Visitor's Guide to the Sites and Sounds

Area Attractions

Civil War Battlefields

The Battle of Davis Bridge

The Battle of Davis Bridge, also known as Hatchie's Bridge or Matamora, was fought on October 5, 1862, in Hardeman County and McNairy County, Tennessee, as the final engagement of the Iuka-Corinth Campaign of the American Civil War. Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn's army successfully evaded capture by the Union Army, following his defeat at the Battle of Corinth.

Van Dorn's (Confederate) Army of Tennessee retreated from Corinth, Mississippi, on October 4, 1862, but Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans did not send forces in pursuit until the morning of October 5. Maj. Gen. Edward O.C. Ord, commanding a detachment of Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee, was, pursuant to orders, advancing on Corinth to assist Rosecrans. On the night of October 4-5, he camped near Pocahontas. Between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. the next morning, his force encountered Union Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut's 4th Division, District of Jackson, in the Confederates' front. Ord took command of the now-combined Union forces and pushed Van Dorn's advanced element, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price's Army of the West, back about five miles to the Hatchie River and across Davis's Bridge. After accomplishing this, Ord was wounded in the ankle and Hurlbut assumed command. While Price's men were hotly engaged with Ord's force, Van Dorn's scouts looked for and found another crossing of the Hatchie River. Van Dorn then led his army back to Holly Springs. Grant ordered Rosecrans to abandon the pursuit. Ord had forced Price to retreat, but the Confederates escaped capture or destruction. Although they should have done so, Rosecrans's army had failed to capture or destroy Van Dorn's force.

The Battle of Middleburg

The Battle of Middleburg occurred on August 30, 1862 when Confereate General Frank C. Armstrong rode north from Holly Springs, Mississippi, to raid Federal supply lines in West Tennessee. Armstrong engaged a Union brigade commanded by Colonel Mortimer Leggett, and following a day-long battle featuring one of the few saber engagements between Union and Confederate cavalry forces, the Union troops retreated. The Confederates continued their foray northward until two days later when they were halted at the Battle of Britton Lane. The only marker denoting the battle site is on Tennesse Highway 18, south of Bolivar.

Thanks to an excellent reference book, Tennessee's Civil War Battlefields: A Guide to Their History and Preservation, authored by Hardeman County resident Randy Bishop, extensive information about these two battles is readily available.