Parker's Cross Roads
Location: Henderson County, Tennessee
Campaign: Forrestís Expedition into West Tennessee (1862-63)
Date: December 31, 1862
Brig. Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan [US];
Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest [CS]
Forces Engaged: Two brigades (approx. 3,000 men) [US]; expeditionary brigade [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 737 total (US 237; CS 500)
As Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrestís expedition into West Tennessee neared its conclusion, Union Brig. Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan, with the brigades of Col. Cyrus L. Dunham and Col. John W. Fuller, attempted to cut Forrest off from withdrawing across the Tennessee River. Dunhamís and Forrestís march routes, on December 31, 1862, brought them into contact at Parkerís Cross Roads.
Skirmishing began about 9:00 am, with Forrest taking an initial position along a wooded ridge northwest of Dunham at the intersection. Confederate artillery gained an early advantage. Dunham pulled his brigade back a half mile and redeployed, facing north. His Federals repelled frontal feints until attacked on both flanks and rear by Forrestís mounted and dismounted troops.
During a lull, Forrest sent Dunham a demand for an unconditional surrender. Dunham refused and was preparing for Forrestís next onset when Fullerís Union brigade arrived from the north and surprised the Confederates with an attack on their rear; Confederate security detachments had failed to warn of Fullerís approach.
"Charge íem both ways," ordered Forrest. The Confederates briefly reversed front, repelled Fuller, then rushed past Dunhamís demoralized force and withdrew south to Lexington and then across the Tennessee River.
Both sides claimed victory, but the Confederate claims appear to have more credence.
Result: Confederate victory