One hundred fifty years ago this week, some 22,000 Confederate soldiers converged on the key railroad city of Corinth, Mississippi, hoping to recapture the city from Union forces, the Associated Press reported on Friday..
On October 3, 1862, Confederate forces slammed into Union positions around the city.
“The engagement became general, and a fierce and sanguinary battle was fought,” the AP reported on Oct 8, 1862.
According to that dispatch, Union forces “were forced slowly backward, fighting desperately” as Confederate troops attacked.
“The Confederates pushed forward with determined obstinacy,” the AP reported, but fighting paused at the end of the day.
Fighting resumed the next day, but Union forces had regrouped and brought their artillery to bear on the attacking rebels.
“The federal batteries opened a destructive fire upon the exposed ranks of the Confederates, mowing them down like grass. Their slaughter was frightful,” the AP reported at the time.
For a while, the battle appeared to go back and forth, but eventually, “the Confederates wavered and then fell back” into a full retreat.
The battle was a strategic victory for the Union, as Corinth was a key railroad hub, and according to the AP, “was the second of two important setbacks for the Confederacy at a crucial moment in the war,” coming on the heels of the battle at Antietam.
A post at lrc-media.com says the city will remember the 150th anniversary of the battle on November 3 with an event described as being “larger than life.”
“This November 3, the Grand Illumination celebrates five years and marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an event larger than life. The luminaries will be placed at the site of Battery Robinett/Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and then form a path into downtown highlighting antebellum homes, the historic business district, the Contraband Camp and the historic railroad crossings,” the post says.
“About 45 minutes before dusk we light the candles and the full effect of the project is realized. Each one of the glowing lights represents a human life,” said Park Ranger Tom Parson.
“Seeing the number 12,000 on a piece of paper does not seem much. Seeing row after row and street after street lined with candles is both humbling and awe inspiring,” he added.
According to lrc-media.com, 8,000 candles represent every soldier killed, wounded or captured during the first battle of Corinth.
“The increased numbers represent the additional casualties suffered during the May 1862 Siege of Corinth and the engagement at Davis Bridge, Tennessee,” Parson said.
More of this series at quadrust.com can be found here.
This week in the Civil War, April 29 – May 5, 1862: The first battle of Corinth