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

Mossy Creek Engagement

Bending but not Breaking

 
 
Mossy Creek Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 30, 2013
1. Mossy Creek Engagement Marker
Inscription. (preface)
In November 1863, Confederated Gen. James Longstreet led a force from Chattanooga to attack Union Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s army at Knoxville. The campaign failed, and in December Longstreet’s men marched east along the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad to winter quarter at Russellville, where they remained until March 1864. Numerous small engagements between Longstreet’s and Burnside’s armies occurred during the winter.

(main text)
An engagement took place here on December 29, 1863, when Confederate Gen. William T. Martin’s cavalry attacked Union Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis’s Federal troopers, who were pressuring Confederate soldiers preparing for winter camp at Russellville. Martin struck late in the morning, bending but not breaking the Union line because of the effectiveness of Capt. Eli Lilly’s 18th Indiana Artillery, which was positioned a few yards from here across the road.

Lilly, who considered this the battery’s most glorious and successful action, soon faced hard times. A few months later, he transferred to a cavalry unit that surrendered to Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in Middle Tennessee. He remained a prisoner for the balance of the war. After the war, however Lilly’s fortunes improved. In 1876, his small drug store in Indianapolis began to evolve into the Eli Lilly
Mossy Creek Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 6, 2010
2. Mossy Creek Engagement Marker
A close up of the map shown in the lower left side of the marker
Pharmaceutical Company.

Another Union officer, Capt. Elbert J. Cannon, 1st Tennessee Cavalry, led a daring saber charge against the 11th Tennessee Cavalry (CSA). Some of the Confederates had dismounted and fired their carbines from kneeling positions. Both Cannon and his horse were struck and they fell to the ground as the charge thundered by into the woods. Two Southern soldiers found him, barely alive, and left him to be retrieved by his own men. They also informed his mother, who lived near the Confederate camp. She was escorted through the lines and remained at her son’s side until he died on January 1, 1864. Cannon is buried a few yards west of here in Branner Cemetery.

(captions)
(left) Map courtesy David C. Smith
(right) Capt. Eli Lilly Courtesy of Eli Lilly Company; Capt. E.J. Cannon Courtesy David C. Smith; Gravestone of Capt. E.J. Cannon in Branner Cemetery
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 7.884′ N, 83° 28.884′ W. Marker is in Jefferson City, Tennessee, in Jefferson County. Marker is on East Old Andrew Johnson Highway 0.1 miles south of Municipal Road., on the right
Mossy Creek Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 6, 2010
3. Mossy Creek Engagement Marker
Close up of upper right of marker.
when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker is located near the entrance to the National Guard Army. Marker is in this post office area: Jefferson City TN 37760, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Mossy Creek (here, next to this marker); Carson - Newman College (approx. 1.3 miles away); Cox Mill (approx. 3 miles away); "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (approx. 4.4 miles away but has been reported missing); David Crockett and Polly Finley (approx. 4.9 miles away but has been reported missing); Frances Hodgson Burnett (approx. 5.1 miles away); Welcome to the Overlook at Panther Creek State Park (approx. 6.5 miles away); Melville Milton Murrell (approx. 6.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jefferson City.
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesIndustry & CommerceWar, US Civil
 
Mossy Creek Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 6, 2010
4. Mossy Creek Engagement Marker
Branner Cemetery sign in relation to the marker
Mossy Creek Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 30, 2013
5. Mossy Creek Engagement Marker
Sometime between 2010 and 2013, brick replaced metal for the Branner Cemetery entrance sign.
EJ Cannon Grave image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 6, 2010
6. EJ Cannon Grave
EJ Cannon's grave is located just past the marker up the trail into the cemetery
Mossy Creek Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 30, 2013
7. Mossy Creek Engagement Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 489 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   2, 3, 4. submitted on July 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   5. submitted on December 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   6. submitted on July 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   7. submitted on December 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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