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Grand Junction in Hardeman County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Grand Junction

Crossroads of Conflict

 
 
Grand Junction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
1. Grand Junction Marker
Inscription. Grand Junction is named for its location, where the Memphis and Charleston and Mississippi Central Railroads intersect, and was strategically important to both Confederate and Union forces. After defeats at Shiloh and Corinth, Confederates tore up the tracks, hoping to delay the Federal pursuit. Union Gen. William T. Sherman oversaw much of the repair work in mid-1862. Later Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant made this place a staging ground for his Vicksburg campaign, storing "100,000 rations" and basing 40,000 U.S. soldiers here.

On December 22, 1862, Confederate Gen. Earl Van Dorn's cavalry struck the Union garrison here two days after his devastating raid on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's supply depot at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Col. John McDermontt, 15th Michigan Infantry, counterattacked Van Dorn's force and wired Grant: "We are skirmishing with the enemy and will hold them ... moving on ... we are after them." Van Dorn escaped, and the town remained firmly under Union control.

Thousands of refugee slaves ("contrabands") poured into Grand Junction for protection and provisions. They became a hindrance to Union military activities, but Grant noted that "orders of the government prohibited [their expulsion] from the protection of the army. Humanity forbade allowing them to starve [and] men, women, and children could be employed
Grand Junction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
2. Grand Junction Marker
in saving [food] crops. To do this work with contrabands ... organization under a competent chief was necessary." Grant appointed Chaplain John Eaton of the 27th Ohio Infantry to create contraband camps and head the humanitarian effort, using army provisions and tents. Eaton's plans for the camps later influenced the Freedman's Bureau approach to caring for contrabands. A master of organization, Eaton continued his work after the war.
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 2.986′ N, 89° 11.224′ W. Marker is in Grand Junction, Tennessee, in Hardeman County. Marker is on Tippah Street south of Tennessee Highway 57, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grand Junction TN 38039, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Bird Dog Field Trials (approx. 0.3 miles away); Woodlawn (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Gloster - Anderson Graveyard (approx. 2.7 miles away); Immanuel Church (approx. 3.2 miles away); LaGrange
Grand Junction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
3. Grand Junction Marker
Looking south toward the railroad junction.
(approx. 3.2 miles away); Grierson's Raid (approx. 3.2 miles away); La Grange (approx. 3.2 miles away); Lucy Petway Holcombe Pickens House (approx. 3.3 miles away).
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, US Civil
 
Grand Junction image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
4. Grand Junction
a portion of the old downtown area.
Grand Junction image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
5. Grand Junction
City Hall, built 1941.
Grand Junction image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
6. Grand Junction
Looking east toward the railroad junction. Norfolk Southern offices are on the right.
Gen. Earl Van Dorn image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
7. Gen. Earl Van Dorn
Chaplain John Eaton image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, October 21, 2010
8. Chaplain John Eaton
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,005 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 26, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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