Short Mountain

 

During our visit to Stones River on the 26th and 27th of June, David Hudson and I made the trip about one hour south of Murfreesboro to the spot where Companies "A" and "I" met up with the famous General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The weather was great and only a thin layer of clouds was in the sky. We started out at about 8:00 AM and made a quick trip down I-24 to Manchester. Turning onto Tennessee Rt. 55, we proceeded toward Morrison, TN. Since we had never been there and I had left my exact instructions at the motel, we were forced to look for the Historical marker beside the road. Needless to say, we went all the way to Morrison before realizing we had missed the sign. We stopped at a couple of places near Morrison. We couldn't find a soul that knew anything about it, including one individual who had lived their entire life around there and had never heard of it. After driving around for about a half hour, David and I came to the conclusion that we might not be successful at finding the place.

With unhappy expressions, we started back down TN 55 to Manchester. About half way there, I spotted the marker beside the road, but couldn't tell where the action took place. We took a chance and continued on about 100 yards down the road to the next intersection and turned toward where we thought the place must be located. Sure enough, the railroad line was back about 200 yards from the main road. David and I decided to walk back to the scene of the action. It really wasn't that far, but I quickly realized that the terrain was quite flat. There wasn't a mountain to be seen anywhere close by. I have yet to figure out why they call it Short Mountain Crossroads. When we finally found the place, it was really just a small trestle over a small stream. The railroad bed is about 10 feet above the level of the terrain. It appears from the stones on each side of the trestle that the roadbed may also be slightly higher now than back in 1862. Obviously, it would have been a spot where Gen. Forrest could harass the enemy by burning a couple of these trestles. It would effectively cut the supply line between Manchester and McMinnville.


This photo was taken looking back in the direction of Manchester. David is looking northward and toward what we believe to be the direction that Forrest's cavalry would have been first seen by Andy Boggs and Captain Charley Ross. The small stream can be seen just to the left of the railroad embankment. I have as yet not checked my notes, but David and I believe the stockade would have been located a slight distance away and to David's left.


This photo was taken looking southeastward. Because of the trees, it is difficult to see for a great distance. However, you can make out the flatness of the terrain and see that fields lie beyond this line of trees. It is likely that another stockade would have been built in the area just beyond the trees to protect the trestle from invaders attacking from the south.


This photo gives you a look a the area toward which David was looking in the first photograph. This would have been the likely location of the stockade defended by Companies "A" and "I," although I feel it was not quite this close. The main reason I feel this to be true is that the Confederates attacked from the north and this site would appear to be the most advantageous to the defenders. Of course, I will admit that I could just as easily be wrong. I will scrutinize my notes looking for any clue as to the location of the stockade.


In this view, we are looking at the Northwest approach to the stockade area. It is my assumption that the horse handlers of the cavalry were primarily in this direction about 200 yards distant. The attack would have been from this direction and all the firing would have been directed toward the stockade and in the direction we are looking.

On our walk back to the car, David and I discussed the possibility of finding the Guest Hollow Cemetery where the Confederate dead were buried. Once again, I was handicapped by not having the information where the cemetery would be located. We took a quick drive through the countryside, but were unable to spot any evidence of a cemetery. I have since discovered that the cemetery is located south of Morrison. So that part of the story will have to wait until another day.