Battle of Jackson, Tennessee

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Battle of Jackson, Tennessee
Began:

December 19, 1862

Ended:

Same day

Location:

Madison County, Tennessee

Theater:

Western Theater

Campaign:

Forrest’s Expedition into West Tennessee

Outcome:

Confederate victory

33 star flag.png
Combatants
Conf Navy Jack.png

Jackson Garrison

Detachment of Forrest’s Cavalry

Commanders

Adolph Englemann
Colonel, USA

Nathan Bedford Forrest
Brigadier General, CSA

Strength

Two regiments

400

Casualties

6

Unknown

  

The engagement at Jackson occurred during Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Expedition into West Tennessee, between December 11, 1862, and January 1, 1863. Forrest wished to interrupt the rail supply line to Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s army, campaigning down the Mississippi Central Railroad. If he could destroy the Mobile & Ohio Railroad running south from Columbus, Kentucky, through Jackson, Grant would have to curtail or halt his operations. Forrest’s 2,100-man cavalry brigade crossed the Tennessee River on December 15-17, heading west. Maj. Gen. Grant ordered a troop concentration at Jackson under Brig. Gen. Jeremiah C. Sullivan and sent a cavalry force out under Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, to confront Forrest. Forrest, however, smashed the Union cavalry at Lexington on December 18. As Forrest continued his advance the next day, Sullivan ordered Col. Adolph Englemann to take a small force northeast of Jackson. At Old Salem Cemetery, acting on the defensive, Englemann’s two infantry regiments repulsed a Confederate mounted attack and then withdrew a mile closer to town. To Forrest, the fight amounted to no more than a feint and show of force intended to hold Jackson’s Union defenders in place while two mounted columns destroyed railroad track north and south of the town and returned. This accomplished, Forrest withdrew from the Jackson area to attack Trenton and Humboldt. Thus, although the Federals had checked a demonstration by a portion of Forrest’s force, a major accomplishment, other Confederates had fulfilled an element of the expedition’s mission. (NPS summary)

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