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Sulfur Branch Trestle

Discussion in 'The South & Western Theaters' started by Jon G., Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    Hello All,

    I've been to Sulfur Branch Trestle, near Elkmont AL a few times. In reading about the battle it seems that Forrest's men were on top of the hill overlooking the federal fort. If so, that would have been shooting fish in a barrel and I always wondered why the fort wasn't protected or guarded from that.

    I've also wondered if the trestle was oriented similar to the orientation of the present bridge/culvert?

    Is there a map or diagram availabe of the fort and surrounding area? I have a good mental image based on descriptions but......

    Many thanks in advance!

    Regards to all,
    Jon G.
     

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  3. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    Richard, who is a member of this forum is our resident "expert" on this place and this event, being a long time student of Wilder and Lilly. He will read your post and chime in, I'm sure. He took me there a few weeks ago. All is well and Elkmont is a really neat little town.
     
  4. richard

    richard Sergeant

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    Jon I have drawing of the fort and the locations of the trestle and it's block houses. I also have the deployment diagrams all the forces engages in the fight. If you are or know of other people that maybe intrested such a civilwar round table or an reenactment group, I am always interested in presenting a talk about Sulfur Trestle these groups. Just drop me a line.
     
  5. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    Thanks for that Larry and you're right, I see that Richard has indeed posted on this thread. Your journey to Elkmont with Richard sure sounds like fun, especially this time of the year with all the fall colors! (envy envy!)

    Regards,
    Jon G.
     
  6. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    Hi Richard,

    I was hopeful that kind of information might be available somewhere. Might you be able to email copies...or mabe even just a rough hand drawn sketch to ease my curiosity....or perhaps I could come to your place and make my own sketch and get acquainted?

    I don't belong to a cw roundtable or group anymore but I would certainly be interested in hearing you speak about Sulfur Branch Trestle sometime.

    Do you have thoughts as to why the hill above the fort wasn't guarded to prevent Forrest being able to shell them from above as he did. Upon thinking a bit on that, maybe it was just the fact that those that were protecting the trestle were vastly outnumbered. Then I wonder why they would position a fort below the hill??? That's been bugging me since my first trip down there in the early 80s.:confused:

    Many thanks for posting and for any furthur information you might provide!

    Regards,
    Jon G.
     
  7. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Both, Jon, given an appropriate time, would cheerfully walk your butt off. Never have I met totally different men, who have somewhat different fixations about the general arena who can tell you whose horse shat where. Get into them boogers and you've opened pandora's box. If you'd like to explore, gingerly, Hood's retreat from Nashville, do not ask Larry, cause he's going to sweep you away to places wherein you can't paddle faster.

    Say something Indiana and Richard will take you on ride you might not have expected.

    Say something about Forrest and you will have a fight. Guarenteed. Plus or minus, makes no difference.

    Edit: Hey! a 0 dark thirty, the fingers start to fall off.

    So you've joined a board in whidh you can't avoid a conflt.
     
  8. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    I'm just beginning to gather that Ole. Just so it's all Civil.....it's all good!

    Regards,
    Jon
     
  9. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    We do the best we can with our limited resources and brain power.
     
  10. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    When Larry speaks of limited brain power, he's bragging.
     
  11. richard

    richard Sergeant

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  12. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    As is plainly obvious, Richard's brain is bigger than mine, or at least, still working. I am able to stay away from lutefisk which is so far not a problem around here.
     
  13. 5fish

    5fish Captain

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  14. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    A wizard with the English? language. I just learned a new word, or at least a slight variation.
     
  15. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    Richard,

    Yes, that info does help and almost all I was not aware of. My guess was also that they simply didn't have enough men but I wasn't aware of the shortage of horses....and how little time they had to try to react to Forrest's threat. I guess I did know that the 9th In Cav was hurrying to their defence from Pulaski but as I said, not aware how close Forrest was already.

    Another sign of how great Forrest was!

    Building a fort below a hill still just doesn't make sense to me but apparently they had no options....unless on top of the hill??? When standing on the hill, one has a pretty commanding view. The times I've walked and photographed the site that always comes to my mind.

    That's why I'd like to see a diagram of the trestle, hill and fortifications to make sure I'm visualizing the layout correctly.

    Many thanks,
    Jon G.
     
  16. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    Thanks for posting that! I've seen a marker close by but not sure it was that one. The first time my first wife and I visited around 1980, there were no markers. Of course we didn't know then exactly what we were looking for. I stopped at a service station in Elkmont and asked if they knew anything about Sulfer Branch Trestle and the guys had no idea what I was talking about. Then an old timer stepped out and said "yall mean Sulfa Crick"? "Jes foller this here road right around and you can't miss it"....and that's what we did. We'd forgotten that a creek was called a branch back then! Sorry if I butchered the wonderful southern dialect too badly! Just wanted to put in the proper context.

    Regards to all,
    Jon G.
     
  17. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011 Honored Fallen Comrade

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    A truly Southern dialect can't be butchered. Most folks can't understand it!
     
  18. 20thncarolina

    20thncarolina Corporal

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    Experts on Sulphur Trestle,that's awesome.My several great grandfathers was in 3rd TN Cav. and was captured.I am curious about what became of those prisoners.All I know from his record is that he was taken prisoner and later paroled.Did these men end up in a POW camp for a time or did Forrest hold them till they could be exchanged?As he returned to duty I assume he was exchanged at some point.
     
  19. Jon G.

    Jon G. Sergeant

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    The 9th Indiana Cavalry prisoners were taken to Cahaba Alabama to a pow camp. At war's end they were taken to Vicksburg where they boarded the Sultana. I think all the prisoners except officers went there and then to Vicksburg.

    The Sultana was extremely overloaded and the boiler exploded a few miles above Memphis with many of the ex pows killed.

    Just Google Cahaba prison and Sultana and you'll find plenty of very interesting reading.
     
  20. richard

    richard Sergeant

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    Were any of men officers? Since the officers were exchanged in November at Enterprise, the rest of the men spent there time in Cahaba.
     
  21. 20thncarolina

    20thncarolina Corporal

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    My G G Grandfather was an officer,a 2nd Lt Co L of 3rd Tenn. Cav. (US),Are there any records of the movements of these prisoners to be found ?There is a story that while a prisoner the prison flooded,I believe there is mention of flooding at Cahawba .
     

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