Battle of Riggins Hill

Battle of Riggins Hill (HM1AT6)

Location: Clarksville, TN 37042 Montgomery County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 33.206', W 87° 25.458'

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Fight for Control

In mid-August 1862, Confederate cavalry recaptured Clarksville to disrupt Union transportationon the Cumberland River to Nashville and to gather new recruits and supplies. Early in September, Union Col. William W. Lowe led 1,100 men including detachments of the 5th Iowa Cavalry, the 71st Ohio, 11th Illinois, and 13th Wisconsin Infantry, as well as sections of Flood's and Starbuck's Illinois Batteries to retake the town in early September.

As Lowe marched eastward from Dover, scouts from Confederate Col. Thomas Woodward's 2nd Kentucky Cavalry fired on the column as it neared Clarksville on September 7. Woodward's force numbered some 700 men including armed townsmen. The Federals pushed the Confederates back for a few miles to their main line at Riggins' Hill. The center of the line was along a ridgeacross present-day U.S. Route 79 and Dotsonville Road, near here. The dismounted Confederatesused woods, rail and stone fences, and houses and barns as cover.

Lowe's men deployed on a parallel ridge south and west of here as his artillery opened fire, causing havoc in the Confederate position. After forty-five minutes, Woodward's line beganto buckle, and when Lowe's flank units pushed forward, the Confederate line collapsed. Lowe'scavalry aggressively pursued Woodward's men through Clarksville. Confederate losses were17 killed, 40 wounded, and about 50 captured. Reported Union losses were "negligible."

The Federals occupied Clarksville and reopened the river as a supply line. With too fewFederal troops to hold the area, however, Clarksville was not permanently occupied until December1862. Clashes over the control of the river continued in this area until late in 1864, whenthe Union finally gained the upper hand.

5th Iowa Cavalry - Courtesy Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, Clarksville, Tennessee
Col. William Lowe Courtesy
Col. Thomas Woodward Courtesy Kentucky Library, Western Kentucky University
(map) Ahead of you is the road on which a Union force from Fort Donelson approached Clarksville bent on recapturing the town.
HM NumberHM1AT6
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 1:04am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 462027 N 4045418
Decimal Degrees36.55343333, -87.42430000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 33.206', W 87° 25.458'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 33' 12.36" N, 87° 25' 27.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 617-621 U.S. 79 Scenic, Clarksville TN 37042, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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