Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Parker's Crossroad Civil War Battle

Today we took a driving tour of the Civil War Battle of Parker's Crossroads in Tennessee which was considered a victory for the Confederate army back on December 31st, 1862.

You can watch a three minute video detailing the battle if you click here and then click on the movie icon under "The story of Parker's Crossroads" for a condensed version of the battle.

Probably the most famous saying that came out of this battle was what General Forrest of the Confederate States of America said when he found his brigade between two Union brigades, "Charge them both ways!"

To start our tour we drove to the Parker's Crossroads Visitor Center
 and picked up our Driving Tour pamphlet, which are also available at every stop of the tour. 
Parker's Crossroads Visitor Center
There are seven stops in the tour which only took us under an hour to drive.  You can easily control your time dependent upon how long you spend at each tour stop.  Below is a map of all the tour stops to give you an idea of its size.
Driving tour map.
As you reach each spot you can read the information provided in the tour pamphlet for that site along with the sign at each one.  Some of the sites also have walking tours which are displayed on the tour map.
Informational sign for The Battle of Parker's Crossroads.
Tour stop one is at the Parker's Crossroads City Park where you will also find the North Loop Walking Trail.  There was a nice playground for the kids too at the park.

Parker's Crossroads historical marker.

To read an account of the battle you can click here.  I'm just going to highlight the tour and not go into any real detail of the battle in this blog.
Tour stop one information sign.

One of the many cannons we saw while on the tour.
Tour Stop two is where it all began with the first shots being fired there.
Tour stop two information sign.
When you stand here looking over Hicks Field, you have to wonder what it was like for the soldiers who were getting ready to meet each other in mortal combat.  You also have to wonder what was going through all the soldiers' minds when the first shots where fired.
The left side of Hicks Field as it is today.

A lone tree at Hicks Field.

The right side of Hicks Field.

A 3 inch Ordnance rifle (cannon) just waiting to fire on the Union Army.

What the Confederates saw at Hicks Field.
What the Union soldiers faced at Hicks Field.
Tour stop number three is located at the Parker's Crossroads where Rev. John Parker's (a Union sympathizer) house was located.  When the Union Army placed artillery pieces in his yard he demanded that they be removed.  

When asked by a Union officer, "What is more important, the Union cause or your house?" he replied, "My house!"

Tour stop three information sign.

Looking north west from Parker's Crossroads.

Another 3 inch Ordnance rifle (cannon) on display.

Tour stop number four is located at the Jone's Cemetery where the Confederate soldiers would get water from its well.

Tour stop four information sign.

The well at Jones Cemetery.

Jones Cemetery.

Tour stop number five is where the Union Army lost their wagon train when the Confederates got behind them and sprang a surprise attack.  When the Union infantry counter attacked, the Confederates melted into the woods and disappeared.
Tour stop five information sign.

Location where the Union Army lost their wagon train to a Confederate surprise attack.

More of the area where the Union wagon train was captured.
Tour stop number six is where the Confederates pretty much had the battle won and were presenting their terms of surrender until another Union force attacked the Confederates in their rear at Parker's Crossroads.

Tour stop six information sign.
Red Mound which is named for the settlers who came from Red Mountain, NC.
A 30 pounder Army Parrott rifle.
You can clearly see the West Point Foundry initials and its size of 4.2 inches (30 pounder).
Tour stop seven is where the main battle occurred with the Union Army taking cover behind a split rail fence which when hit by Confederate artillery, would splinter and create even more deadly shrapnel in additional to the shrapnel from the artillery rounds.

This is also the last stop in the driving tour and is where the South Loop Walking Trail starts along with the Artillery Trail breaking off near the Union burial site.
Tour stop seven information sign.
The spot where the main fighting happened during the battle.

Tia, Ian, Ethan, Chloe, Courtney, and Avery standing on a Napoleon style canon.
Tia, Misty, Ian, Chloe, Ethan, Courtney, and Avery posing on the cannon.
Tia, Don, Ian, Chloe, Ethan, Courtney, and Avery on the cannon.
Below is a picture of the different types of artillery rounds used during the Civil War.  

Mostly canister rounds were used in this battle even though many letters of soldiers referred to them as grape shots, which were not used in this battle hardly at all.
Confederate artillery rounds.
The cabin in the below picture was reconstructed on the site to replace what was once there during the battle.  

It belonged to the McPeake family from Rock Hill, TN and was built in 1851.  The Garner family donated it to the Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association in 2006.

This dogtrot style cabin was very common in TN during the 18th and 19th centuries.  A dogtrot cabin is a one story cabin where two rooms are built separated by a breeze way with everything being under one roof.
McPeake family cabin.
Side view of the McPeake family cabin.
Rear view of the McPeake family cabin.
Taking the South Loop Walking Trail that starts at Tour Stop Seven.
We really enjoyed the tour and history that was in the area.  It is hard to imagine that brother fought brother and American fought American on these grounds.

The kids were mostly interested in catching grasshoppers, running, and playing, but picked up some history also, which is always a good thing.

If you are ever near Parkers Crossroads, TN, you need to stop in and take the tour. 

Until next time, God bless and stay safe!

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Don, Misty, and Kids...

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