The Historic Road
In front of you is the original roadbed of the Lexington-Huntingdon Road. This road, which figured so prominently in the Battle of Parker's Crossroads, connected the county seats of Henderson and Carroll counties, respectively. Before the railroad, this road was the primary transportation route. With the coming of the railroad, however, roads became secondary commercial routes. Stage companies no longer maintained the roads they formerly traveled. Men, whose tax burden included one day each month of road repair and maintenance, neglected their duties. Roads fell into disrepair.
By the time of the Civil War, traveling roads in any rural area was unpleasant at best. Dusty and rutted during dry weather, they became almost impassable when wet and muddy. Snow, sleet, and rain marked the two weeks before the Battle of Parker's Crossroads. A caisson with ammunition weighed over 3,800 pounds, a loaded battery wagon about 1,290 pounds. A 12-pounder gun and limber with ammunition and implements weighed a whopping 3,875 pounds. Teams pulling these heavy military vehicles over a road churned to mud by cavalry and infantry would have found it slow going, indeed.
Demise of the Old Road
In the late 1920s, the Tennessee Highway Department began making plans to relocate the road. William R. Britt, the great-grandson of Dr. John Parker, wrote to the newspaper protesting the relocation because of the road's connection to the Battle of Parker's Crossroads. "Let us all insist the road cross at its old crossing at this historic battle field" he implored.
In spite of Mr. Britt's plea, the road was relocated and straightened in 1931. The new road, now SR 22, passed about 150 feet west of the original crossroads. It is fortunate that the road was relocated. If it had not been, the old roadbed and an important part of the battlefield would have been destroyed.