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Civil War in Mississippi. Ship Island. Corinth and Iuka. Vicksburg. Meridian. Brice's Crossroads ... Ship Island during the Civil War, as well as six batteries ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Civil%20War%20in%20Mississippi

Civil War in Mississippi
  • Lsn 19

Civil War in Mississippi
  • Ship Island
  • Corinth and Iuka
  • Vicksburg
  • Meridian
  • Brices Crossroads
  • Tupelo

Ship Island
Ship Island
  • In Apr 1861, Lincoln declared a blockade of
    Southern ports
  • The Confederacy had 189 harbor and river openings
    and 3,549 miles of shoreline so this was easier
    said than done
  • Clearly some focus was needed
  • In June 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells
    created a Navy Board and charged it to study the
    conduct of the blockade and to devise ways to
    improve its efficiency

Ship Island
  • The Board was tasked to make a thorough
    investigation of the coast and harbors, their
    access and defenses.
  • It became obvious that the Navy would need ports
    of refuge for its own use, especially in the
    stormy South Atlantic
  • Even in good weather, the blockade was weakened
    every time a ship had to return to Hampton Roads,
    Virginia, the nearest Federal base, for food,
    fuel, and ammunition
  • The solution was for the Army and Navy to
    cooperate in seizing and maintaining a number of
    critical harbors to facilitate the Navys
    blockading operation

Ship Island
  • The first such location was Hatteras Inlet, NC
  • This harbors seizure would become the first
    joint operation of the war
  • It was an easy Federal victory won largely by the
  • Buoyed by its success at Hatteras Inlet, the Navy
    Board planned an operation to seize Ship Island,

Ship Island
  • In Sept 1861, the Federals occupied Ship Island
    before the Confederates were prepared to fire a
    shot in its defense

Ship Island
  • The Federals captured an unfinished fort and
    turned it into Fort Massachusetts
  • One soldier described the importance of Ship
    Island as being quite as desirable a base for
    movement against Mobile or the Texas coast as New
    Orleans, its selection served the double purpose
    of affording ample accommodations as a Union
    naval station and of keeping the rebel
    authorities in a constant state of uneasiness as
    to the point of attack.

Ship Island
  • Twenty-seven Federal infantry regiments saw
    service on Ship Island during the Civil War, as
    well as six batteries of light artillery and a
    battalion of cavalry
  • Each of these units stayed for varying lengths of
  • The unit to stay the longest (almost three years)
    was the African-American 2nd Louisiana Native

2nd Louisiana Native Guards arriving at Ship
Island in Jan 1863
Ship Island
  • Troop strength on Ship Island peaked in April
    1862 when more than 15,000 men assembled for the
    assault on New Orleans
  • Ship Island also served as a prison and detention
    facility for civilian detainees from New Orleans,
    Federal soldiers convicted of serious crimes, and
    Confederate prisoners
  • 153 Confederate prisoners died on Ship Island and
    were buried there
  • 232 Federal soldiers also died on Ship Island

Ship Island
  • Life on Ship Island was austere
  • Soldiers complained of the hot weather, sand,
    insects, rough living conditions, and monotony
  • Today Ship Island is part of the National Park
    Services Gulf Islands National Seashore

Corinth and Iuka
Corinth and Iuka
  • After Shiloh the Confederates retreated to
    Corinth and dug in north of the city
  • Grant was temporarily out of favor because of his
    army being surprised on the first day of Shiloh
    and he yielded command to Henry Halleck
  • Halleck excelled in making war on the map
    (Hattaway and Jones 77), but he would show
    himself to be an incompetent leader of field

Corinth and Iuka
  • At Corinth it took Halleck almost a month to
    advance just 20 miles
  • He stopped and entrenched at the end of each
    days march and ultimately planned to besiege the
  • Before Halleck finally was ready to begin his
    bombardment, the Confederates withdrew
  • Halleck occuppied Corinth, but rather than push
    on into Mississippi after the Confederates, he
    elected to consolidate his gains
  • Then he broke up his massive army by sending
    detachments to various other commanders, thus
    allowing the Confederates to camp unmolested at
  • Corinth showed Hallecks talents lay as a
    military manager rather than as a practitioner,
    and he was ultimately called to Washington to
    serve as general-in-chief

Corinth and Iuka
  • After Corinth, both sides kept a wary eye on each
    other and made leadership changes
  • When Halleck went to Washington to become
    general-in-chief, Grant took over command
  • Braxton Bragg replaced Beauregard as overall
    Confederate commander with Earl Van Dorn
    commanding at Vicksburg and Sterling Price in
    northeast Mississippi

Sterling Price
Corinth and Iuka
  • Both sides wanted to prevent the other from
    reinforcing Tennessee
  • In Sept Van Dorn left Vicksburg headed
    north-northeast and Price occupied Iuka
  • Iuka was on the railroad line that connected
    Memphis and Corinth with Chattanooga and could be
    used to send reinforcements to Tennessee
  • Grant could not ignore this threat

Corinth and Iuka
  • Grant ordered a coordinated two-pronged attack
    led by William Rosecrans and E. O. C. Ord to
    catch Price in a pincer
  • Rosecrans and Ord began moving on Sept 18

Corinth and Iuka
  • Grant told Ord to attack when he heard the sound
    of Rosecrans guns, but apparently Ord never
    heard them
  • The wind, freshly blowing from us in the
    direction of Iuka during the whole of the 19th,
    prevented our hearing the guns and co-operating
    with General Rosecrans.
  • Price was able to steal a days march on a road
    Rosecrans had not blocked and escape to the east
  • Rosecrans marched into Iuka

Corinth and Iuka
  • By the end of Sept, Price had joined forces with
    Van Dorn near Ripley, southwest of Corinth
  • Van Dorn named the combined forces the Army of
    West Tennessee, revealing his strategic intention
  • He planned to attack Corinth, control the
    railroad junction there, and continue west to rid
    west Tennessee of Federal troops

At Corinth, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad
met with the Mobile and Ohio line. Corinth was
known as the crossroads of the Confederacy.
Corinth and Iuka
  • Rosecrans had prepared strong defenses at Corinth
  • He also had smaller detachments scattered
    throughout the region
  • Van Dorn was gambling that he could strike
    Rosecrans and take Corinth quickly before
    Rosecrans could call in all his outposts
  • If that plan failed Rosecrans could assemble a
    force of some 23,000 at least a thousand more
    than Van Dorn had

William Rosecrans
Corinth and Iuka
  • On Sept 29 Van Dorn marched out of Ripley and the
    fighting began on Oct 3
  • Van Dorn got the best of Rosecrans on the first
    day but did not gain the quick victory he needed
  • Rosecrans still held Corinth and was receiving
    reinforcements by the hour
  • Van Dorn attacked again on Oct 4 but after
    initial gains fresh Federal reserves beat him back

Corinth and Iuka
  • Van Dorn retreated to Ripley giving the Federals
    an important strategic victory
  • With both Iuka and Corinth secure, north
    Mississippi was now firmly in Federal hands and
    Grant could turn his attention toward Vicksburg
  • Van Dorn was relieved of command after the
    Corinth debacle but performed much better later
    as John Pembertons cavalry commander during the
    Vicksburg Campaign

Earl Van Dorn
  • Meridian was a key strategic point
  • Roughly between the Mississippi capital of
    Jackson and the canon foundry and manufacturing
    center of Selma, Alabama.
  • Intersection of three railroads
  • Served as a storage and distribution center for
    not just the industrial products of Selma but
    also for grain and cattle from the fertile Black
    Prairie region just to the north

  • Sherman is about 150 miles away at Vicksburg
    waiting for the weather to improve enough to
    support the spring campaign
  • Doesnt want to sit idle
  • Believes he can do what he wants to do in
    Meridian and get back in time to be ready for
    future operations
  • On February 3, 1864 he begins his campaign to
    break up the enemys railroads at and about
    Meridian, and to do the enemy as much damage as
    possible in the month of February, and to be
    prepared by the 1st of March to assist General
    Nathaniel Banks in a similar dash at the Red
    River country

  • Meridian is a small-scale trial run for Shermans
    later March to the Sea
  • Shows Shermans ability to operate independently
    deep in enemy territory, far from higher
    headquarters, and pioneered the art of destroying
    Confederate war-making capability
  • Is a case study in the characteristics of the
  • Audacity
  • Surprise
  • Tempo
  • Concentration

Meridian Audacity
  • a simple plan of action, boldly executed
  • Sherman would be marching some 150 miles from his
    base, living off the land, and exposing himself
    to a potential Confederate concentration from
    three directions
  • The undertaking caused much anxiety in
    Washington, but Grant knew that any risk was
    mitigated by the fact that Sherman, as a raider,
    could choose his line of retreat
  • Grant was confident Sherman would find an
    outlet. If in no other way, he will fall back on
    Pascagoula, and ship from there under protection
    of Admiral David Farraguts fleet.
  • Audacious commanders take prudent risks in order
    to achieve decisive results and dispel
    uncertainty through action
  • At Meridian and elsewhere, Sherman epitomized

Meridian Tempo
  • a faster tempo allows attackers to disrupt enemy
    defensive plans by achieving results quicker than
    the enemy can respond.
  • Sherman knew that his success depended on speed.
  • He would travel light, ordering Not a tent will
    be carried, from the commander-in-chief down.
  • The expedition is one of celerity, and all
    things must tend to that.

Meridian Tempo
  • Sherman began his march in two columns of a corps
    each in order to facilitate both speed and
  • Confederate resistance was light, and Sherman
    refused to be distracted by minor skirmishes
  • He pressed forward, precluding the Confederates
    from disrupting his crossing of the Pearl River
    which was the only place the terrain was
    promising for the defense
  • By February 9, Sherman was in Morton, covering
    over half the distance from Vicksburg to Meridian
    in less than a week
  • By midafternoon on the 14th, Shermans lead
    elements were in Meridian
  • By then Confederate resistance had evaporated.

Meridian Tempo
  • Sherman was frustrated William Sooy Smiths
    cavalry advance did not keep pace
  • Sherman had ordered Smith to bring his large
    force from Memphis southeast in order to arrive
    at Meridian by February 10
  • Sherman instructed Smith not to be encumbered by
    minor objects but instead to concentrate on
    destroying bridges, railroads, and corn not
  • Part of Shermans own haste had been motivated by
    his desire to rendezvous with Smith as planned,
    but now Smith was nowhere to be found.
  • It will be a novel thing in war, Sherman
    lamented, if infantry has to wait the motions of
    cavalry, but such would be the case.
  • Smith had run into Confederate cavalryman Nathan
    Bedford Forrest and been whipped soundly

Meridian Surprise
  • attacking the enemy at a time or place he does
    not expect or in a manner for which he is
  • Sherman would gain much surprise from the speed
    of his advance, but he would also employ a series
    of feints designed to keep Leonidas Polk, the
    Confederate commander at Meridian, guessing
  • In an effort to maintain flexibility against all
    possible threats, Polk would never be able to
    concentrate against Shermans true attack.

Meridian Surprise
  • Sherman played on Polks fear for the safety of
  • He asked Nathaniel Banks, commander of the
    Department of the Gulf at New Orleans, to have
    boats maneuvering in the Gulf near Mobile and
    to keep up the delusion and prevent the enemy
    drawing from Mobile a force to strengthen
  • Sherman told Banks he would be obliged if Banks
    would keep up an irritating foraging or other
    expedition in the direction of Mobile to help
    Sherman keep up the delusion of an attack on
    Mobile and the Alabama River.
  • As Sherman advanced, he fueled this deception
  • I never had the remotest idea of going to
    Mobile, but had purposely given out that idea to
    the people of the country, so as to deceive the
    enemy and divert their attention.

Meridian Surprise
  • By threatening Polk with feints, Sherman forced
    the Confederate to retain forces at Mobile that
    he could have used against Sherman
  • To further add to Polks confusion, Sherman sent
    gunboats and infantry up the Yazoo River to
    reconnoiter and divert attention.
  • The intention was to make a diversion and
    confuse the enemy.
  • Then when Sherman departed Clinton on February 5,
    he divided his command with James McPherson
    advancing on Jackson from southwest to northeast
    while Stephen Hurlbut marched due east.
  • Polk had more than he could handle

Meridian Surprise
  • Sherman called such a tactic putting the enemy
    on the horns of a dilemma.
  • He had helped Grant do this to Pemberton in the
    Vicksburg Campaign, and Sherman would do it later
    by keeping the Confederates guessing if his
    objective was Macon or Augusta and then Augusta
    or Savannah on his March to the Sea
  • The result of this uncertainty is enemy
    paralysis and hesitancy

Meridian Concentration
  • the massing of overwhelming effects of combat
    power to achieve a single purpose
  • In spite of Shermans overriding concern for
    speed, he would not compromise in the size of his
  • Sherman had four divisionstwo from McPhersons
    corps at Vicksburg and two from Hurlbuts at
    Memphisfor a total of 20,000 infantry plus some
    5,000 attached cavalry and artillery
  • Polk could muster a force just half that size and
    these were widely scattered with a division each
    at Canton and Brandon and cavalry spread between
    Yazoo City and Jackson

Meridian Concentration
  • Sherman devoted his forces to the decisive aim to
    do the enemy as much damage as possible.
  • On February 9, his army entered Morton and spent
    several hours tearing up the railroad track using
    the usual method of burning crossties to heat the
    rails and then bending the metal into useless
    configurations dubbed Shermans neckties.

Meridian Concentration
  • At Lake Station on February 11, Sherman destroyed
    the railroad buildings, machine-shops,
    turning-table, several cars, and one locomotive.
  • But it was after reaching Meridian itself that
    Sherman unleashed his full fury
  • For five days he dispersed detachments in four
    directions with Hurlbut superintending
    destruction north and east of Meridian and
    McPherson focusing on the south and west.

Meridian Concentration
  • McPherson destroyed 55 miles of railroad, 53
    bridges, 6, 075 feet of trestle work, 19
    locomotives, 28 steam cars, and three steam
  • Hurlbut claimed 60 miles of railroad, one
    locomotive, and eight bridges
  • Sherman reported 10,000 men worked hard and with
    a will in that work of destruction, with axes,
    crowbars, and with fire, and I have no hesitation
    in pronouncing the work as well done. Meridian,
    with its depots, store-houses, arsenal,
    hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no
    longer exists.
  • His work done, Sherman returned to Vicksburg on
    February 28

Meridian The Bigger Picture
  • Shelby Foote would call Meridian something of a
    warm-up, a practice operation in this regard for
    what Sherman would execute on a much grander
    scale in Georgia.
  • John Marszalek concludes, When Sherman later
    contemplated a march to the sea, the important
    lessons of Meridian were instrumental in his
    thinking. He could march an army through
    Confederate territory with impunity and feed it
    at the expense of the inhabitants. He could wage
    successfully war without having to slaughter
    thousands of soldiers in the process.

Meridian The Bigger Picture
  • Lawrence Smith cites Meridian as the validation
    of the strategy of exhaustion that Grant would
    employ thereafter until the end of the war.
  • Archer Jones agrees that Shermans Meridian raid
    confirmed the effectiveness of Grants new
    raiding logistic strategy.

Meridian The Bigger Picture
  • Sherman has been identified as one of only a few
    generals who grew during the Civil War and the
    Meridian Campaign is an important milestone in
    his development.
  • Though much less well-known than the later March
    to the Sea, the Meridian Campaign served as a
    proving ground for the evolution of strategy and
    the Civil Wars relentless ascent toward total
    war that would ultimately result in Union

Brices Crossroads
Brices Crossroads
  • In the summer of 1864, Sherman is about to begin
    his Atlanta Campaign and knows his long supply
    line will be vulnerable to Nathan Bedford
    Forrests cavalry raids
  • Sherman said Forrest must be hunted down and
    killed even if it costs 10,000 lives and
    bankrupts the Federal treasury
  • Grant called him That devil Forrest

Brices Crossroads
  • On June 1, 1864, Forrest left Tupelo with 3,000
    cavalrymen and two artillery batteries, headed
    for middle Tennessee
  • Stephen Lee had ordered Forrest to attack the
    railroad from Nashville and to break up lines
    of communication connecting that point with
    Shermans army in Northern Georgia
  • Forrest was on his way to accomplish this mission
    when Lee notified him on June 3 that a large
    Federal column was moving from Memphis toward
  • Forrest returned at once

Brices Crossroads
  • This Federal force was commanded by Samuel
    Sturgis and had been ordered to keep Forrest
    occupied and destroy him if possible
  • Sturgis had 8,000 men and 250 wagons
  • He had been ordered to head to Corinth, clear the
    town of any Confederate soldiers, and then head
    south to destroy track and depots of the Mobile
    and Ohio Railroad

Brices Crossroads
  • On the evening of June 9, Forrest ascertained
    Sturgis line of march and decided he could
    intercept Sturgis at Brices Crossroads, west of
  • Forrest would be outnumbered two to one, but he
    still developed an aggressive plan to defeat
    Sturgis in detail
  • First he would defeat Sturgis cavalry
  • The Federal infantry would rush to their aid but
    would be tired from the forced march
  • Then Forrest would defeat them as well

Brices Crossroads
  • Forrest led one brigade to the far left of his
    line to the Ripley-Guntown road south of Brices
  • While this force attacked Sturgis flank, Forrest
    had his other men press the Federal right and
  • The Federals eventually gave way and their
    retreat began clogged at the narrow Tishomingo
    Creek bridge

Brices Crossroads
  • Forrest pursued the retreating Federals and
    caught up with them at Ripley
  • There Forrest completely routed the Federals who
    fled in disarray to Colliersville, TN

  • Brices Crossroads made Sherman even more
    determined that Forrest must be stopped and he
    ordered Andrew J. Smith to go after him
  • Smith assembled an army of some 14,000 at La
    Grange, TN and on July 5 began moving toward
  • Smith moved cautiously, determined not to repeat
    Sturgis mistake of being drawn into battle on
    Forrests terms
  • Forrest resented that his commander Stephen Lee
    had been promoted to lieutenant general before
    him and didnt fully have his heart in the
  • Lee would actually be the senior commander at

  • Smith maneuvered well and kept the Confederates
  • Ultimately he decided to head for Tupelo because
    he thought it would be hard for the Confederates
    to concentrate their forces there

  • As Smith moved toward Tupelo Forrest pressed the
    Federal rear, but Smith had a good head start
  • Smith made it safely to Tupelo and established a
    defense on a high ridge just west of Tupelo
  • On July 14 Forrest attacked, hoping to get around
    Smiths left
  • The Confederates were repulsed and fell back to
    build breastworks to receive the inevitable
    Federal counterattack

  • Instead Smith remained cautiously behind their
  • On July 15 Smith began to retreat northwest
  • Forrest followed but a painful foot wound put him
    out of action
  • With only minimal Confederate harassment, Smith
    withdrew back to La Grange where he arrived on
    June 21

  • In addition to inflicting 1,300 casualties on
    Forrest compared to just suffering 648 himself,
    Smith had facilitated Sherman by keeping Forrest
  • Smith had turned Forrests own tactics against
    him by outguessing the enemy, screening his
    intentions, enticing the enemy into fortified
    positions, and flank firing

  • Federal Home Front and Lincoln