Lawrenceburg in Lawrence County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Skirmish at Lawrenceburg
Saving the Courthouse
In November 1862, Confederate cavalrymen under Col. Albert G. Cooper camped near Lawrenceburg. He confined captured Federal soldiers and Union sympathizers in the jail here on the town square. Union Maj. Thomas C. Fitz Gibbon, commanding the post at Columbia, selected a detachment of 120 troopers from the 14th Michigan Mounted Infantry and set off to surprise the Confederates here the next morning. Unknown to Fitz Gibbon, however, Confederate scout Tom Moss heard of the plan and hurried ahead to warn Cooper of the impending attack.
When Fitz Gibbon and his forces arrived at Lawrenceburg the morning of November 3, they found almost 500 Confederates waiting for them behind several lines of cotton bale barricades that surrounded the town. Outnumbered but armed with Spencer repeating carbines and pistols, the Federals charged, scattered the defenders and took possession of the square. Seeing that the courthouse and log jail were empty of prisoners, the Union soldiers placed loose cotton inside the jail and set it on fire.
As the men of the 14th Michigan prepared to do the same to the courthouse a group of local citizens
Erected 2012 by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1862.
Location. 35° 14.45′ N, 87° 20.119′ W. Marker is in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, in Lawrence County. Marker is at the intersection of Waterloo Street and Military Street, on the right when traveling west on Waterloo Street. Located in the public square. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lawrenceburg TN 38464, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lawrence County War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Courthouse - Lawrence County Tennessee (within shouting distance of this marker); Mexican War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Col. David Crockett (within shouting distance James David Vaughan (within shouting distance of this marker); Trail of Tears Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); James D. Vaughan (within shouting distance of this marker); Jackson's Military Road (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lawrenceburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 16, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 798 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 16, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.