Estill Springs, TN
Elk River Bridges-Camp Harris

Photos/Text courtesy of Paul Stanfield, Ringgold, GA
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1. Estill Springs, Tennessee - Wikipedia
2. Confederate Deaths in Estill Springs, TN - MSCC Civil War
3. Estill Springs, Tennessee

4. Action in Tullahoma - late March 1863 - The Civil War Gazette
5. Tennessee Forts: page 3
6. Historic Sites near Estill Springs, TN -
7. Estill Springs, TN, Tennessee records search - military

8. The Tullahoma Campaign:  Estill Springs / Allisonia / Decherd
9. Read the ebook The Union army; a history of military affairs
10. July 1st events during the Civil War in Tennessee

(October 2012) Enlarge Remains of the wartime Bethpage Bridge crossing of the Elk River, near Estill Springs. View looking north
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July 2, 1863 - Skirmish near Bethpage Bridge, Elk River

No circumstantial reports filed.
Excerpt from the Report of General Bush rod R. Johnson, C. S. A., commanding brigade, Stewart's Division, Hardee's Corps, during the Tullahoma Campaign, relative to skirmishes at Bethpage Bridge on July 1 and July 2, 1863.
~ ~ ~
At dawn on the morning of July 1, my brigade, under orders, through Capt. Helm, from Lieut.-Gen. Hardee, left the cavalry in its rear and moved toward Decherd. It crossed Elk River by the Bethpage Bridge, and rested about 1 miles south, near the house of Mr. Corn, from 8 a. m. until about 4 p. m.; then it moved across the Bethpage Bridge, and was place in line of battle about 11/2 miles in front of it, to support, under command of Maj.-Gen. Cleburne, Brig. Gen. Churchill's brigade. The enemy fired a few shots from their artillery, which passed over my command. My brigade then moved to the left en echelon to Brig.-Gen. Churchill's brigade. At dark my brigade again crossed the Bethpage Bridge, received order to reduce the baggage at Decherd to 800 pounds per wagon, and rested during the night near Mr. Corn's, about 6 miles from Decherd.
On Thursday morning (July 2), my brigade moved back to the Bethpage Bridge, and passed up to the intersection of the Hillsborough and the Bethpage and Brakefield Point roads, about 3 miles from the bridge. After placing my brigade in position across the former road, I sent, by order of Maj.-Gen. Stewart, the Twenty-fifth Tennessee to join the Twenty-sixth Tennessee Regt., of Gen. Bate's command, and to support of cavalry under Gen. Martin at Morris's Ford, on the Hillsborough road. The Twenty-fifth was detached about two hours and a half, and occupied two positions near the ford, both out of line of the enemy's fire. A section of Darden's battery was moved up to Morris's Ford at the same time with the Twenty-fifth, and took position 250 or 300 yards on the left of the Hillsborough road, on the bank of the river. The opposite bank, as far as could be seen along the river and for 200 yards back from the steam, was covered with woods, in which the enemy's cavalry and perhaps a section of artillery were posted. Brig.-Gen. Martin's cavalry brigade were stretched along the southern bank of the steam and were skirmishing with the enemy, exposed to occasional discharges of canister, shell, and shot. The section of Darden's battery opened on the enemy at from 250 or 300 yards. It fired first at the position of the enemy's artillery pointed out by Gen. Martin, and then shelled the woods. The enemy commenced falling back at the first shot, and by the time the sixth shot was fired their cavalry had gained the lane bordered by wide fields beyond the woods, along which they moved in column presenting an admirable mark for our artillery, and one upon which every shell seemed to take effect. They were thrown into great confusion, and many loose horses were seen running away without their riders. The artillery retired through the fields under cover.
Far up the lane a wagon train was seen, extending into the woods beyond. They may have been ambulances of a pontoon train. Drivers attempted to turn and move off, but one or two shells exploded among them and produced the wildest confusion. The fleeing cavalry and teams became all mingled together. Gradually the lane was, however, cleared.
~ ~ ~
B. R. Johnson, Brigadier-General, Cmdg.
OR, Ser. I, Vol. 23, pt. I, pp. 608-609.


(October 2012) Enlarge Site of wartime railroad bridge crossing of Elk River south of Estill Springs. Destroyed by Polk's Corps retreating from Tullahoma. The Elk River here is now slack water of Tims Ford Lake

(October 2012) Enlarge Camp Harris historical marker. Confederate training camp. Named for Isham Harris, Tennessee’s governor before the war

(October 2012) Enlarge General area of Camp Harris    

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