McKenzie's Station

McKenzie's Station (HM1EZ6)

Location: McKenzie, TN 38201 Carroll County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 7.887', W 88° 31.049'

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A Strategic Junction

— Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid —

Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest led his cavalry brigade on a raid through West Tennessee, Dec. 15, 1862-Jan. 3, 1863, destroying railroads and severing Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's supply line between Columbus, Kentucky, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Forrest crossed the Tennessee River at Clifton, defeated Union Col. Robert G. Ingersoll's cavalry at Lexington, captured Trent and Union City, and ranged briefly into Kentucky. He raided back through Tennessee, evaded defeat at Parker's Crossroads, and crossed the river again at Clifton. Forrest's success forced Grant to switch his supply base to Memphis.

(main text)
McKenzie's location put it squarely in the path of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's first west Tennessee raid in December 1862. After capturing Union City, Forrest turned east on Christmas Day, burning trestles and destroying track between there and McKenzie. Forrest's troopers reached McKenzie two days later with captured wagons full of coffee, flour and military supplies. Here he learned that Federal forces had deserted the bridges over the Obion River. As two of Union Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan's infantry brigades closed in, local farmers told Forrest about an old bridge on a back road that spanned the Obion River and led to McLemoresville. After shoring up the rickety structure that night, the Confederates crossed the swampy Obion bottoms, slipped between the pursuing Federal columns, and headed south toward Parker's Crossroads.

When the war began, Carroll County's residents were equally divided between secessionists and Unionists and furnished a similar number of recruits to both armies. Poorer farmers in the eastern agricultural districts mostly remained loyal to the Union, while the cotton growers residing in the prime land in the western section usually favored the Confederacy. Located in the northwestern portion of the county, McKenzie's Station was situated at the junction of two railroads and therefore strategically significant.

"There was no treat for the southern girls like the coming of Confederate soldiers. No sight so pretty as a long column of boys in gray uniforms with pistols buckled round them, and guns and sabers at their sides." — Annie Cole Hawkings, McKenzie

(lower left) Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan Courtesy of Library of Congress
(upper right) Carroll County and McKenzie's Station, from 1863 state map Courtesy of Library of Congress
Forrest's First West Tennessee Raid, Dec. 15, 1862-Jan 3, 1863
HM NumberHM1EZ6
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 3:05am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 363455 N 3999594
Decimal Degrees36.13145000, -88.51748333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 7.887', W 88° 31.049'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 7' 53.22" N, 88° 31' 2.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)731
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 654 N Main St, McKenzie TN 38201, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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