Academic journal article Military Review

Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation

Academic journal article Military Review

Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation

Article excerpt

CORINTH 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation Timothy B. Smith, University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas, 2012, 464 pages

Timothy Smith has produced a well-documented and researched history of Corinth, Mississippi, during the American Civil War.

He articulates the vital strategic importance the town had during the war--a major intersection of two major railroad lines bisecting the Southern states. Smith inserts numerous personal accounts from Corinth residents, soldiers, and leaders who either fought or were impacted by the events in this town during the war. Early in the war, Corinth became an assembly area for newly raised Mississippi regiments and served as the base of operations for Gen. Johnston's advance to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, in April 1862, which culminated with the Battle of Shiloh.

The author vividly describes the living conditions in the city, not only from the soldier's perspective but also from the residents, leading up to and following the April battle. The Confederates, led by their new leader, Gen. Beauregard, spent countless hours fortifying approaches to Corinth in anticipation of a Union Army advance from Pittsburg Landing. On the Union side, Smith brings to light the optimism and overconfidence Gen. Hallack had in his plans to capture Corinth. After taking command from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, he boasted to the War Department in Washington that his forces would be in Corinth within days. After a month of entrenching, minor skirmishing, and an eventual evacuation of the city, the Confederate command faced the dilemma of what to do with its Army of Mississippi. …

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