Parkers Cross Roads  Battlefield



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The Battle-

(December 31st, 1862)


        The spectacular outcome of the battle of Parker's Cross Roads, waged on December 31st, 1862, became just one of many examples of the ingenuity and the battle-skills of the dashing C.S. cavalry leader General Nathan Bedford Forrest.  After General Forrest's daring attack on the railroads outside Jackson on December 19th, the weary Confederate army began its retreat back into Mississippi.  But on December 31st, U.S. Colonel Cyrus Dunham positioned his army in Forrest's line of retreat at Parker's Cross Roads.  
        As the battle began, Forrest had the clear upper hand, and after a series of charges on the Union lines, was about to ask for Dunham's unconditional surrender.  But before the demands could be made, U.S. Colonel John Fuller arrived and initiated a surprise attack on the Confederate rear.  With his army out-numbered two to one, and trapped between two armies of the enemy, Forrest had to make a choice.  According to legend, Forrest gave his famous command to "Charge em' both ways!"  In a magnificent two-way cavalry charge, both Forrest and a large part of his army eluded both Federal armies by charging right through the surprised ranks of the enemy.  General Forrest had once again confounded a superior and larger Union army on the field of battle.


The Battlefield-


Parkers Cross Roads Battlefield consists of a driving tour through minor and major roads around the present day town of Parker's Cross Roads.  Information on the tour can be found at a small tourist information center at the intersection of I-40 and Route 22. 

        Parkers Cross Roads Battlefield is owned and administered by a private group and administered by the town of Parkers Cross Roads. The battlefield is explored on a 8 stop driving tour that takes roughly an hour and a half to finish. Each individual stop on the tour isn't very interesting, although as a whole the tour does a good job of explaining the battle. Some highlights of the driving tour include an old well that was used by Forrest and his men to obtain water and a graveyard that contains the grave of John Parker, the southern patriot who gave his name to the town and battlefield. Towards the end of the tour, one must walk through a trailer park and a forest to find the site of a mass burial of Union soldiers, marked by a solemn white monument. Remember to pick up directions for the tour at the Western Tennessee tourist office.


Picture Gallery-


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