Already in transit to Tennessee, Forrest moved his cavalry (less one division) toward Sturgis, but remained unsure of Union intentions. Gen. Forrest had scarcely reached Russellville, Ala., when a large force of 8,000 men under Gen. Sturgis left the Memphis and Charleston railroad (just over the Mississippi border) near Saulsbury, Tenn. Those who did arrive were exhausted at the beginning of the battle, while the Confederates were fresh and well fed, owing to a large supply in their rear. Forrest placed two batteries of artillery on the Baldwin road, and opened a furious cannonade, the effect of which was soon visible. In correspondence with General Sturgis, Colonel Alex Wilkin, commander of the 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment listed several reasons for the loss of the battle. The Confederates suffered 492 casualties to the Union’s 2,240 (including 1,500 prisoners). Waring had already been pressed back by Lyon and Johnson to his second line of battle, about 400 yards. References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brice%27s_Crossroads. Many of the area’s earliest settlers are buried here. The Battle of Brice's Cross Roads page includes battle maps, history articles, photos, recommended books, web links, and more on this 1864 Civil War battle. The graves of more than 90 Confederate soldiers killed in the battle are also located in this cemetery. All organization was virtually lost after a vigorous pursuit of a few miles. Ancestry Articles, Databases and Products, Mississippi History and Genealogy Societies, Ruth Denson Death Certificate Transcription, Robert A. Cole Death Certificate Transcription, James J Denson Death Certificate Transcription, Lexington, Holmes County, Mississippi, 1891. This accounted for Forrest’s capture of the artillery and supplies. He had been delayed by excessive rains and muddy roads, and reached Stubb’s farm, 16 miles from Ripley, on the night of June 9th. He moved Buford’s division first to Baldwin and then to Booneville and ordered Bell’s large brigade to Rienza. At the time of the battle, this congregation’s meeting house was located further south along the Baldwyn Road. Soon the entire command of the enemy gave way. On the 9th day of May, Gen. Polk with two infantry divisions (Loring’s and French’s), which had been assigned to the defense of Mississippi, were sent to reinforce Gen. Johnston’s army. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest led a 4,787-man contingent against an 8,100-strong Union force led by Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis. It was not certain that Gen. Forrest could get in front of Gen. Sturgis before reaching the “Cross Roads.” But he believed he could, and, to expedite matters, the wagon trains were moved southward on the east side of the M. & O. railroad, so as to leave the road clear for the rapid movement of the troops. 78 Rebellion Records) : “Enemy are advancing directly on this place ; Johnson’s brigade is here ; Buford’s division and Rucker’s brigade with two batteries will be here by 12 o’clock; our pickets have already commenced firing. These animals, numbering near 2,000, added to Grierson’s cavalry made about 5,000 men mounted out of the 8,000 engaged in the battle. Gen. Forrest left Tupelo, Miss., June 1st with a picked command of 2,400 men and two batteries, leaving only a small force in Mississippi. Intelligence had entirely favored the South, because the Confederates had been constantly fed information about the position and strength of the Union army from civilians in the area, while Sturgis had received no such intelligence. Required fields are marked *. Gen. Lee and Gen. Forrest were together in consultation at Baldwin when a change of plans by the enemy was first known. But the Confederates gained little in the long run through the victory, only temporarily repelling Union forces from Alabama and Mississippi. The line held until 1:30 p.m. when the first regiments of Federal infantry arrived. Lyon’s brigade was in front, followed by Rucker’s and Johnson’s, with the other troops moving rapidly up. Chas. The three brigades of Lyon, Rucker, and Johnson were near at hand, while the largest brigade (Bell’s) and the artillery were at considerable distance; all moving on a road almost parallel with the railroad and nearer to it than the road by which the enemy were approaching it. The enemy however was nearer the “Cross Roads” than was expected, having encamped, and concentrated at Stubbs’ farm on the Ripley and Guntown road on the night of the 9th, when Forrest first learned of the change of direction of the Federal column. The second brigade (Wilkin’s) arrived immediately after the first had been put in line, and it was put immediately on the right of Hoge, relieving Winslow’s brigade and covering the Guntown road, while the 3rd brigade (Bouton’s) remained further to the rear to guard the numerous wagon trains, which had crossed Tishomingo creek. By Stephen D. Lee. That energetic officer returned with only one of his divisions and a part of Gen. Roddey ‘s force, leaving Gen. Chalmers still in Alabama to protect the interior of the State and the roads and the shops. He chose Brice’s Crossroads, in what is now Lee County, which featured four muddy roads, heavily wooded areas, and the natural boundary of Tishomingo Creek, which had only one bridge going east to west. The battle ended in a rout of the Union forces and cemented Forrest’s reputation as one of the great cavalrymen. The National Park Service erected and maintains monuments and interpretive panels on a small 1-acre (4,000 m2) plot at the crossroads. The Bethany Cemetery, adjacent to the Park Service monument site, predates the Civil War. They did not arrive, however, until after i o’clock. He had two batteries of artillery. Gen. Sturgis left Lafayette, Tenn., June 2nd, and marched south of the railroad (M. & O. It was the critical hour of the battle. Gen. Sturgis and Col. McMillan, who commanded the infantry division, behaved heroically as did their subordinates, but they could not stem the disaster in face of the most rapid and persistent fighting of the Confederates all along their front and flanks. At the same time the regiment to the north and near the rear of the enemy, and the companies to the rear and south, had created almost a panic. Gen. Lee at the same time ordered Gen. Roddey to reinforce Gen. Forrest in Mississippi, as the column that had started from Decatur had moved eastward to reinforce Gen. Sherman in Georgia. As has been stated, Bell, with his larger brigade, was hurrying by a forced march from Rienza (25 miles) and his artillery was rapidly coming up (16 miles) over the bad roads. The remainder of the Union cavalry arrived in support, but a strong Confederate assault soon pushed them back at 11:30 a.m., when the balance of Forrest’s cavalry arrived on the scene. In 1994, concerned local citizens formed the Brice’s Crossroads National Battlefield Commission, Inc., to protect and preserve additional battlefield land. On reaching the intersection of the roads, he sent strong scouting parties towards Baldwin and Guntown. This battle and victory of Gen. Forrest deservedly gave him a great reputation and was one of the most complete victories of the war. The leading brigade (Hoge’s) was at once formed in the rear of Waring, who had already been pressed back about 400 yards on the Baldwin road. This disposition of the troops made the Federals believe he had a larger force than he really had. Gen. Grierson asked Gen. Sturgis to permit him to withdraw, and move his cavalry to the rear to reorganize and replenish his ammunition as soon as he could be relieved by the infantry. (Which in effect turns a cannon into a giant shotgun.) Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email. He reported meeting the enemy to Gen. Sturgis, who did not start his infantry division till after 7 o’clock. The negro brigade was soon disposed of, and the artillery and trains in inextricable confusion gradually fell into the hands of the Confederates. Gen. Chalmers’ division was still left in Alabama; but later, McCullough’s brigade was ordered back into Mississippi to reinforce Gen. Forrest. Opposed to this force of cavalry were large garrisons of infantry and cavalry at Baton Rogue, La., Vicksburg, Miss., Memphis, Tenn., and in North Alabama (mainly at Decatur) making constant raids into the interior from those localities. It was simply a matter of endurance of men and horses that saved the entire command from being captured. With this force he met the advance of Gen. Grierson on the Baldwin road about 10 a. m. Lyon’s brigade, which was in front, dismounted and formed into line of battle on both sides of the road. One of his brigades, which was detached, struck the railroad at Rienza, 10 miles south of Corinth. They were headed for the prairie region of Mississippi, and for Columbus, Miss., and Selma, Ala. The fruits of the battle as shown in Gen. Forrest’s address to his men under date of June 28th, 1864, were 17 guns, 250 wagons, 3,000 stands of arms, and 2,000 prisoners. The confusion was increased and the artillery and wagons of the enemy gradually fell into his hands ; some of his guns being captured at the “Cross Roads.” The others and the wagons were captured in Hatchie “bottom.” He pursued the enemy to Lafayette, Tenn., from which place they had started on June 1st.
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