December 18-31, 1862
On December 11, 1862 Forrest's new command, now woefully lacking in arms and ammunition, left Columbia to commence the raid that "if successful, may force the enemy to retire from Mississippi." The brigade reached the Tennessee River at Clifton four days later. The two-day crossing was made 50 men at a time under cover of darkness. Even so, it did not go unnoticed and, more to the point, was not unexpected. In fact, the day Forrest left Columbia, Grant received a telegram from Nashville "to tell the authorities along the (rail)road to look out for Forrest."
- The brigade successfully engages Union troops near Lexington Colonel Robert Ingersoll and most of his men are captured. Lieutenant John Morton is given command of the two three-inch Rodman cannon that are captured.
- Forrest attacks at Salem Cemetery, drawing attention to Jackson, as planned. Meanwhile, Dibrell attacks the stockade at Carroll Station, burning the stockade and taking a large quantity of ammunition and other supplies. Russell and Cox hit the Mobile & Ohio Railroad burning bridges and cutting the telegraph, and then ride west to the Mississippi Central Railroad where they burn ties and twist rails into "Forrest neckties."
- Dibrell. meeting with unanticipated Union reinforcements, fails to take the Deer Fork Stockade but Starnes encounters little resistance at Humboldt. The stockade, depot, and railroad bridge are burned. Forrest attacks Trenton and captures several hundred horses and mules, thirteen wagons and ambulances, seven caissons, 200 artillery rounds, 400,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, and 100,000 rations.
- The stockades at Rutherford Station and Kenton Station are captured and burned. A railroad bridge is burned and the track heavily damaged.
- Work parties begin to systematically wreck a 50-mile section of track running through the Obion bottoms, an undertaking that takes three days.
- Forrest and 400 men take Union City. The Federals, believing they are greatly outnumbered, surrender without a shot being fired.
- A 40-man detachment rides into Kentucky, burning a bridge near Moscow. General Thomas Davies in Columbus believes an attack by Forrest is imminent. Forrest writes to Bragg, "We have made a clean sweep of the Federals and the (rail)roads north of Jackson.
- The brigade destroys bridges and trestles along the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad as they ride toward the Tennessee River.
- Government property is seized at Dresden: what can't be removed is burned.
- Russell's 4th Alabama advances to Huntingdon to seize and hold the crossings on the Obion River. Cox is sent to establish a roadblock on the Paris-Huntingdon Road.
- Forrest begins to feel pressure from the Union troops pursuing his brigade. The night is spent getting wagons and artillery across the bog-like bottom of the Obion between McKenzie and McLemoresville.
- The brigade pushes on to McLemoresville, rests briefly, and resumes the march. That night they bivouac at Flake's Store.
- In spite of the news that General Jeremiah Sullivan's command has reached Huntingdon, the men and teams, exhausted by the difficult river bottom crossing and the rough roads, spend the day at rest. Colonel Cyrus Dunham, at Clarksburg, learns that Forrest is camped on the road leading to Parker's Crossroads and informs Sullivan of a plan to intercept and engage Forrest at the crossroads the following day.
- The Battle of Parker's Crossroads.
The "Old Brigade"
4th Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel James W. Starnes, commanding
8th Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel George C. Dibrell, commanding
9th Tennessee Cavalry, Colonel Jacob Biffle, commanding
4th Alabama Cavalry, Colonel Alfred A. Russell, commanding
Freeman's Battery, Captain Samuel L. Freeman, commanding
Reinforcements Gained at Columbia
Cox's Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, Nicholas N. Cox, commanding
Two companies of Kentucky cavalry, Captain Thomas G. Woodward, commanding
Captain William Forrest's scouts
General Forrest's escort
Joined Forrest near Union City
Colonel Alonzo Napier's Battalion