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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near McCalla in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Civil War Site 1861-1865

 
 
Civil War Site 1861-1865 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr
1. Civil War Site 1861-1865 Marker
Inscription. As the border states began to fall, Alabama iron became critical to the survival of the Confederacy. During the last two years of the war, Alabama’s furnaces were producing 70% of the entire southern iron supply.

That output invited federal invasion in the largest cavalry operation of the war. Known as Wilson’s Raid, a federal force of over 14,000 laid waste to Tannehill and a dozen other Alabama furnaces including the Selma Arsenal as the war came to an end.

The Tannehill Ironworks was attacked by three companies of the 8th Iowa Cavalry under the command of Capt. William A. Sutherland on March 31, 1865. Before leaving, they torched all the adjacent factory buildings, slave cabins, a large gristmill and tannery and a storehouse for food and supplies. In the fire, Tannehill’s workforce of over 500 slaves and white mechanics was scattered and displaced. A mile downstream on Roupes Creek, the Williams & Owen Forge escaped detection.

Sutherland re-joined Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton’s main force of 15,000 cavalrymen which proceeded on to burn the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. En route on April 1, Croxton’s cavalry engaged CS troops commanded by Brig. Gen. William H. (Red) Jackson in the battle of Trion (now called Vance).

While iron production ended at Tannehill in 1865, its main financier,
Civil War Site 1861-1865 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr
2. Civil War Site 1861-1865 Marker
Marker on the left.
John Alexander, continued to operate the cupola furnace producing products from iron scrap before the site was sold to the Thomas iron interests of Pennsylvania, a parent company of Republic Steel Corp., in 1868.

Listed as a Designated site on the Civil War Preservation Trust’s National Discovery Trail.
 
Erected by Civil War Preservation Trust.
 
Location. 33° 14.872′ N, 87° 4.07′ W. Marker is near McCalla, Alabama, in Tuscaloosa County. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park across from the furnaces. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12632 Confederate Parkway, Mc Calla AL 35111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tannehill Ironworks (here, next to this marker); Tannehill Furnaces (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eighth Iowa Cavalry (about 700 feet away); Tannehill Furnace And Foundry (approx. 2.6 miles away); Town of Woodstock (approx. 6 miles away); Belle Ellen (approx. 9.2 miles away); West Blocton, Alabama (approx. 9.4 miles away); Blocton / Blocton Coke Ovens (approx. 9.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McCalla.
 
Also see . . .  Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park's website
Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton, USA image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
3. Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton, USA
Led raid on Tuscaloosa April 2, 1865.
. (Submitted on October 6, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, US Civil
 
Capt. William A Sutherland, USA (Center) image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
4. Capt. William A Sutherland, USA (Center)
Led attack on Tannehill Furnaces March 31, 1865.
Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
5. Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA
Leader of Confederate Forces in Alabama.
Brig. Gen. William H. (Red) Jackson, CSA image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
6. Brig. Gen. William H. (Red) Jackson, CSA
Clashed with Croxton at Trion.
Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, USA, and staff at Reams Station, Virginia. image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
7. Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, USA, and staff at Reams Station, Virginia.
Wilson who directed the largest cavalry raid of the war into Alabama in March and April, 1865, is shown in the center of this picture looking to his left.
Image of the Selma Arsenal and Gun Foundry image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
8. Image of the Selma Arsenal and Gun Foundry
The Selma Arsenal and Gun Foundry at peak production was surpassed only by the Tredegar Ironworks in Richmond as a producer of war materials for the Confederacy (Lanier).
Spencer Repeater image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
9. Spencer Repeater
The U.S. Army's new seven-shot rifle gave federal forces under Wilson unmatched fire power.
Tannehill Furnaces circa 1890's image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, July 10, 2010
10. Tannehill Furnaces circa 1890's
Tannehill Furnaces 2007 image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 11, 2007
11. Tannehill Furnaces 2007
Tannehill Furnace #1 image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 11, 2007
12. Tannehill Furnace #1
Tannehill Furnaces #2 and 3 image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 11, 2007
13. Tannehill Furnaces #2 and 3
Roupes Creek image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, May 11, 2007
14. Roupes Creek
Gristmill Trail ca 1830 image. Click for full size.
By Tim & Renda Carr, September 25, 2010
15. Gristmill Trail ca 1830
During the Civil War, this route was used by the 8th Iowa Cavalry to attack the Tannehill Ironworks.

This historic roadway, originally connecting to Eastern Valley Road, was a much-traveled access route to the John Wesley Hall Gristmill beginning in 1867.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 6, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,303 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on October 6, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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