“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dover in Stewart County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Battle of Dover

War Returns to Stewart County

Battle of Dover Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
1. Battle of Dover Marker
Inscription. Union and Confederate forces clashed near here again on February 3, 1863, almost one year after the Battle of Fort Donelson. Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler attacked Dover’s 800-man Federal garrison after he failed to disrupt Union shipping on the Cumberland River.

Lt. Col. Arthur A. Smith was posted in the cemetery with Companies I and F, 83rd Illinois Infantry (Co. C in reverse), and one gun from Battery C (“Flood’s Battery”) to defend the Union right flank. At 3 P.M., Confederate Gen. John A Wharton’s brigade advanced here in coordination with Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry charge on the Union left. The attack met stiff resistance as three more Union cannons arrived in support. The extra firepower was not enough, however, and the gunners pulled back their cannons with difficulty. The Confederates captured the cemetery as well as one of the guns.

Although Wharton now controlled the entire western side of Dover, his advance slowed because of a lack of ammunition. The 83rd Illinois counterattacked with six companies of infantry and retook this position by 7 P. M. Fearing Federal reinforcements, as well as support from U.S. Navy gunboats, Wheeler ordered a withdrawal to a line about four miles south of Dover. Forrest bitterly denounced Wheeler’s decision. The Federals suffered 126 casualties, the
Battle of Dover Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
2. Battle of Dover Marker
Confederates 670.

According to local tradition, cannon fire during the battle damaged many of the headstones here. The Confederate dead left on the field were buried in a shallow mass grave. Later, the local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans dedicated a monument nearby to their memory.

Gen. Joseph Wheeler Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress
Dover and vicinity — Courtesy Tennessee Sate Library & Archives
Artillerists under infantry assault — Courtesy Library of Congress
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans, and the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 28.741′ N, 87° 52.016′ W. Marker is in Dover, Tennessee, in Stewart County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Donelson Parkway (U.S. 79) and Moores Drive, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of the Stewart County Visitor Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 Visitor Center Lane, Dover TN 37058, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morrison's Attack (here, next to this marker); Holding The Line (here, next to this marker); Forrest's Attack (a few steps from this marker); Forrest's Escape (within shouting distance of this marker); 6-pounder Gun (approx. 0.3 miles away); Porter's Battery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Federal Troops and Casualties at Fort Donelson (approx. 0.3 miles away); Confederate Troops and Casualties at Fort Donelson (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dover.
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 472 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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