“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)

Russell & Woodward's Advance

Russell & Woodward's Advance Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
1. Russell & Woodward's Advance Marker
Forrest Issues the Command
As Colonel Starnes began his movement westward, around the left flank of the Union line, Forrest ordered Colonel Alfred Russell's 4th Alabama and Colonel Tom Woodward's Kentucky Company to move east and then south - around and behind the Union right flank.

Russell and Woodward, taking advantage of the natural terrain, followed the hollow in front of you around the rear of the Union line. When they were behind the Union line, between where you now stand and Expressway Church Road, the men dismounted and began to move north through the woods, toward the rear of Dunham's brigade.

The Surprise Attack
As the Federals fell back from an unsuccessful assault on the Confederate line to their north, Forrest ordered a general advance. Russell and Woodward, who had come within 50 feet of the Union line without being detected, fired on the Union troops. In the pandemonium that followed, orders were misunderstood or not heard at all. Some of the Union troops retreated to the west. The remainder turned to meet the Confederate charge with an assault of their own. In the ensuing
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fray, the Union troops were split in two, half with Dunham almost one-half mile south, the remainder still behind the split-rail fence. It was then that General Forrest demanded an unconditional surrender from Colonel Dunham, a demand Dunham rejected without hesitation.

It is not surprising that Russell and Woodward were able to advance without being seen or heard. The hollow was deep enough to shield their movements east of the Union line. The trees and undergrowth, through bare of leaves, provided generous cover. Forrest's artillery was unrelenting: the noise of the cannon would have been deafening. That, and the sound of hundreds of muskets, rifles, handguns, and shotguns firing at close range, would have covered any careful advance.

Colonel Alfred Russell
Colonel Tom Woodward
The Federals' attention was focused on the Confederate line to the north and the artillery shelling them from three sides. The unanticipated attack on their rear took them completely by surprise.

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° 47.073′ N, 88° 23.228′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee
Russell & Woodward's Advance Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Darren Jefferson Clay, July 24, 2021
2. Russell & Woodward's Advance Marker
, 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. Union Wagon Train (within shouting distance of this marker); 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forrest Averts Disaster (about 300 feet away); The Federal Forces (about 400 feet away); Dunham's Position (about 500 feet away); The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (about 500 feet away); Surprise and Chaos (about 600 feet away); The Confederate Escape (about 700 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 July 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 88 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   2. submitted on July 24, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024