Historic Markers Across Alabama

Skirmish at Trion

Marker ID: AHA 
County: Tuscaloosa
Waymark: None


On 31 March 1865, Union Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton's Cavalry of some 1500 troops entered Tuscaloosa County with orders to destroy the State University (military school) and anything else of value to the rebel cause. Near Bucksville they destroyed Saunders Iron Works and William's Tannery (now Tannehill State Park). Learning that Confederate cavalry units under Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and Brig. Gen. W.H. (Red) Jackson were traveling near Trion, some 10-miles distant, Croxton's Brigade rode to intercept. The Union forces camped that night on the farm of Squire John White, and were attacked by Jackson's Cavalry Division as they broke camp at daybreak, 1 April. The skirmish, the first in Tuscaloosa County, occurred about a half-mile south of present-day Vance.

Union losses were heavy in the running fight: some 30 killed or wounded, another 30 captured, and 150 horses lost. Croxton was forced away from his original line of march, retreating to the northeast before turning west towards the Black Warrior River some 40 miles above Tuscaloosa. Crossing to the west bank at Johnson's Ferry or Black Rock Shoals (near old Lock 17 area), the Union raiders resumed their advance on Northport and Tuscaloosa on 3 April. Jackson's Confederate forces suffered several casualties in the skirmish. One soldier from Tennessee, who died several days later in the Squire John White home, was buried nearby by Trion-area citizens.

End of Skirmish at Trion