About Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield
On 10 June 1864, Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield in Mississippi was the site of a clash between 4,787 Confederate troops led by Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest and 8,100 Union soldiers commanded by Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis.
Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield history
By this time, the Union had won several important battles such as in Gettysburg and Chattanooga. In fact, the reason that the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads occurred was that Sturgis had been sent there by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman.
On June 1 Forrest put his 3,500 horsemen in motion at Tupelo, headed for Tennessee. By June 4 they had reached Russellville, Alabama. Meanwhile, a concerned Sherman ordered Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis and a force of 8,100 to move out of Memphis and threaten north Mississippi in hopes of drawing Forrest away from Sherman’s much needed railroad in Tennessee. It worked! Forrest was ordered by Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Lee to return to Tupelo. On the evening of June 9, Forrest learned that Sturgis’s forces were camped about 10 miles northwest of Brices Cross Roads. Both commanders knew that the next day would bring battle.
This was a distraction tactic, aimed at diverting Forrest, a fierce cavalryman, whilst Sherman carried out his “March to the Sea.” The manoeuvre was successful and Forrest’s forces were met at Brice’s Crossroads with Sturgis’ army.
Despite being outnumbered, the Confederates were victorious. However, this victory brought with it few gains and only succeeded in slowing down the Union incursion into the south.
Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield today
Today, Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield is a National Park managed by the Natchez Trace Parkway. There are no visitor facilities at the site, but the nearby Brice’s Crossroads Visitor and Interpretive Center offers an insight into the battle.
Visitors can learn about the scope and impact of this battle that resulted in more than 3,000 casualties by going on a battlefield driving tour.
Getting to Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site can be found 15 miles north of Tupelo, Mississippi. Exit U.S. Highway 45 onto Mississippi 370, in Baldwyn, Mississippi. The battlefield is located 6 miles west of Baldwyn, on Mississippi 370.
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