Corinth Battlefield



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Private Battlefield








The Battles-

(April 29th- May 30th, 1862) AND (October 3- 4th, 1862)


        Two major battles of the Civil War are associated with the small town of Corinth, in north-eastern Mississippi.  The first battle was actually a siege, commenced shortly after the great battle of Shiloh, in early April of 1862.  After the bitter defeat of the Confederates at that battle, C.S. General P.G.T. Beauregard led his 70,000 strong army to Corinth, the base for the Confederate army in the region.  Outraged at the heavy Union losses at the Battle of Shiloh, U.S. General Henry Halleck, commander-in-chief of the armed forces in the west, removed General Ulysses S. Grant from command and traveled to Pittsburgh Landing, the Union base of operations in the area, determined to led his men himself.  Under Halleck were U.S. Generals George Thomas, Don Carlos Buell, and John Pope, all three leading massive Federal armies.  
        Beauregard, realizing the importance of the rail lines at Corinth, was determined to defend the town from Union attacks for as long as his lines held.  By May 3rd, 1862, General Halleck had led his  massive, 120,000 strong army to the outskirts of Corinth, and began to initiate siege procedures.  Although Beauregard and his generals attempted to slow the Union armies arrival through skirmishes, Halleck soon surrounded nearly all of Corinth.  Beauregard realized that soon his communications and supply lines would be cut off, and decided in late May to abandon the city.  
        After nearly a month of conducting and defending from a siege, soldiers on either side began to feel the effects of prolonged camp life.  Water pollution and rampant diseases had killed nearly as many soldiers who had died in the battle of Shiloh.  Beauregard, realizing that he had to evacuate Corinth in order to save his army, ordered a very effective ploy on the night of May 30th that allowed the Confederates to escape from Corinth, and made the Union soldiers believe the Confederates were being reinforced.  After several days march, Beauregard and his army had reached the safety of Tupelo, while the surprised Halleck was left with an empty town.  Although the largest Confederate army in the west has been saved, the fall of Corinth led to the fall of the Mississippi Valley, which in turn eventually led to the fall of Vicksburg.  


        The second battle fought at Corinth occurred after the battle of Iuka, in late 1862.  For the past six months, the Federal armies had occupied the town of Corinth, after the Confederates pulled out in late May.  During the summer of 1862, the Confederacy began a campaign to reclaim the state of Kentucky for the South.  Although C.S. General Braxton Bragg and his Army of the Mississippi had invaded Kentucky by the late summer, his reinforcements, led by C.S. General Sterling Price, had nearly been captured by the Federal army of U.S. General Rosecrans at the battle of Iuka, in September.  After the battle, C.S. General Earl Van Dorn decided to attack and attempt to reclaim the town of Corinth.  The town was defended by Rosecrans and 23,000 troops, who were stationed in small forts and Artillery batteries around the town.  
        The second battle of Corinth began early on the morning of October 3rd as Federal troops intercepted the Confederates north and northwest of Corinth.   By the evening of the 3rd, Van Dorn had pushed the Federals back towards the defenses of the city.  During the morning of the 4th, the Confederates began to push through the city defenses, although they were stopped at Battery Robinett, where the heaviest fighting occurred during the battle.  After several hours of fighting, the Federal defenses held, and Van Dorn decided to retreat from the battle.  The Federal troops retained Corinth, and would hold the important rail center for most of the remainder of the war.  


The Battlefield-


The town of Corinth is located in north-eastern Mississippi, not far from the battlefield of Shiloh.  The Civil War Visitors Center is located in downtown Corinth, at Jackson and Childs Streets.  At the center, visitors can obtain a driving tour of the Corinth Campaign, including sites associated with both battles of Corinth.  Actual sites open to visitors in the town are Battery Robinett and Battery F.

        Corinth is the best example of a small, but historic rural Mississippi town, and much of the town has several Civil War-era connections.  At the center of the city is the Civil War Visitors Center, located in a restored Civil War manor.  A short video is shown at the center, and the expansive and extremely useful Civil War Campaign Map can be bought here also.  Using the map, drivers can visit nearly all the sites in the town even remotely associated with the battles.  If your short on time, though, or are eager to visit the much greater battlefield of Shiloh, only two sites in the town shouldn't be missed.  
        Battery Robinett is located north of the visitor's center, and was the site of the most brutal fighting of the second battle of Corinth.  The restored artillery battery is excellent, and the many informatory plaques found throughout the site make it easy to find your may around.  Near the battery is located a large monument, along with a cannon and several smaller monuments, including several unknown Confederate Burial markers.  Besides Battery Robinett, a short visit to Battery F- a five minute drive west of the city center- is recommended in order to see how one of these batteries would look without heavy restoration.  Along with a visit to Shiloh, Corinth makes an excellent day trip from anywhere in the Mississippi/Tennessee area.


Picture Gallery-


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