Brice's Cross Roads, MS

[Brice's Cross Roads National Battlefield Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Date: June 10, 1864

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Brices Cross Roads NBS (park), Mississippi, United States

Campaign: Forrest’s Defense of Mississippi [1864]

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

  • At the beginning of June 1864, Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest set out with his cavalry corps of about 2,000 men to enter Middle Tennessee and destroy the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, which was carrying men and supplies to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman in Georgia.

Commanders:

  • Union: Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis

  • Confederate: Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Three-brigade division of infantry and a division of cavalry (about 8,500 )

  • Confederate: Cavalry Corps (about 3,200)

Description:

  • On June 10, 1864, Forrest’s smaller Confederate force defeated a much larger Union column under Brig. Gen. Samuel Sturgis at Brice's Cross Roads.

  • At 9:45 a.m., a brigade of Benjamin H. Grierson's Union cavalry division reached Brice's Crossroads and the battle started at 10:30 a.m. when the Confederates performed a stalling operation with a brigade of their own.

  • Forrest then ordered the rest of his cavalry to converge around the crossroads.

  • The remainder of the Union cavalry arrived in support, but a strong Confederate assault soon pushed them back at 11:30 a.m., when the balance of Forrest's cavalry arrived on the scene.

  • Grierson called for infantry support and Sturgis obliged. The line held until 1:30 p.m. when the first regiments of Federal infantry arrived.

  • The Union line, initially bolstered by the infantry, briefly seized the momentum and attacked the Confederate left flank, but Forrest launched an attack from his extreme right and left wings, before the rest of the federal infantry could take to the field.

  • In this phase of the battle, Forrest commanded his artillery to unlimber, unprotected, only yards from the Federal position, and to shell the Union line with grapeshot.

  • The massive damage caused Sturgis to re-order the line in a tighter semi-circle around the crossroads, facing east.

  • At 3:30, the Confederates in the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry assaulted the bridge across the Tishomingo.

  • Although the attack failed, it caused severe confusion among the Federal troops and Sturgis ordered a general retreat.

  • With the Confederate in pursuit, the retreat bottlenecked at the bridge and a panicked rout developed.

  • The ensuing wild flight and pursuit back to Memphis carried across six counties before the exhausted Confederates retired.

  • This brilliant tactical victory against long odds cemented Forrest’s reputation as one of the foremost mounted infantry leaders of the war.

Photo Gallery2

Brice's Crossroads National Battlefield Troop movements prior to battle Advance forces meet at skirmish line First shoots fired

First Confederate battle line at 1:00 o'clock First Union battle line Second Confederate battle line Second Union battle line

Union General Sturgis tries to hold crossroads The Brice Home Monument at Brice's Crossroads The Western Campaign 1864

Map of Battle of Brice's Crossroads Confederate Victory
Pursuit of Union Forces
Union Retreat
Defense at the Bridge
Confederate Position at Brice's Crossroads

Confederate Position at Brice's Crossroads Confederate Artillery at Log Cabin Ridge Terrain and Landscape Union Wagon trains

General Barteau's Flank Movement Tishomingo Creek Bridge Chief Tishomingo Fight at Tishomingo Creek Bridge

Tishomingo Creek Spoils of War Tishomingo Creek Artillery Charge

Life at the Crossroads

James Jourdan Grave

James Jourdan Grave

James Jourdan Grave

James Jourdan Grave

Agnew Diaries

White House Ridge

Retreat to Memphis

     

USCT Stand

     

 

Slide Presentation: None

Classification3: B

Casualties4:

  • Union: 2,610

  • Confederate: 495

Results: Confederate Victory

Battlefield Websites:

Lodging and Restaurants: Mississippi Tourism

Recommended Resources:


1 National Park Service summary.

2 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of civil-war-journeys.org."

3 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

4 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 04/12/2013