Battle of Bean's Station

Battle of Bean's Station (HM1BGD)

Location: Bean Station, TN 37708 Grainger County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 19.843', W 83° 22.097'

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Opportunity Lost

Confederate Gen. James Longstreet abandoned his siege of Knoxville early in December 1863 and withdrew northeast with Union Gen. John Parke following distantly. Parke sent Gen. James Shackleford ahead to harry Longstreet, who camped with his main force at Rogersville, where he took command of all upper East Tennessee Confederates. When Shackelford camped near Bean's Station north of the Holston River, Longstreet decided to turn and destroy the Union force. Before you is the battle site, partly covered by Cherokee Lake in 1940; some earthworks remain.

On December 14, Longstreet's infantry pushed the Federals into Bean's Station while his cavalry swept around their northern and southern flanks to block any retreat. Federal artillery fired on the Confederates in front of Bean's Station Tavern, and Confederate guns replied. Hundreds of rounds were exchanged. After repelling several assaults, Federal troops retreated toward Rutledge. Longstreet learned that his cavalry commander, Gen. William T. Martin, had not delayed the main Federal force. Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones held Bean's Station Gap, but resourceful Federals escaped west through the hills. Longstreet's commanders balked at an all-out pursuit, citing meager supplies and their men's weariness. As Union reinforcements arrived, the Confederates marched toward Russellville and went into winter quarters. Longstreet won at Bean's Station, but failed to destroy the Union cavalry.

The historic tavern remained intact until 1940, when it was dismantled before the creation of Cherokee Lake. A later fire destroyed the building's materials before it could be rebuilt.

Gen. James Longstreet Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. John G. Parke Courtesy Library of Congress
Bean's Station Tavern by Wendy Leedy, 2010
Series This marker is part of the Tennessee: Tennessee Civil War Trails series
Placed ByTennessee Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 8:09pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 287428 N 4023234
Decimal Degrees36.33071667, -83.36828333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 19.843', W 83° 22.097'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 19' 50.58" N, 83° 22' 5.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 200-274 Bean Station Cemetery Rd, Bean Station TN 37708, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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