Historian: Rep. Steve McDaniel
Tour Description: By the fall of 1862, West Tennessee was controlled by Federal forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant. Earlier in the year, Union victories at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Memphis had opened the territory for use of the rail lines by federal forces to move into Mississippi to take Vicksburg. Grant was moving men and supplies south along the Mobile and Ohio, which ran through western Tennessee. Brigadier General Nathan B. Forrest led a very successful raid on these lines of supply in December 1862, forcing General Grant to move his headquarters back to Memphis, thus delaying his approach to Vicksburg several months. After completing his mission, he sought to recross the Tennessee River back into the safety of the Confederate held portion of Middle Tennessee.
At Parker’s Cross Roads, Brigadier General Jeremiah C. Sullivan tried to cut Forrest off from his retreat toward the Tennessee River. After a battle lasting some six hours, Forrest found himself caught between two federal brigades, each roughly the size of his own. At this moment Forrest gave the command, “Charge Them Both Ways.” The tour will begin at the Parker’s Cross Roads Visitor Center. The group will then travel to the major locations on the battlefield where Forrest first demonstrated his unique ability to outgun superior numbers of federal forces, earning the name “Wizard of the Saddle.