Jourdan Grave & Retreat Route


Jourdan Grave Interpretive Site and Retreat Route

“. . .the site includes land associated both with the Union advance and flight. It is land intimately identified with Sturgis’ rout, underscoring why the Battle of Brice’s Cross Roads is so significant.” ‘It also underscores General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s philosophy of war to get the ‘skeer’ on the enemy and keep them‘skeered.”

Ed Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

This, the final resting place of Sergeant James C. Jourdan, lies northwest of the crossroads. Jourdan, a cavalryman in the 17th Alabama Battalion commanded by Major J.N. George, Colonel William A. Johnson’s Alabama Brigade, was killed during the pursuit of General Sturgis by Union forces and buried near the Phillips House on the old Ripley Road. Two cedar trees have always marked his grave.

The site, located on Union County Road 168 includes a pull off and is the trailhead for the 1/3 mile natural walking trail, which follows the original roadbed and retreat route and takes the visitor across Phillips branch and by the two graves of Smith and King and ends at the White House Ridge. The two Confederate privates, Henry King and A. J. Smith were mortally wounded at the site and buried where they fell. King was a cannoneer who died when his unit was attacking the Union stand on the White House Ridge. He died “with his rammer staff in hand.”