ECW Weekender: Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Park

Looking from the Confederate position past I-40 toward the initial Federal position. Confederates would soon have Federals behind them, too.

Today is the anniversary of the December 31, 1862, battle of Parker’s Cross Roads in central Tennessee. The battle marks the culmination of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s west Tennessee campaign. Two Union forces converged on Forrest from opposite directions, forcing Forrest to order his men, “Charge ’em both ways.” The double-charge threw Union forces off balance, allowing Forrest’s men to retreat from the field. Both forces claimed victory: the Federals held the field while the Confederates escaped the Federal trap.

Here’s a great summary of the battle from ECW Chief Historian Kris White, which debuted today on the ECW YouTube page:

Today, you can visit the Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Park, which is just off I-40 in west Tennessee, midway between Memphis and Nashville (in fact, the interstate runs right down the middle of the battlefield). Here are some “fast facts” about the park, courtesy of the Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Association.

Facts About Parkers Crossroads Battlefield Park

  • Civil War battle site—December 31, 1862
  • 380 acres preserved of the original 1400-acre battlefield
  • Seven-stop, ten-mile driving tour
  • Three miles of paved walking trails
  • Visitor center is owned and operated by the city of Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee
  • Battlefield managed by the city of Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee Wars Commission
  • Affiliated site of the National Park Service

Visit their website at parkerscrossroads.org.

Former deputy speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Steve McDaniel, played an instrumental role in saving the battlefield.

The visitor center features a small museum about the battle, including artifacts, accounts, and excellent orientation.

Paved walking trails south and north (pictured) of the interstate provide access to wayside exhibits, Confederate artillery positions, and excellent views.

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