Incident at Waynesboro

Incident at Waynesboro (HM107J)

Location: Waynesboro, TN 38485 Wayne County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 19.176', W 87° 45.757'

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A Case of Friendly Fire

In November 1863, military governor Andrew Johnson ordered Union Maj. John Murphy, 5th Tennessee Cavalry, to take charges of two companies of Union Guards in Nashville. These 200 newly mustered men were from Wayne County and vicinity and were not yet organized into a regular regiment. Johnson told Murphy to proceed with them to Waynesboro and open a recruiting office. As they traveled along the old Natchez Trace, the Federals had several minor engagements with small parties of Confederate partisans and soon learned to be wary of guerrilla tricks, disguises and ambushes.

As Murphy's column made its way here, the veteran 7th Illinois Mounted Infantry was returning from duty at Hamburg Landing on the Tennessee River, heading for Pulaski. As they marched along the Pinbook- Waynesboro road, they halted about two miles outside the county seat to eat and feed their mounts. After dinner, the Illinois soldiers galloped into Waynesboro, not suspecting what was about to happen.

A Waynesboro citizen who saw the Illinois men riding hard toward town thought that they were Confederates. As he fled in the opposite direction, he ran directly into Murphy's column. When asked if he had seen any guerrillas, the citizen pointed toward the Illinois regiment's advance guard, and the fighting began. Bullets flew several minutes, wounding three, until respective commanders determined that they were on the same side. Afterward, the 5th Tennessee occupied Waynesboro while the 7th Illinois marched to camp at the Pointer Brothers' iron furnace five miles east of town.

"The Fifth Tennessee having been deceived so often by guerillas dressed in federal uniforms, they have in consequence become very vigilant." - Sgt. D. Leib Ambrose, 7th Illinois Mounted Infantry
HM NumberHM107J
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2012
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 12:35am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 430680 N 3908753
Decimal Degrees35.31960000, -87.76261667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 19.176', W 87° 45.757'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 19' 10.56" N, 87° 45' 45.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 110 US-64, Waynesboro TN 38485, US
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