The Federal retreat at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads was funneled onto a small bridge across Tishomingo Creek. The structure was too narrow for Sturgis' Expeditionary Force, and the span quickly became a bottleneck as horses, wagons, cannon, and men all raced to cross the creek at the same time.
The rains of the previous several days had raised the water level of the deeply banked creek, making it very difficult to cross without using the bridge. Panicked soldiers and horses in full retreat attempted to swim across; many crossed successfully, but others were swept away by the rushing waters of the swollen creek.
In 1953 some local residents discovered human remains in the Tishomingo creekbed, less than 100 yards from this spot. The partial skeleton is most likely that of a Union soldier who fought at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, and was found with a pocket watch and the rusted remnants of an Army canteen and rifle. The bones are now interred alongside other Civil War soldiers in the Bethany Cemetery.
Bottom Quote: "The creek banks at the bridge were very high, and many men jumped into the swift stream below, taking their chances at getting across without being drowned or killed by the incessant fire from Morton's Artillery on the bank."Captain John W. Morton, Artillery Chief, Forrest's Cavalry
Upper Right Corner Drawing: "Deadbrook after the Battle of Ezra's Church" Harper's Weekly
Center Photograph: Grapevine Bridge over the Chickahominy River in Virginia, built by the 5th New Hampshire Infantry, May 1862. Photographed by D. B. Woodbury. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Civil War Photographs
Top Right Photograph: Tishomingo Creek, 1921. Photographed by S. A. Murff. Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Bottom Right Map: Bridge Location. The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War. David Rumsey Map Collection