“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)

The Federal Forces

The Federal Forces Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
1. The Federal Forces Marker
Inscription.  General Jeremiah Sullivan assumed command of the District of Jackson, Tennessee, in the fall of 1862. As such, Sullivan was in command of the Union forces pursuing Forrest. As Ed Bearss, National Park Service Historian Emeritus, put it, Sullivan "had the unenviable job of pitting garrison troops against the forces of Nathan B. Forrest."

Grant Mobilizes His Forces
When Grant learned that Forrest was preparing to move against Jackson, a key railroad junction, he responded with his customary alacrity. On December 18 he ordered Colonel John W. Fuller's Ohio Brigade to proceed by rail to Jackson, where Fuller was to report to General Sullivan.

At the same time, Sullivan began concentrating his garrison troops in Jackson. The 50th Indiana was already there, having reached Jackson on November 10 after being returned to duty from parole camp in Indianapolis, where they had been since their capture at Munfordville, Kentucky, in mid-September.

Two companies of the 18th Illinois, the 122nd Illinois, and the 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery had been attached to Sullivan's command for some months, guarding
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the Mobile & Ohio Railroad near Trenton and Humboldt. The 39th Iowa was en route to Corinth when they received orders to report to General Sullivan.

Seasoned Veterans and Raw Recruits
The men under Colonel Fuller's command were seasoned veterans who had seen action at New Madrid, Island No. 10, and the siege and battle of Corinth. The men placed under Dunham's command were much less experienced. Only the 18th Illinois, which had fought at the Battle of Shiloh, and the 50th Indiana, which saw action under Colonel Dunham against General John Hunt Morgan and at the Battle of Munfordville, had any real combat experience.

The 7th Wisconsin had manned heavy artillery at Island No. 10 but had no field experience with light artillery. They had been on garrison duty, first at Island No. 10 and then at Trenton, since May. The 122nd Illinois had been assigned to Sullivan and given garrison duty shortly after being organized in September. The 39th Iowa had been mustered in only a month before and had no experience whatsoever. In fact, the brigade's commander, Colonel Dunham, was no military man, but a politician.

"Its Courage Never Flagged"
At the Battle of Parker's Crossroads, Dunham's brigade, many of the regiments inexperienced and untried, was pitted against Nathan Bedford Forrest's battle-hardened veterans. It says much about the
View of the battlefield from the marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
2. View of the battlefield from the marker
bravery and fortitude of these men that they performed as well as they did against one of the Civil War's greatest generals.

Union Command at Parker's Crossroads

General Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan, commander, District of Jackson, Tennessee

1st Brigade - Colonel Cyrus Livingston Dunham, commanding
50th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Col. Cyrus Livingston Dunham
39th Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Col. Henry J. B. Cummings
18th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Co. A and C), Capt. John Davis
122nd Regiment Illinois Volunteer Mounted Infantry, Col. John I. Rinaker
7th Wisconsin Independent Battery Light Artillery, Lieut. Arthur B. Wheelock

2nd Brigade - Colonel John W. Fuller, commanding (Fuller's Ohio Brigade)
27th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. John W. Fuller
39th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. Edward F. Noyes
63rd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Col. John W. Sprague
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° 47.125′ N, 88° 23.179′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker is on Federal Lane, 0.2 miles
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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. Russell & Woodward's Advance (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Union Wagon Train (about 400 feet away); Surprise and Chaos (about 400 feet away); Cyrus Livingston Dunham (about 500 feet away); A Lull in the Fighting (about 500 feet away); A Dogged Defense (about 500 feet away); Forrest Averts Disaster (about 500 feet away); 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery (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 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 109 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. 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. 20, 2024