The Historical Art of John Paul Strain
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John Paul Strain - Historical Artist
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PARKER'S CROSSROADS

December 31, 1862

PARKER'S CROSSROADS

On December 31, 1862, following a highly successful two week raid into the Federally controlled territory of Western Tennessee, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest led 2,000 men in surrounding a Federal brigade of 3,000 men at Parker’s Crossroads. While awaiting their reply to his surrender terms, a member of his staff dashed up to General Forrest in great distress shouting, “We are between two lines of battle. What shall we do?”

Due to the failure of his scouts to inform him of the current location of a second Federal Brigade, with an additional 3,000 troops, he found himself encircled. With cool judgment and prompt action, General Forrest replied, “We’ll charge them both ways.” The Confederates did charge in both directions, which resulted in confusing the Federals and forcing both Federal Brigades to take up defensive positions, thereby allowing General Forrest and his troops time to depart the area and return safely to their territory.

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