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History Press
History Press • 1 year ago

An insignificant crossroads in Mississippi was an unlikely battleground for one of the most spectacular Confederate victories in the western theater of the Civil War. But that is where two generals determined destiny for their men. Union general Samuel D. Sturgis looked to redeem his past military record, while hard-fighting Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest aimed to drive the Union army out of MS or die trying. Their armies collided in a story of overwhelming odds & American spirit.

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In February 1862, after defeats at Bull Run and at Wilson’s Creek, the Union army was desperate for victory on the eve of its first offensive of the Civil War. The strategy was to penetrate the Southern heartland with support from a new “Brown Water” navy. In a 2 week campaign plagued by brutal winter weather, two armies collided in rural TN to fight over forts. Those days set the course of the war in the Western Theater for 18 months and determined the fates of Ulysses S. Grant & others.

Robert E. Lee, Confederate General Taken in 1863 by Julian Vannerson

A military operation unlike any other on American soil, Morgan’s Raid was characterized by incredible speed, superhuman endurance and innovative tactics. One of the nation’s most colorful leaders, Confederate general John Hunt Morgan, took his cavalry through enemy-occupied territory in three states in one of the longest offensives of the Civil War. The effort produced the only battles fought north of the Ohio River and reached farther north than any other regular Confederate force.

Two unidentified African American Union Army soldiers, full-length portrait, wearing uniforms, seated with arms around each other's shoulders, c. 1864

General Simon B. Buckner, C.S.A. Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History via Flickr.

During the fateful winter of 1865, General William T. Sherman led an army of over 60,000 troops on a destructive march through SC. Hundreds of the affected residents recorded their harrowing experiences, much of which is corroborated by the testimony of Sherman’s own soldiers. Civilians were also affected by two lesser-known military operations that followed Sherman’s raid—Potter’s Raid & the raids conducted by Union troops pursuing Confederate president Jefferson Davis through the state.

Confederate Unknown Soldier, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, CSA State: Louisiana Highest Rank Attained: General Principal Commands: Confederate Forces in Charleston, Confederate Forces in Virginia, Army of Tennessee, Coastal defenses in Georgia and South Carolina, Defense of Richmond, Department of the West Principal Battles: Fort Sumter (1861), First Bull Run (1861), Shiloh (1862), Corinth (1862), Attacks on Charleston