Battle of Dover

Battle of Dover (HM1ATL)

Location: Dover, TN 37058 Stewart County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 28.741', W 87° 52.016'

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War Returns to Stewart County

Union and Confederate forces clashed near here again on February 3, 1863, almost one year after the Battle of Fort Donelson. Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler attacked Dover's 800-man Federal garrison after he failed to disrupt Union shipping on the Cumberland River.

Lt. Col. Arthur A. Smith was posted in the cemetery with Companies I and F, 83rd Illinois Infantry (Co. C in reverse), and one gun from Battery C ("Flood's Battery") to defend the Union right flank. At 3 P.M., Confederate Gen. John A Wharton's brigade advanced here in coordination with Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry charge on the Union left. The attack met stiff resistance as three more Union cannons arrived in support. The extra firepower was not enough, however, and the gunners pulled back their cannons with difficulty. The Confederates captured the cemetery as well as one of the guns.

Although Wharton now controlled the entire western side of Dover, his advance slowed because of a lack of ammunition. The 83rd Illinois counterattacked with six companies of infantry and retook this position by 7 P. M. Fearing Federal reinforcements, as well as support from U.S. Navy gunboats, Wheeler ordered a withdrawal to a line about four miles south of Dover. Forrest bitterly denounced Wheeler's decision. The Federals suffered 126 casualties, the Confederates 670.

According to local tradition, cannon fire during the battle damaged many of the headstones here. The Confederate dead left on the field were buried in a shallow mass grave. Later, the local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans dedicated a monument nearby to their memory.

Gen. Joseph Wheeler Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Nathan B. Forrest Courtesy Library of Congress
Dover and vicinity — Courtesy Tennessee Sate Library & Archives
Artillerists under infantry assault — Courtesy Library of Congress
Series This marker is part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series, and the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series.
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 12:49am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 422339 N 4037429
Decimal Degrees36.47901667, -87.86693333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 28.741', W 87° 52.016'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 28' 44.46" N, 87° 52' 0.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2435-2447 Moores Dr, Dover TN 37058, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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