“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)

Cyrus Livingston Dunham

January 16, 1817-November 21, 1877

Cyrus Livingston Dunham Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
1. Cyrus Livingston Dunham Marker
Inscription.  Cyrus Livingston Dunham left a promising political career to serve his country in the Civil War. He resigned his military commission November 18, 1863, his health broken

A Rural Upbringing
Cyrus Dunham was born and raised on a farm near Dryden, New York. His parents, though not wealthy, managed to send Cyrus to school in the winter months. As a young man he found employment on a fishing craft that plied the waters from Massachusetts to Newfoundland. Finding he was ill suited to life at sea, Dunham secured a teaching position. He saved enough to enable him to study law and in 1841, at the age of 24, Dunham set out for the frontier - Indiana. He was admitted to the bar and opened a law office in the Washington County seat, Salem. Four years later he was elected prosecuting attorney, beginning a lifelong political career.

A Career In Politics
Between 1845 and 1860 Cyrus Dunham served two years as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives and three terms in the US Congress. After his bid for reelection in 1855 failed, Dunham returned to the practice of law in Salem. He was appointed Secretary
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of State in 1859. The following year, Dunham was put forth as a candidate for Governor on the Democratic ticket.

The Civil War
Dunham was mustered in as Colonel in the 50th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers on December 31, 1861. His surrender to Braxton Bragg at Munfordville, Kentucky, in September 1862 earned him sharp criticism. In March 1863, just two months after the battle at Parker's Crossroads, Dunham was granted leave, seemingly for ill health. After several months of medical leave, Dunham was appointed Military Commandant, New Albany, Indiana, New District, Department of Ohio on July 20, 1863. On November 18 of that year, Cyrus Dunham was "honorably discharged on account of physical disability on tender of resignation." One can't help believing that Dunham was glad to end what had been a rather lackluster military career.

His Later Years
After his resignation, Dunham opened a law office in New Albany, Indiana. He was elected to the State House of Representatives in 1864 and 1865. In 1871 he moved his law practice to Jeffersonville, Indiana where he was promptly elected judge of the Floyd and Clark County Criminal Court. He retired in 1874 due to poor health. Cyrus Livingston Dunham died November 21, 1877 after a short illness.

An Unconventional Lifestyle
Cyrus Livingston Dunham married
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
Malvina Belle Markwell on January 6, 1870. What is interesting is that the couple had been living together as husband and wife for some years and already had a seven year-old daughter. Alice Dunham was born on December 22, 1862, just nine days before the Battle of Parker's Crossroads. In her successful application for a widow's pension, Malvina stated "He had promised to marry me and after delaying it from time to time he did do so." Malvina Dunham died September 15, 1908.

The Indiana capitol building where Cyrus Dunham served in the State House of Representatives, 1846-1847 and 1864-1865.
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° 47.197′ N, 88° 23.205′ 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. "The General Demands An Unconditional Surrender" (within shouting distance of this marker); Desperate Fighting
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(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Federal Forces (about 500 feet away); A Dogged Defense (about 500 feet away); A Concealed Assault (about 500 feet away); Freeman's Battery (about 500 feet away); Confederate Artillery Position (about 500 feet away); A Lull in the Fighting (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 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 160 times since then and 18 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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Mar. 3, 2024