|This large slab marks the burial site for Union soldiers who died at the Battle of Parker's Cross Roads. |
Nearly all the remains were exhumed for re-burial elsewhere two years after the Civil War.
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|Interstate 40 slices through the heart of the Parker's Crossroads (Tenn.) battlefield.|
|Bucksnort Inn billboard near hallowed ground |
at Parker's Crossroads, 100 miles west of Nashville.
Welcome to Tour Stop No. 7, the final stop on your self-guided Parker's Crossroads battlefield tour. The large parking lot is nearly empty on this chilly winter day.
|A marker denotes spot where 25-year-old Confederate officer|
Thomas Alonzo Napier was mortally wounded.
The Yankees who fell in the vicious fight were buried in small cemetery at the east end of the Union line. Among them probably were Lieutenant Pleasant L. Bristow, the married father of boys named Lowell, 3, and Samuel, three months, and fellow Illinoians Henry Opperman, Reuben Fletcher and Ernst Russell. The Union remains were exhumed two years after the war for reburial in a national cemetery in Corinth, Miss. Two decades ago, an archaeological excavation uncovered fragments of another poor soul, apparently forgotten.
A large, gray-granite slab in a strip of woods denotes the location of the graveyard. We try to imagine the scene on the cold night here 156 years ago. Spade meets earth. A body tossed into a trench. Perhaps a short prayer recited, a few tears shed. Or were they numb to it all? Then the ugly roar of interstate traffic tips us back into the 21st century.
A scrawny, brown fox darts into the brush. We're off, too. A foot in the present, but one stuck in the past.