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Tennessee's 1862 Civil War Highlights
The 1860 Presidential election of Abraham Lincoln resulted in seven Southern states almost immediately declaring their secession from the Union.
The Civil War began just over a month after Lincoln took office in April of 1861 and by autumn Tennessee saw it's first taste of this bloody war; a war that would tear our state in two and pit family and friends against each other for the next 48 months.
Battle of Logan's Cross Roads
January 19th, 1862
The Battle of Logan's Cross Roads, also commonly known as Fishing Creek and Mill Springs (among others), actually took place in Kentucky when General Felix Zollicoffer crossed over the Cumberland River into Kentucky and this is also where he met his most untimely & unsightly death.
Battle of Fort Henry
February 6th, 1862
Fort Henry is located in Land Between the lakes and is situated in a nook along where the Cumberland River is divided between Kentucky and Tennessee. It's sister Fort Heiman is located along the opposite side of the Cumberland River. Both of these battle sites are significant because they gave the Union it's newest military hero, Ulysses S. Grant after, as it's commonly known, the Union's first great victory of the Civil War.
Battle of Fort Donelson
February 12th-16th, 1862
The fall of Fort Donelson and Fort Henry forced the South to give up southern Kentucky and much of Middle and West Tennessee, which in turn provided the Federals with the vital supply lines of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers as well as the area's railroads.
Confederate Evacuation of Nashville
February 23rd, 1862
After the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson the Union gunboats advanced up the Cumberland River as well, forcing a Confederate evacuation of Nashville, and eventually the rest of Tennessee.
Battle of Shiloh
April 6th-7th, 1862
Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against the Union Army and while, on the first day of battle, the Confederates achieved some initial success they were ultimately defeated on the second day.
Battle of Island Number 10
April 8th, 1862
Union victories at Island number 10 ensured Federal control of the middle Mississippi River. Island Number 10 is located in the Mississippi River, named Island Number 10 because, ironically, it was the tenth island below the mouth of the Ohio.
Battle of Memphis
June 6th, 1862
Battle of Memphis was a naval battle fought on the Mississippi River just above the city. This was a visual battle with many civilians witnessing the destruction and it was also the last time civilians (with no prior military experience) were allowed to command combat ships.
Battle of Chattanooga
June 7th-8th, 1862
This minor scrimmage, part of the Confederate Heartland Offensive Campaign was the first of three battles fought in and around Chattanooga. It lasted two days and ended with the Union Army remaining in Chattanooga.
Battle of Murfreesboro
July 13th, 1862
Murfreesboro held an important Union supply center on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, and Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was sent to take control of the center. Nathan Bedford Forrest's troops surprised the Union and by late afternoon all of the Union units had surrendered to Forrest's force.
Battle of Davis Bridge
October 5th, 1862
The Battle of Davis Bridge (Battle of Hatchie's Bridge) took place on when Confederate troops retreating from their defeat at Corinth, Mississippi encountered the Union Army as they tried to cross the Hatchie River at Davis Bridge. The Confederates retreated once again by crossing the river by another route. The Battle of Davis Bridge was the second largest Civil War battle fought in Tennessee, second only to Shiloh.
Battle of Hartsville
December 7th, 1862
An outnumbered, Colonel John Hunt Morgan and his troops, mostly Kentuckians, attacked the Union camp by surprise, in the early and dark morning hours and in less than two hours the Union camp had surrendered. Colonel John Hunt Morgan's military tactics earned him a promotion to brigadier general as well helping earn him the nickname, the "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy."
Battle of Jackson
December 19th, 1862
This battle was a mere annoyance to Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest as his main goal, which he accomplished was to be able to hold off his opponents just long enough so that his troops could destroy the railroad tracks north and south of the town and interrupt the rail supply line to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s army.
Battle of Parker's Crossroads
December 31st, 1862
The Battle of Parker's Crossroads took place on New Year's Eve in 1862, Union soldiers were sent to defeat Confederate troops led by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. In this battle, Forrest was unknowingly surrounded yet still managed to create enough confusion when he ordered his troops to "Charge Them Both Ways" that he and his troops were able to escape capture.
Battle of Stones River
December 31st, 1862 - January 3rd, 1863
The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War with casualties reaching at total of nearly 24,000. This Union win opened up a penetration point and corridor into the south which ultimately provided the opportunity for Sherman’s March to the Sea.
The Stones River National Cemetery is located here as well as the oldest (intact) Civil War monument in the nation, the Hazen Brigade Monument. This Union monument, located at the infamous Hell's Half Acre, was built in early 1863 in honor of one of the few Union units that never retreated during the bloody New Year's Eve attack by the Confederate Army.
Tennessee Civil War: 1863