Jackson in Madison County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Battle of Salem Cemetery
—Forrest's Second Tennessee Raid —
Alarmed by Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's early success in counties to the east, Union Col. Adolph Engelmann stationed his brigade here on both sides of Cotton Grove Road in an attempt to slow his progress. On the morning of December 19, 1862, Forrest's cavalry rode south toward Jackson, and as the column approached, Federal soldiers here fired a deadly volley. killing or wounding several men and horses.
Forrest's cavalrymen retreated to the next ridge north, leaving behind four dismounted troopers who used their dead horses for cover until captured. The Federals regrouped behind the cemetery's iron and wood fence and repelled a brisk cavalry charge, adding to the dead and wounded on the road. Forrest then unlimbered three guns and shelled the Federal
As the Confederate gunners began to find their range, Engelmann, told that his outnumbered troops were in danger of being flanked, withdrew toward Jackson. Forrest confined the Federals to their fortifications there, freeing him to continue raids against Union rail and communication lines in West Tennessee. During the four-hour battle, Confederate losses totaled 65 killed, wounded, or missing, while Federal losses were 2 killed and 6 wounded. Except for the paving of Cotton Grove Road, the natural features surrounding the cemetery (established 1825) remain unchanged.
Quote: "In wild disorder they turned from the road to the right and left in the open fields, hurrying their shattered and broken ranks without the range of our guns. After a lapse of some fifteen minutes they commenced shelling the wood where we were stationed. The range of their guns was very exact, shells bursting all around us." - Col. Adoph Engelmann, 43 Illinois Infantry
Photos (Top Right): Col. Adolph Engelmann Courtesy Salem Church Battlefield Association, and Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress
Map (Bottom Right): Battle of Salem Cemetery based on map drawn by Col. Adolph Englemann - includes location of the "Oak Tree"
Erected by Civil War Trails (Tennessee).
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 37.766′ N, 88° 45.966′ W. Marker is in Jackson, Tennessee, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from Cotton Grove Road 0.3 miles north of N Parkway East/Paul Coffman Drive, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Old Salem Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Jackson TN 38305, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named The Battle of Salem Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Unknown Sentry Stands Guard (within shouting distance of this marker); Large Oak Tree (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jones' Anglewood (approx. 1˝ miles away); John Luther Jones (approx. 2.2 miles away); Lane College (approx. 2.3 miles away); Adam Huntsman (approx. 2.4 miles away); Merry High School (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jackson.
Also see . . . Salem Cemetery Battlefield Association. (Submitted on December 28, 2012, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 28, 2012, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 521 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 28, 2012, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 2, 3. submitted on August 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 4. submitted on December 28, 2012, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 5. submitted on August 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 6, 7. submitted on December 28, 2012, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.