Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The Battle of Parker's Crossroads - Union Wagon Train

Marker ID:  
Location: on the South Loop Trail about one half mile from its start at the Tour Stop 7 parking lot, Wildersville TN
County: Henderson
Coordinates: N 35° 47.064    W 088° 23.214
  35.7844    -88.3869
Waymark: None


Protecting the Wagons: The success or failure of any campaign depended on the safety of the supply trains. When Dunham deployed his forces along the Lexington-Huntingdon Road the Union wagon train was sent to the rear, out of harm's way. The wagoners drove the supply train into the hollow in front of you, where the terrain concealed the wagons and offered some protection.

Wagons Captured: When the Confederates charged the Union rear, the wagons were caught in the middle. The two companies guarding the train met the Confederate charge but some of the wagoners panicked. While attempting to escape they drove deeper into the hollow where they were captured.

Retaking the Wagons: When Dunham learned what had happened, he called upon the 39th Iowa, asking, "Will anyone volunteer to retake our wagons?" Captain Charles A. Cameron, Company G, immediately volunteered. Company G, under the command of Major Horace N. Atkinson of the 50th Indiana, advanced toward the Confederates.

They not only recaptured the wagons but also took several Confederate officers prisoner, among them Major John P. Strange, General Forrest's adjutant, and Colonel McKee, his aid [sic]. The wagons were retaken as Colonel Fuller's Ohio Brigade arrived at the battlefield, scattering the Confederates and ending the Battle of Parker's Crossroads.

Supplying the Army: Supplying an army on the march was a tremendous task. There is no record of the number of Union wagons at Parker's Crossroads, but the number specified by the Quartermaster Department was 10 wagons per brigade, plus extras. These included quartermaster, commissary, ammunition and ambulance wagons. Fifteen or more wagons probably accompanied Dunham's brigade. These wagons carried everything an army on the march needed - rations, ammunition, arms, tents, blankets, cooking equipment, lanterns, horse equipment, feed, medical supplies, and more.

Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.


More information:
The Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association: The Battle of Parker's Crossroad