Civil War Mississippi: A Guide

Civil War Mississippi: A Guide

Civil War Mississippi: A Guide

Civil War Mississippi: A Guide

Excerpt

Civil War battles in Mississippi played a major role in determining who won the war in the western theater. This fact has taken on new meaning in recent years as many Civil War historians have argued that the outcome of the entire war was decided in the west. Battles in the eastern theater are more famous and are still more written about than encounters in the west. But the war turned on the consequences of the fighting at Fishing Creek, Kentucky; Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River near the Tennessee-Kentucky border; Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Chickamauga, Georgia; the Atlanta campaign in Georgia; and several campaigns and battles in Mississippi.

This volume has several purposes. The most important is to inform the novice about the war in Mississippi. I have attempted to achieve this through brief narrative descriptions of the major campaigns and battles in the state. I have also tried to place each campaign and battle within the context of the war in the west and the conflict as a whole. While the book targets the novice, it is hoped that even knowledgeable Civil War buffs and historians will benefit from my attempt to examine the Mississippi war in an expansive framework. At the end of each of the narrative's three parts, suggestions are given for further, more in-depth, reading about the military campaigns. The concluding chapter is an attempt to place the legacy of the war in Mississippi in a perspective that extends beyond the battlefield. The economic devastation and racial upheaval that came with the war sent shock waves through many succeeding gen-

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