Battle of Parker's Cross Roads

  (Redirected from Battle of Parker's Crossroads)

The Battle of Parker's Cross Roads was fought on December 31, 1862, in Henderson County, Tennessee, during the American Civil War.

Battle of Parker's Cross Roads
Part of American Civil War
Parker's Crossroads Battlefield, Tennessee, USA.jpg
A replica cannon on the site of the battle.
DateDecember 31, 1862 (1862-12-31)
Result Confederate loss[citation needed]
 USA (Unionists)  CSA (Confederates)
Commanders and leaders
Jeremiah C. Sullivan Nathan Bedford Forrest
Units involved
50th Indiana Infantry Regiment
122nd Illinois Infantry Regiment
18th Illinois Mounted Infantry Regiment
39th Iowa Infantry Regiment
7th Wisconsin Artillery Battery
27th Ohio Infantry Regiment
39th Ohio Infantry Regiment
63rd Ohio Infantry Regiment
8th Tennessee Cavalry
4th Alabama Cavalry
19th Tennessee Cavalry
Napier's Cavalry Battalion
Kentucky Battalion
4th Tennessee Cavalry
2nd Battalion Tennessee Cavalry
Freeman's Battery
Morton's Battery
3,000 1,800
Casualties and losses
237 500


As Confederate Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's expedition into West Tennessee neared its conclusion, Union Brig. Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan, with the brigades of Cols. Cyrus L. Dunham and John W. Fuller, attempted to cut Forrest off from withdrawing across the Tennessee River.


Map of Parker's Cross Roads Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Dunham's and Forrest's march routes brought them into contact at Parker's Crossroads on December 31, 1862. Skirmishing began about 9:00 a.m., with Forrest taking an initial position along a wooded ridge northwest of Dunham at the intersection. Confederate artillery gained an early advantage. Dunham pulled his brigade back a half mile and redeployed, facing north. His Federals repelled frontal feints until attacked on both flanks and rear by Forrest's mounted and dismounted troops.

During a lull, Forrest sent Dunham a demand for an unconditional surrender. Dunham refused and was preparing for Forrest's next attack when Fuller's Union brigade arrived from the north and surprised the Confederates with an attack on their rear; Confederate security detachments had failed to warn of Fuller's approach. "Charge 'em both ways," ordered Forrest. The Confederates briefly reversed front, repelled Fuller, then rushed past Dunham's demoralized force and withdrew south to Lexington, Tennessee.


After the fight, Forrest was able to cross the Tennessee River. Both sides claimed this battle as a victory, but the Confederate claims appear to have more credence.[citation needed]

Battlefield preservationEdit

Parkers Crossroads Civil War Battlefield

The land upon which the Battle of Parker’s Crossroads took place is now traversed east and west by Interstate 40 and north and south by Tennessee State Route 22, located midway between Memphis and Nashville. The nearby town has grown considerably since the interstate highway opened in the late 1960s.Developers and investors are constantly looking at the battlefield area for business development, making preservation efforts particularly urgent.[1]

368 acres of the battlefield have been saved thus far, all by the Civil War Trust (a division of the American Battlefield Trust) in consort with its partners, including a local group, The Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.[2] In 2011, the Trust inaugurated a campaign to preserve what is called the “keystone tract,” the final unpreserved piece of land from the old battlefield. It was on this 52-acre parcel where most of the Confederate artillery was located. Many preservationists believe that if this land falls into the hands of commercial developers, the ability to interpret the battlefield in a meaningful way will be lost.[3]


External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°47′35″N 88°23′35″W / 35.7930°N 88.393°W / 35.7930; -88.393