Tupelo National Battlefield Site



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The Battle-

(July 14-15, 1863)


        After the battle of Brice Cross Roads, in June of 1864, famed Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was free to attack and disrupt the vital supply lines that were feeding the Union army involved in the Atlanta Campaign further east. General Sherman ordered U.S. General Andrew Jackson Smith to march from LaGrange, Tennessee and confront Forrest somewhere in Eastern Mississippi.  By July 13, Smith's 14,000 strong army had begun a march towards Tupelo, followed closely by the 9,000 man Confederate army, led by C.S. General Stephen Lee and General Forrest.  On July 14th, the Union battle line stretched almost two miles outside the town of Tupelo. 
      The Confederates began their attack early that morning, but most of the Confederates frontal attacks were uncharacteristically ill-formed and uncoordinated, and Generals Lee and Forrest were having a hard time keeping control of their men.  Fighting eased for several hours in the late afternoon, but General Forrest himself lead a daring night raid against the Union lines, but was thwarted.  The next day, the Confederates again began to attack the Union lines, but Forrest was painfully wounded through the foot, and the attack began to crumble.  Although the Union army soon retreated back to LaGrange and the Confederates held Tupelo, the battle was a decisive and strategic victory for the Federals; twice as many Confederates had died in the battle, and Sherman's vital supply line remained safe.


The Battlefield-


Tupelo National Battlefield Site is located in the town of Tupelo, off of Route 6 in North-eastern Mississippi.

        Tupelo National Battlefield Site is administered by the Natchez Trace Parkway, part of the National Park Service.  The small, 1-acre battlefield is not very impressive, but is a nice addition to the surrounding town of Tupelo.  The site includes a monument to the Union and Confederate dead, and another monument to the Confederates who died in the battle.  Two cannons and an informatory panel are the only other items of interest in this small, largely forgotten battlefield.


Picture Gallery-


           tupelo1.jpg (19986 bytes)           

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