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Parkers Crossroads in Henderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Battle Begins

 
 
The Battle Begins Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
1. The Battle Begins Marker
Inscription.
On the evening of December 30, Forrest's scouts ascertained that Dunham's Brigade was just north of Clarksburg. Forrest, knowing that General Sullivan was at Huntingdon, "determined to throw his force between Dunham and Sullivan and whip the former before the latter could intervene." That same night, Dunham's scouts reported that Forrest was camped at Union Church, just six miles west. A confident Dunham was determined to catch Forrest the following day at Parker's Crossroads.

The two forces met early on December 31 at Hicks' field on the McLemoresville Road, 1¼ mile northwest of Parker's Crossroads. After a short exchange, during which they were subjected to a heavy battering of shot and shell, the outgunned Federals began an orderly withdrawal.

Expecting Forrest to move south, Dunham deployed his troops along and behind a ridge on the east side of the Lexington-Huntingdon Road. Forrest, however, sent most of his forces east, along the Pleasant Exchange Road (Wildersville Road).

In response to this unexpected movement, which Dunham incorrectly thought was an attempt by Forrest to escape, Dunham moved north.

Dunham formed in line of battle parallel to the Pleasant Exchange Road and just north of a wooded area enclosed by a split-rail fence. The left side of
The Two Forces Met Early on Decemeber 31 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
2. The Two Forces Met Early on Decemeber 31
Top left map
the line was anchored on the Lexington-Huntingdon Road, the right on an open field.

"All had moved into position with alacrity and with the steadiness of veterans …The artillery had been ordered forward … but it had not yet arrived. By this time the enemy had got into position and the fire from his batteries had become intense along our whole line." Colonel Cyrus L. Dunham

Dunham's mistake put his men in a grim position. The Union artillery, which was late getting into position, was low on ammunition and, as Dunham would later report, "… was strikingly inefficient." Meanwhile, Forrest's artillery pounded the Union line. His cavalry was in their front and dismounted soldiers were working around the Union right flank.
 
Erected by Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.
 
Location. 35° 47.634′ N, 88° 23.282′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker can be reached from Tennessee Route 22 0.6 miles north of Interstate 40, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is on the North Loop Walking Trail around 1700 feet from the start of the trail. This marker is found where the loop trail turns back toward the start. The North Loop Walking Trail is at Tour Stop #1 (Parkers
Expecting Forrest to Move South image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
3. Expecting Forrest to Move South
Bottom left map
Crossroads City Park) of the Driving Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Wildersville TN 38388, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Horseholders (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Manning the Guns (about 400 feet away); Fuller's Assault (about 500 feet away); "Give 'Em Hell" (about 500 feet away); The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (about 600 feet away); "Charge Them Both Ways" (about 700 feet away); A Fire Terrible In Its Intensity (about 700 feet away); Parker's Cross Roads (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
 
Regarding The Battle Begins. The marker includes three battle maps described in the main text. A drawing shows a commander on horseback directing an artillery battery.
 
Additional keywords. Parkers Crossroads
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Dunham Fomed in Line of Battle image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
4. Dunham Fomed in Line of Battle
Right map
The Battle Begins Marker Picture image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
5. The Battle Begins Marker Picture
View South from the Confederate Line image. Click for full size.
By David Graff
6. View South from the Confederate Line
Near the marker, a cannon indicates a position along the Confederate line at the Pleasant Exchange Road. The view looks toward the Federals who were lined up at a split-rail fence.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 13, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 283 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 13, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 22, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   6. submitted on March 13, 2014, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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