“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Jackson in Madison County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)


Railroad Gateway to Deep South


Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid

Jackson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ken Smith, December 20, 2012
1. Jackson Marker
Inscription.  (In Yellow)

Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry brigade on a raid through West Tennessee, Dec. 15, 1862 - Jan. 3, 1863, destroying railroads and severing Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's supply line between Columbus, Kentucky, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Forrest crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton, defeated Union Col. Robert G. Ingersoll's cavalry at Lexington, captured Trenton and Union City, and ranged briefly into Kentucky. He raided back through Tennessee, evaded defeat at Parker's Cross Roads, and crossed the river again at Clifton. Grant changed his supply base to Memphis.

(Main Body)

During the war, Jackson was the transportation crossroads of West Tennessee. After the 1862 Battle of Shiloh, 50 miles southeast, Union commanders took control of Jackson's railroad junction to use the tracks as supply lines for their Mississippi campaigns.

The Confederates contested control of Jackson's railroads. In September 1862, the Battle of Britton Lane took place south of here at the town of Denmark.

In November 1862, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg ordered Gen. Nathan B. Forrest to launch a major
Jackson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ken Smith, May 31, 2011
2. Jackson Marker
cavalry raid against the Union garrisons here and in other occupied railroad towns. Union Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan fortified Jackson, ordering that "the negroes in town will ... be pressed into the service, and be employed in carrying stores within the inner line." On December 19, the two sides clashed on Jackson's outskirts at Salem Cemetery. The next day, the Confederates moved north to take the Federal garrisons at Humboldt and Trenton. After raiding into Kentucky, Forrest headed back to Middle Tennessee. Union forces almost stopped him on December 31 at Parker's Crossroads, 26 miles east of here.

After Confederate forces reoccupied Jackson, a Union expedition from LaGrange drove them out after a stiff fight on July 13, 1863, as several Federal regiments, including Col. Fielding Hurst's 1st Tennessee Cavalry, fought on the streets of downtown Jackson. Part of the town burned, extensive looting occurred, and Federal commanders blamed and fined Hurst. He returned a few months later and forced city leaders to repay the fine.

(In Blue)

"General Forrest ... completely fooled General J.C. Sullivan. ... While we were on this wildgoose chase towards Lexington, Forrest simply whirled around our flanks at Jackson, and swept north on the railroad." - Lt. Leander Stillwell, 61st Illinois Infantry

(Map Bottom Left)

Forrest's First West
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Tennessee Raid, Dec. 15, 1862 - Jan. 3, 1863

(Pictures Bottom Right)

Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress. Railroad scene in Jackson, Harper's Weekly, Oct.21, 1862.

Tennessee Civil War Trails
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Location. 35° 39.612′ N, 88° 51.368′ W. Marker is in Jackson, Tennessee, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 45 Bypass (Tennessee Route 186) near Carriage House Drive when traveling south. Going south on U.S. 45 bypass, from I-40, take 1st. street on right, Carriage House Drive, then turn right, taking next street to left, Casey Jones Lane, turn into 2nd. drive into Casey Jones Village, marker is on right at the Old Country Store. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Casey Jones Village, Jackson TN 38305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Carl Lee Perkins (within shouting distance of this marker); Home of Casey Jones (within shouting distance of this marker); Reelfoot and Laughing Eyes (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); This Log Cabin was from Henderson County (about 300 feet away); In Memory Of Merry Boy (approx. 1.6 miles away); First Presbyterian Church
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(approx. 2 miles away); Campbell's Levee Bridge (approx. 2.9 miles away); Lambuth College (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jackson.
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2013, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 386 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 28, 2013, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.
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