16 wounded, and 10 taken prisoner. Dunham was correct in saying in his official report that the men exhibited the greatest bravery.

(captions)
Lieutenant Arthur Wheelock. The battery that Wheelock commanded had no experience with light artillery in battle conditions.
Flying Artillery, 1862. In
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horse artillery, or flying artillery, all hands are mounted. In ordinary light artillery the cannoneers ride on the gun carriage or go afoot.
"After the Battle" by Edwin Forbes, ca. 1862

 
Erected 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° 47.039′ N, 88° 23.182′ 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. Forrest Averts Disaster (a few steps from this marker); Union Wagon Train (within shouting distance of this marker); Russell & Woodward's Advance (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Confederate Escape (about 400 feet away); Surprise and Chaos (about 400 feet away); The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (about 500 feet away); The Federal Forces (about 500 feet away); Dunham's Position (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
 
Also see . . .  Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association. (Submitted on May 30, 2021.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 36 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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Jun. 12, 2021