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Trenton in Gibson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Fighting for Trenton

Rifling the Courthouse

 

— Forrest’s First West Tennessee Raid —

 
Fighting for Trenton Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ken Smith, May 8, 2012
1. Fighting for Trenton Marker
Inscription.  (Preface):
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry brigade on a raid through West Tennessee, Dec. 15, 1862 - Jan. 3, 1863, destroying railroads an 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 C. 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.

Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's cavalry brigade captured Trenton, an important stop on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, on December 20, 1862. He and his men occupied the town briefly before riding on toward Union City the next day. Forrest's aide, Capt. Charles W. Anderson, allegedly entered the Gibson County courthouse here, gathered the bonds and oaths of allegiance to the United States that Trenton residents had signed, piled them in the yard, and set them afire.

Corp. William H.H. Ibbetson, of Co. D, 122nd Illinois Infantry, described
Fighting for Trenton Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ken Smith, May 8, 2012
2. Fighting for Trenton Marker
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the war's effects on the town. He arrived in Trenton with his regiment on October 9, 1862. The unit had ridden in boxcars used for transporting cattle by rail to Corinth, Mississippi. In his diary, Ibbetson wrote the next day, the regiment "went into quarters that evening in a large store on the west side of the [courthouse] square. The town is very nice, but shows unmistakable signs of the Civil War. It used to have a population of 1,500 but now not more than 500 remain. A great many homes are vacant."

The Russell-Hill Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, erected the Confederate monument in 1907.

(Sidebar):
The current Gibson County courthouse was completed in 1899. It is the fourth courthouse to be constructed on this site. A log building was completed in 1825, a brick structure replaced it in 1829, and another brick courthouse was built between 1839 and 1841. It survived the Civil War and stood until this courthouse was constructed.
 
Erected 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, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is October 9, 1862.
 
Location. 35° 58.855′ N, 88° 56.488′ 
Map of the Raid - December 15, 1862 to January 3, 1863 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ken Smith, May 8, 2012
3. Map of the Raid - December 15, 1862 to January 3, 1863
W. Marker is in Trenton, Tennessee, in Gibson County. Marker is at the intersection of Eaton Street (Tennessee Route 104, 77) and College Street (U.S. 45), on the left when traveling east on Eaton Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton TN 38382, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gibson County Confederate Memorial (here, next to this marker); Gibson County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); David Crockett (within shouting distance of this marker); Female Collegiate Institute (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Fighting for Trenton (approx. 0.3 miles away); Forrest at Trenton (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Fighting for Trenton (approx. ¾ mile away); C.S.A. Camp Trenton (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Trenton.
 
Gibson County Courthouse of 1839-1841 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ken Smith, May 8, 2012
4. Gibson County Courthouse of 1839-1841
Portraits of Gen. Forrest and Captain Anderson image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ken Smith, May 8, 2012
5. Portraits of Gen. Forrest and Captain Anderson
Fighting for Trenton image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Ken Smith, May 8, 2012
6. Fighting for Trenton
A colored newspaper illustration of "General Forrest Driving the Federals out of Trenton, Tenn. General Forrest in the Foreground Giving Orders."
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 11, 2012, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 833 times since then and 67 times this year. Last updated on March 15, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 11, 2012, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 29, 2022