Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Parker's Crossroads

Parker's Crossroads is one of my favorite battlefields to visit because it seems like every time I'm there they have added something since my last visit. On my first visit there was just a few signs and I think one cannon. Since then they've added trails, more cannon, more signs, a monument and lots more land. One bad aspect of the park is that I-40 (the highway between Memphis and Nashville) cuts right through the middle but since this is the crossroads even that doesn't seem out of place.

While it may be apocryphal this is the battle where Forrest reportedly said "Charge 'em both ways" Forrest's men approached the crossroads from the north west. As they got near the crossroads they ran into Cyrus L. Dunham's Union brigade. These men they forced back until they sought refuge behind a rail fence. Forrest was in the process of finishing off the capture of this force when John w. Fuller's Union brigade appeared from the north in his rear. If they had acted forcefully they might have turned the tables on Forrest in a huge way. Instead they acted timid and Forrest attacked them as well. He then escaped to the south.

Forrest's men advance down this road, we are looking at it from the Union position.

Behind the previous stop is this field where some early fighting took place.

This cannon points south. The interstate is before the tree line, you can see some signs and larger vehicles there. Dunham's position along the fence is in the right third of the picture across the interstate.

Part of the reason Dunham surrendered is that his wagon train had been captured earlier in the day. On this map our location is the black circle on the road at the bottom of the map. You can see Dunham's position to the north and see how he was being encircled.
And the view from the last sign. The wagons were actually captured in the creek bed in the distance, not where the sign is.

Now we've circled around to the fence line Dunham's men fell back too. As this map shows they were pretty well surrounded by this point.

Here a worker clears some brush as the tree line had been cut back. Since I took this picture I've been back and trails had also been added in this area.

On the other side of the fence is a bunch of small markers for various Union units that defended this fence, as well as a marker for Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Alonzo Napier who was killed here. As you can see the trees used to be much fuller.

You can see how close to the highway these markers are. On the left side is a semi exiting the picture.

The Union troops that fell here were buried on the right of their line on a small knoll.

And this marker has the list of the men who died here. If there were all buried here we do not know but grave sites have been found so at least a significant portion of this list was buried here.
A recent Confederate monument for Forrest's artillery. I've seen this same group place markers on Winstead Hill near Franklin and at Brice's Crossroads.

At the visitor's center they have a huge diorama of the battle. My camera got a ton of glare but some pictures did turn out okay.

No comments: