Parkers Crossroads in Henderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Manning the Guns
Artillery played a decisive role in many Civil War battles, including Parker's Crossroads. Few people realize, however, that manning and equipping a six-gun battery involved approximately 150 men, 110 horses and mules, and hundreds of pieces of equipment.
A captain commanded the battery. There were four lieutenants, one to command each two-gun "section" and one to command the caissons. There were also two staff sergeants, five mechanics, two blacksmiths, two buglers and a standard bearer. Each gun had one gunner, usually a sergeant, seven artillerists, and at least two horseholders. Almost 70 drivers were needed for the teams that pulled the caissons, limbers, supply wagons, and traveling forge.
A full battery consisted of six guns, although four-gun batteries were common, especially in the Confederacy. The most common field pieces were the 3-inch ordnance rifle, the 10-pounder Parrott field rifle, and the 12-pounder Napoleon. Early in the war, 6-pounder bronze field guns and 12-pounder howitzers were common.
The range of these guns varied. Both the Parrotts and the
On the march, each gun was hooked behind a limber, which carried a chest containing ammunition, primers, and fuses. The limber also carried the tar bucket, canvas water buckets, and a tarpaulin. For each gun in the battery there were at least two caissons, which carried additional ammunition chests, axes, and a spare wheel and pole. The battery wagon carried everything needed to keep the battery in good running order – oil, paint, spokes, spare gunners' tools, harness, spades, scythes, picks, and a complete complement of carriage makers' tools and saddlers' tools – over 125 different items. A rack carried forage for the horses. The traveling forge sat on a limber that also carried smiths' tools, spare hardware, nails, and 200 pounds of horseshoes. There might also be several wagons for extra fodder and supplies.
The Horses & Mules
A battery depended on its horses. A four or six-horse team was needed to pull each caisson, each gun and limber, the battery wagon, the forge, and each additional wagon. Officers rode horses, as did artillerists in a horse artillery battery. Ten or more spare horses were a necessity. Without horses a battery's guns were immobile. They were
Erected by Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 35° 47.629′ N, 88° 23.198′ W. Marker was in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker could be reached from Tennessee Route 22 0.6 miles north of Interstate 40, on the right when traveling north. Marker is on the North Loop Walking Trail 0.4 miles from the start of the trail. This marker is found halfway along on the east extension off the loop trail. The North Loop Walking Trail is at Tour Stop #1 (Parkers Crossroads City Park) of the Driving Tour. Touch for map. Marker was 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 location. Forrest's Big Show (a few steps from this marker); A Fire Terrible In Its Intensity (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Horseholders (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Manning the Guns (about 400 feet away); The Battle Begins (about 400 feet away); Civil War Artillery (about 500 feet away); Prelude to Battle/December 31, 1862—the Battle/Union and Confederate ForcesA Panicked Stampede (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
More about this marker. Marker includes drawings of a Field Carriage , Caisson, Limber, Six-Mule Team and Battery Wagon. Illustrations are from the U.S. Ordnance Manual, 1861
This marker has been replaced by another marker at this location titled "Forrest's Big Show".
Additional keywords. Parkers Crossroads
Credits. This page was last revised on May 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 14, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 379 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on May 29, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on March 14, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 2. submitted on August 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 3. submitted on March 14, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 4. submitted on August 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.