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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee
Location of Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee
► Henderson County (89) ► Carroll County (23) ► Chester County (10) ► Decatur County (10) ► Hardin County (563) ► Madison County (60)
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| Just when victory seemed certain, Colonel Charles Carroll galloped up to Forrest with the news that a large Union force was fast approaching their rear along the Lexington-Huntington Road and was deploying in line of battle. Forrest, who had . . . — — Map (db m72369) HM|
Forrest placed the burden of the battle at Parker's Crossroads on his artillery, planning to win the battle with his cannoneers. His effective use of artillery allowed the Confederates to dominate the first two-thirds of the battle.
As . . . — — Map (db m72263) HM|
|"We drove them through the woods with great slaughter and several white flags were raised in various parts of the woods and the killed and wounded were strewn over the ground."
General Nathan Bedford Forrest
A short time . . . — — Map (db m174110) HM|
|At this location the 122nd Illinois held fast while General Forrest started to encircle the Union forces. With assaults also coming into the rear of the line, portions of the 122nd Illinois and men from the 50th Indiana about-faced, fixed bayonets, . . . — — Map (db m174129) HM|
|With eight pieces of Confederate artillery placed about 200 yards in their front, many of the men lay down along the fence line to avoid the intense fire of shell, grape and cannister. By early afternoon, white flags began to appear in the woods . . . — — Map (db m174130) HM|
|Being exposed to fire from both front and rear, companies of the 39th Iowa broke ranks and ran southwesterly into an open cornfield that was located across the Lexington-Huntingdon Road.
Col. Henry Cummings of the 39th Iowa was convinced, . . . — — Map (db m174127) HM|
At this position the 50th Indiana held the Union right flank. Private Joseph Hotz of Lieutenant Judy’s Company A had positioned himself behind the split-rail fence.
He later wrote his wife, “I go off cheaply…a shell hit the fence near . . . — — Map (db m174131) HM|
The 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery did not fare well at the Battle of Parker's Crossroads; in fact, the battery was in trouble even before the battle began. As a result of the losses suffered in Forrest's raids on Humboldt and Trenton, the battery . . . — — Map (db m174099) HM|
"Pretty soon the word came that the enemy were coming up in our rear on account of noise the orders were not heard by all & consequently we were thrown into considerable confusion".
Pvt. William Peter, 122nd . . . — — Map (db m174067) HM
A Successful Raid
Most historians consider Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's West Tennessee Raid a success, and he gets much credit for his actions at Parker's Crossroads. Confederate General Earl Van Dorn's destruction of . . . — — Map (db m174070) HM|
Forrest planned to encircle the Union position with artillery, using his guns to fight the battle rather than engaging his dismounted troops in close small arms combat. When Forrest deployed his troops following the engagement at Hicks' field . . . — — Map (db m72319) HM|
His Line Divided
Colonel Cyrus Dunham had defeated the Confederate attack on the rear of his forces, but to what end? The Union force was divided and confused. Dunham, who had held the brigade together all day by riding up and down the . . . — — Map (db m174072) HM|
|Confederate Victory Seems Assured
Much of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's artillery was deployed in an arc around where you stand. The guns rained unceasing fire on Union troops at the split-rail fence, visible on the far side of . . . — — Map (db m174203) HM|
| "We have worked, rode, and fought hard" On January 1, 1863 Forrest reached the Tennessee River. By 9 p.m. the entire command, more than 2,000 men and horses, six cannon, and a train of wagons, had crossed the river on the same flatboats that . . . — — Map (db m81886) HM|
|Old Split-Rail Fence December 31, 1862 At approximately 11:00 a.m., Colonel Dunham's Brigade positioned themselves behind a split-rail fence located a few feet behind this area running east and west to the Lexington/Huntingdon Road. By afternoon, . . . — — Map (db m20521) HM|
|You are standing, more or less, on the old Lexington-Huntingdon Road. Behind you is the reconstructed split-rail fence, where the Union troops took position and faced General Nathan Bedford Forrest's unrelenting artillery assault and surprise attack . . . — — Map (db m20542) HM|
"I hastened back to find Sammy but Oh was too late. He was to far gone too recognize me I could but fall beside him and weep bitter tears."
Friends and Neighbors
The 122nd Illinois Infantry mustered in at . . . — — Map (db m174064) HM
|Artillery played a pivotal role in the Battle of Parker's Crossroads. The Confederates turned their two 6-pounder smoothbore, two 12-pounder howitzers, two 12-pounder mountain howitzers and two three-inch ordnance rifles to deadly effect. The Union . . . — — Map (db m174201) HM|
Confederate artillery was located west of this position, near where SR 22 is today. The battery of guns, supported by Major Nicholas N. Cox's battalion, was positioned to pound the west flank of the Union line, the position held by the 39th Iowa. . . . — — Map (db m174117) HM|
Forrest's Cavalry fought dismounted at the Battle of Parker's Crossroads, as was customary. Cavalry depended upon their mounts and military protocol defined how horses were handled in battle. One of every four horsemen remained mounted and . . . — — Map (db m72344) HM|
|Cyrus Livingston Dunham left a promising political career to serve his country in the Civil War. He resigned his military commission November 18, 1863, his health broken
A Rural Upbringing
Cyrus Dunham was born and raised on a farm . . . — — Map (db m174108) HM|
The Envelopment & Surprise Attack
Under cover of the Confederates' punishing artillery fire, Russell and Woodward's men dismounted and infiltrated the woods to the right and rear of the 50th Indiana. Starnes' 8th Tennessee, having made . . . — — Map (db m174113) HM|
|The Regiment's First Fight
Colonel George Dibrell placed his dismounted cavalry in this area, on a rise southeast of the Parker house. "Here," Dibrell wrote, "we began our first regular battle as cavalry." His position, east of Colonel Alonzo . . . — — Map (db m174191) HM|
A Desperate Charge
Colonel Cyrus Dunham's miscalculation of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's intentions cost his soldiers dearly. Not only was Forrest not retreating, but the accurate fire of his dismounted cavalry and artillery was taking . . . — — Map (db m174189) HM|
|"The Union forces made a stubborn fight and defended their positions with marked valor, but the Confederate fire was too galling for mortals to stand."
Lieut. John W. Morton, CSA
The change of front was made under a severe fire of . . . — — Map (db m174197) HM|
A Bad Start
The campaign against General Nathan Bedford Forrest began badly for the 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery. General Jeremiah Sullivan ordered the battery to Jackson, but directed them to leave extra ammunition and horses, caissons, . . . — — Map (db m174200) HM|
Attack on the Union Rear
Colonel Cyrus Dunham was riding along the line, making sure that his orders had been understood, when the Confederates who had come up behind the Union line under cover of the woods charged the Federals. Colonel . . . — — Map (db m174116) HM|
enfilade — the firing of a gun or guns so as to sweep the length of a target, such as a column of troops
Confederate Artillery Position
On the rise where you now stand a portion of the Confederate battery was positioned. . . . — — Map (db m72468) HM|
Forrest's command to charge both ways bought the Confederate commander some time. He ordered his men to remount and to head for the Lexington-Huntingdon Road, Forrest himself, unwilling to abandon his artillery, led about 75 men toward the . . . — — Map (db m72370) HM|
"Finding my command now exposed to fire from both front and rear I was compelled to withdraw, which I did in good order."
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
Surrender or Fight
General Nathan Bedford Forrest was . . . — — Map (db m174097) HM
Chaos in Retreat
Colonel Cyrus Dunham held his position south of the cotton field for over an hour. When his infantry failed to take the Confederate artillery, he gave the order "rally to the rear." It was about noon when the Union line . . . — — Map (db m174187) HM|
Forrest's Brilliant and Unconventional Use of Artillery is one of the hallmarks of the Battle of Parker's Crossroads. He placed his artillery in front of his troops, rather than behind them, and used a continuous barrage of fire from his guns . . . — — Map (db m87530) HM|
|Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest employed unusual tactics—mobile horse artillery, threatening multiple targets simultaneously, and employing misinformation and bluff. At Parker's Crossroads, Forrest used his artillery as a psychological and . . . — — Map (db m174204) HM|
|"General I am entirely unarmed; have neither gun, pistol, nor sword."
Sgt. Nat Baxter
"That doesn't make any difference; get in line and advance on the enemy with the rest; I want to make as big a show as . . . — — Map (db m174670) HM|
|Nathan Bedford Forrest had no formal military education and was, as John Morton, Forrest's Chief of Artillery, put it, "the negative of a West Pointer." He regarded maneuvers and exhaustive drill as unnecessary and cared nothing for conventional . . . — — Map (db m72237) HM|
|On December 11, 1862 Forrest's new command, now woefully lacking in arms and ammunition, left Columbia to commence the raid that "if successful, may force the enemy to retire from Mississippi." The brigade reached the Tennessee River at Clifton four . . . — — Map (db m72213) HM|
| Front Dedicated to
Samuel L. Freeman.
General Nathan Bedford
Forrest's First Artillery
Captain Freeman's Battery
fought near here
during the Battle of
Dec. . . . — — Map (db m72182) HM WM|
"Brass 12 & 6 pounders are in the habit of chawing up and spitting out when vile men with malice of afterthought will pull their tails."
Corp. Lucius B. Corbin, 122nd Illinois
"Open immediately . . . — — Map (db m174061) HM
Colonel John W. Fuller's Ohio Brigade left Huntingdon well before dawn on December 31. When just north of Clarksburg, around 10:30 a.m., Fuller received orders from Generals Jeremiah Sullivan and Isham Haynie to wait for the rear guard before . . . — — Map (db m72368) HM|
|Lt. Colonel Alonzo Napier fell mortally wounded at this point as he was leading a charge of troops along the Lexington-Huntingdon Road. In the excitement of the deafening roar of cannon fire and the swift barrage of small arms fire, Lt. Col. Napier . . . — — Map (db m20541) HM|
Artillery played a decisive role in many Civil War battles, including Parker's Crossroads. Few people realize, however, that manning and equipping a six-gun battery involved approximately 150 men, 110 horses and mules, and hundreds of pieces of . . . — — Map (db m174185) HM|
|Artillery played a decisive role in many Civil War battles, including Parker's Crossroads. Few people realize, however, that manning and equipping a six-gun battery involved approximately 150 men, 110 horses and mules, and hundreds of pieces of . . . — — Map (db m174202) HM|
|Robert and Permelia McPeake built this cabin near Rock Hill, Tennessee, in 1851. Danny and Rose Garner donated the cabin to the Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association in 2006. After being painstakingly recorded, the cabin was dismantled and . . . — — Map (db m20539) HM|
| FrontDedicated to Morton's Battery Forrest's Artillery and Captain John W. Morton, Jr. The Confederacy's Youngest Captain of Artillery Morton's Battery fought near here December 31, 1862 in the Battle of Parker's Crossroads, TN. with Two . . . — — Map (db m72204) HM WM|
Fresh Recruits Join Forrest
A few days before the battle, Lieut. Colonel Alonzo Napier's 430-man battalion joined General Nathan B. Forrest's command. Captured after the Battle of Fort Donelson in February 1862, Napier escaped while being . . . — — Map (db m174195) HM|
|(Front of Kiosk): Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the Civil War's greatest cavalry generals. His ferocity as a warrior and his claim to have slain one more enemy soldier in personal combat than the 29 horses killed beneath him made him a . . . — — Map (db m20506) HM|
This area was named for the Parker farm whose residence was located just south of here. John M. Parker, both a practicing physician and a Baptist preacher, was known as both Doctor and Reverend Parker. His farm straddled the intersection of . . . — — Map (db m72241) HM|
| Returning to Middle Tennessee after an extensive & successful raid, Forrest's Cavalry Brigade on Dec. 31, 1862, fought here an all-day battle with 2 separate Union brigades converging on him in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy him before he . . . — — Map (db m72197) HM|
Late in 1862, the Union army under Ulysses S. Grant threatened Vicksburg, Mississippi. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg ordered Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest to sever Grant's West Tennessee supply line which extended from Columbus, Kentucky, via the . . . — — Map (db m168323) HM|
| Mayor Arthur J. Halters
Vice Mayor Roy "Rocky" Muscari
Commissioner Billy Olive
City Attorney Stevie Beal
City Recorder Stephen K. McDaniel
Dedicated June 1986
At the "5th Annual Living History and Battle . . . — — Map (db m174181) HM WM|
|2 miles southeast, this town was established in 1824 by William D. Carrington, who built there a hotel and distillery. At one time it had as many saloons as stores and was a noted gambling resort. It also had an excellent racetrack. It was virtually . . . — — Map (db m52612) HM|
|Prelude to Battle
Union troops in West Tennessee and north Mississippi depended on the railroad. The Confederate high command ordered General Nathan Bedford Forrest to cut that supply line. Forrest left Columbia on December 11, 1862, . . . — — Map (db m174205) HM|
| During the second quarter of the 19th Century, on the hill immediately west of this marker was the site of the community of Red Mound, which according to oral tradition was named for Red Mountain, N. C., from where many of the early settlers came. . . . — — Map (db m72202) HM|
Forrest Issues the Command
As Colonel Starnes began his movement westward, around the left flank of the Union line, Forrest ordered Colonel Alfred Russell's 4th Alabama and Colonel Tom Woodward's Kentucky Company to move east and then south . . . — — Map (db m174100) HM|
The heavy fire of their infantry unexpected and unlooked for by all..."
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest
An Unanticipated Event
As the two sides met under the flag of truce, Colonel John W. Fuller's Ohio Brigade . . . — — Map (db m174074) HM|
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 . . . — — Map (db m72278) HM|
|The Old Crossroads Mid-Morning, December 31, 1862 Dunham's Union troops, pressured on three sides, rallied around the crossroads near the Parker House but soon retreated beyond the roads and sought cover among the rolling hills to the southeast. . . . — — Map (db m20446) HM|
|The north-south tree line parallel to today's Highway 22 marks the roadbed of the old Huntingdon-Lexington road. Union Colonel Cyrus L. Dunham's Brigade marched south to Parker's Crossroads on December 31, 1862 to block the route of the Confederate . . . — — Map (db m72196) HM|
|Union Colonel Cyrus L. Dunham's Brigade marched south from Clarksburg, Tennessee, and then, turned northwest from Parker's Crossroads to block the path of Forrest's troops. Dunham's move would ensnare the Confederates between his brigade and two . . . — — Map (db m72198) HM|
| Mid-Day, December 31, 1862 At the beginning of the battle, the Union wagon train was north of the crossroads. It moved three times and was shelled once by Forrest's artillery. Its last location was in the creek bottom northwest of this spot. . . . — — Map (db m72199) HM|
| Union Colonel Dunham's Brigade tried to silence Forrest's cannon by a frontal assault into the face of cannister and rifle fire. The Confederates repulsed the attack, inflicting heavy casualties. Forrest's troopers then attacked the Union battle . . . — — Map (db m72201) HM|
|As the battle moved from Hicks Field through the crossroads, Forrest's troops began to move east, roughly along the Wildersville Road. Here, near Jones Cemetery, Confederate soldiers watered their horses and filled their canteens at an old dug well, . . . — — Map (db m72203) HM|
|On December 31, 1862, the Union forces that had been pursuing General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry for two weeks finally intercepted the Confederate raiders.
Colonel Cyrus Dunham commanded the Union force that met Forrest at Parker's . . . — — Map (db m72216) HM|
| Union Forces Cyrus Livingston Dunham was born in Dryden, New York, on January 16, 1817. In 1841 he moved to Salem, Indiana, where he practiced law and served as a Democratic congressman. He entered the Union service in 1861 as Colonel of the . . . — — Map (db m81888) HM|
Confusion and Retreat
The arrival of Fuller's Ohio Brigade and General Nathan Bedford Forrest's subsequent charge caused much confusion. Some Confederate regiments followed Forrest east, others ran west. Colonel George Dibrell reported, "We . . . — — Map (db m174076) HM|
|General Jeremiah Sullivan assumed command of the District of Jackson, Tennessee, in the fall of 1862. As such, Sullivan was in command of the Union forces pursuing Forrest. As Ed Bearss, National Park Service Historian Emeritus, put it, Sullivan . . . — — Map (db m174104) HM|
The Historic Road
In front of you is the original roadbed of the Lexington-Huntingdon Road. This road, which figured so prominently in the Battle of Parker's Crossroads, connected the county seats of Henderson and Carroll counties, . . . — — Map (db m72460) HM|
Union Victory in the West — January-June 1862
After their resounding victory at Manassas, Virginia on July 21, 1861, many Confederates expected a fast and victorious end to the war. It was not to be. During the first half of 1862 . . . — — Map (db m72217) HM|
| The Confederates pressed forward, taking possession of the high ground abandoned by the Union troops, Forrest advancing his battle line into small arms range. The Confederate artillerists manhandled their guns forward, resuming their punishing . . . — — Map (db m72480) HM|
|At least 30 Union soldiers were killed during the battle at Parker's Crossroads. Those who were killed in action were buried here shortly after the battle took place.
Those burials took places according to orders issued by the War Department in . . . — — Map (db m87527) HM WM|
| Protecting the Wagons: The success or failure of any campaign depended on the safety of the supply trains. When Dunham deployed his forces along the Lexington-Huntingdon Road the Union wagon train was sent to the rear, out of harm's way. The . . . — — Map (db m72200) HM|
| Two Futile Charges
The Union line, positioned about one-quarter mile north of here, made two futile charges against the Confederate guns. Forrest then ordered a general advance and his line, utilizing a frightful barrage of artillery and . . . — — Map (db m76942) HM|