McKenzie in Carroll County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
A Strategic Junction
—Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid —
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry brigade on a raid through West Tennessee, Dec. 15, 1862-Jan. 3, 1863, destroying railroads and severing Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's supply line between Columbus, Kentucky, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Forrest crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton, defeated Union Col. Robert G. Ingersoll's cavalry at Lexington, captured Trent and Union City, and ranged briefly into Kentucky. He raided back through Tennessee, evaded defeat at Parker's Crossroads, and crossed the river again at Clifton. Forrest's success forced Grant to switch his supply base to Memphis.
McKenzie’s location put it squarely in the path of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s first west Tennessee raid in December 1862. After capturing Union City, Forrest turned east on Christmas Day, burning trestles and destroying track between there and McKenzie. Forrest’s troopers reached McKenzie two days later with captured wagons full of coffee, flour and military supplies. Here he learned that Federal forces had deserted the bridges over the Obion River. As two of Union Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan’s infantry brigades closed in, local farmers told Forrest about an old bridge on a back road that spanned the Obion River and led to McLemoresville. After shoring up the rickety structure that
When the war began, Carroll County’s residents were equally divided between secessionists and Unionists and furnished a similar number of recruits to both armies. Poorer farmers in the eastern agricultural districts mostly remained loyal to the Union, while the cotton growers residing in the prime land in the western section usually favored the Confederacy. Located in the northwestern portion of the county, McKenzie’s Station was situated at the junction of two railroads and therefore strategically significant.
“There was no treat for the southern girls like the coming of Confederate soldiers. No sight so pretty as a long column of boys in gray uniforms with pistols buckled round them, and guns and sabers at their sides.” — Annie Cole Hawkings, McKenzie
(lower left) Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan Courtesy of Library of Congress
(upper right) Carroll County and McKenzie's Station, from 1863 state map Courtesy of Library of Congress
Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid, Dec. 15, 1862-Jan 3, 1863
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
Marker series. Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 36° 7.887′ N, 88° 31.049′ W. Marker is in McKenzie, Tennessee, in Carroll County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street and Cedar Street (Tennessee Route 124), on the right when traveling south on North Main Street. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of the Carroll County Courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Mc Kenzie TN 38201, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Monroe McKenzie (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethel College (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harris-Collier-Holland Farm (approx. one mile away); Forrest's Raid (approx. 1.1 miles away); Webb School (approx. 1.6 miles away); Clear Lake (approx. 1.8 miles away); Christmasville (approx. 6.8 miles away); Hillsman House (approx. 9.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McKenzie.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 18, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 464 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 18, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.