Battle of Moscow

Battle of Moscow (HMOX1)

Location: Moscow, TN 38057 Fayette County
Country: United States of America

N 35° 3.6', W 89° 23.98'

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"The river seemed like running blood"

By late in 1863, the Union army occupying West Tennessee strongly defended the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which ran eastward from Memphis through Moscow. Federal infantry, including the U.S. Colored Troops of the 2nd West Tennessee Infantry, manned a nearby fort. It guarded a large wooden railroad bridge and a plank wagon bridge that both spanned the Wolf River one-half mile to your left. Union guards in rifle pits there protected State Line Road (today's Highway 57). At midday on December 4, Union Col. Edward Hatch's cavalry brigade passed by here heading west from a week-long patrol.

Pvt. Augustus Hurff, 6th Illinois Cavalry, described what happened next: "We were returning to our camp in Germantown...marching without an advance guard, which was very careless... . We had no sooner crossed the bridge than were were fired upon from ambush. This threw our forces into a panic. They forced us back to the river; we were ordered to draw our sabers and charge... but the rebels were reinforced [by Col. L.S. Ross's Texas Cavalry Brigade]... we dismounted and fought as infantry. Many of our horses were shot in the river as were a great number of our men. The rivers seemed like running blood instead of water. We fought until we were out of ammunition."

Confederate Gens. Stephen D. Lee and James R. Chalmers commanded the cavalry that made the sudden assault, planning to burn the railroad bridge. Union Gen. Stephen Hurlbut had recently warned that "Lee is the dangerous man." Fighting continued all afternoon, with the USCT unit earning special notice for bravery. Hatch suffered a bullet through the lung but survived. Near sunset, Union Col. W.H. Morgan's infantry brigade arrived by train from LaGrange and drove off the Confederates. About 3,000 Confederates and 5,000 Federals had been engaged.

"The recent affair at Moscow, Tennessee, has demonstrated the fact that colored troops, properly disciplined and commanded, can and will fight well." - Union Gen. Stephen Hurlbut
HM NumberHMOX1
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 13th, 2014 at 9:57pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 281164 N 3882330
Decimal Degrees35.06000000, -89.39966667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 3.6', W 89° 23.98'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 3' 36.00" N, 89° 23' 58.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)901
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 14060 TN-57, Moscow TN 38057, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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