“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)

Three Desperate Charges

Three Desperate Charges Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, April 3, 2021
1. Three Desperate Charges Marker

The Confederates pressed forward, taking possession of the high ground abandoned by the Union troops, Forrest advancing his battle line into small arms range. The Confederate artillerists manhandled their guns forward, resuming their punishing fire at a range of less than 200 yards.

Dunham's men charged the guns under a hail of canister and grape. Part of the Federal line advanced to within 60 paces of the Confederate guns before it was turned back by the intense barrage of fire. Colonel Dunham again ordered his line to charge the batteries to his front and right.

During this charge, Confederate Colonel Alonzo Napier, on the Huntingdon-Lexington Road, mounted a counter attack on the 39th Iowa on the Union left. Napier and some of his men reached the split-rail fence. There, while standing atop the fence, Napier was mortally wounded and the Union enjoyed a short-lived advantage.

Meanwhile, Forrest began to deploy his troops so as to encircle the Union position. These preparations drew men from the Confederate battle line facing south, leaving only one regiment, Dibrell's 8th Tennessee.
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Dunham seized the opportunity offered by the weakened line and ordered an attack on Dibrell's position but the men, assaulted by a crossfire of canister and shrapnel, were driven back behind the split-rail fence. It was then that Forrest executed a classic military maneuver, a double-envelopment, attacking the Union front, rear, and flanks simultaneously.

During the first Union charge Colonel John Rinaker, commander of the 122nd Illinois, was severely wounded: "I was struck just below the right knee severing an artery, and soon so reducing me that I was unable to take any active part in the fray."
Photo at left: Colonel John I. Rinaker

James Drish saw his commanding officer fall: "I was near him when he was struck, and helped him behind a tree and tied handkerchiefs around his leg and stopped the blood … it didn't take me two minutes but he fainted from lack of blood before I finished." Drish's quick thinking saved Rinaker's life.
Photo at right: Lieutenant Colonel James F. Drish — Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Erected by Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. 35° 47.304′ N, 88° 
Three Desperate Charges Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Graff, April 24, 2012
2. Three Desperate Charges Marker
23.308′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker can be reached from Federal Lane, 0.2 miles east of Tennessee Route 22, on the right when traveling east. The marker is along the South Loop Walking Trail beside the split-rail fence, at Stop 7 of the Parker's Crossroads Driving 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. Withdrawal to the Split-Rail Fence (within shouting distance of this marker); 122nd Illinois Infantry Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); 39th Iowa Infantry Regiment (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Parker's Crossroads (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Very Successful Campaign (about 300 feet away); Lt. Col. Alonzo Napier (about 300 feet away); The Lexington-Huntingdon Road (about 300 feet away); McPeake Cabin (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
More about this marker. An artillery piece (Parrot rifle) is positioned 300 feet north of this marker and the split-rail fence. It is aimed across Interstate 40 at Forrest's opposing line.
Regarding Three Desperate Charges. A map on the right shows Union attempts to charge north as they are become surrounded by Forrest's brigade.
Federal View to Forrest's Line image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Graff, April 24, 2012
3. Federal View to Forrest's Line
From the marker and the split-rail fence, the view to the Confederate line is interrupted by Interstate 40. A Parrott rifle near I-40 threatens the rebels.

Additional keywords. Parkers Crossroads
Credits. This page was last revised on May 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 21, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 532 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on March 21, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 17, 2024