On this date in 1865 the Battle of Trion took place about twenty miles east of Tuscaloosa. As Brigadier General John T. Croxton and his 1,500-man cavalry made their way toward Tuscaloosa to destroy the University they crossed the path of Confederate General William H. Jackson and his 2,600-man army. Jackson was on his way to Selma from Mississippi to help General Nathan Bedford Forrest defend the Confederacy’s center for munitions manufactoring. Union General James H. Wilson was on his way there to destroy the iron works and munitions factories. On the morning of April 1, 1865 Jackson attacked Croxton’s rear guard. Feeling he was outnumbered, Croxton decided against a battle with the Confederates. He was on a mission to destroy, not fight. A running battle ensued as Croxton turned his army northwest and back toward the Roupes Valley Iron Works which had been destroyed the previous day. During the battle about 40 Union soldiers were killed. An unknown number of Confederates were killed. One of those Confederates was buried at the small village of Trion, which later became known as the town of Vance. In 2008 the town of Vance decided to move the grave of the Confederate soldier to a cemetery to make room for a city park. On April 6, 2008 a ceremony was held at the cemetery to honor the unknown Confederate soldier. Please enjoy a slideshow of that ceremony below.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org