Default History Cavalry

Brice's Cross Roads

Tishomingo Creek

You are here

SHARE THIS

 

In late May 1864, Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest set out from Mississippi with his cavalry corps to enter Tennessee and destroy the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, which was carrying men and supplies from Nashville to support Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's campaign against Atlanta. Sherman, who suspected the Confederate cavalry leader would cause havoc behind his lines, ordered Brig. Gen. Samuel Sturgis to move from Memphis to counter Forrest and to control northern Mississippi.  Sturgis's first objective was the Mobile and Ohio Railroad that ran north and south from Tupelo. Forrest's cavalry met Sturgis' infantry and cavalry column on June 10th at Brice's Crossroads, 20 miles north of Tupelo, beating back the first Union cavalry division to arrive there.  Sturgis sent in infantry reinforcements and counterattacked the Confederates. Forrest, although outnumbered two to one, used his more mobile cavalry to threaten both ends of the Union infantry line simultaneously and his artillery to focus on the center. When Forrest's 2nd Tennessee Cavalry, on a wide flanking move, captured the bridge over Tishimongo Creek in Sturgis' rear, the Union force fell back. The Confederate cavalrymen pursued the rapidly retreating Yankees several miles toward Memphis. Forrest's brilliant tactical victory against long odds cemented Forrest’s reputation as one of the foremost mounted infantry leaders of the war.

Battle Facts

Result

Confederate Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
12,000

Union

8,500

Confederate

3,500
Total Estimated Casualties
3,105

Union

2,610

Confederate

495