Good book on Meridian Campaign?

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lelliott19

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I'm especially interested in the impact on the local population
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Evansville Daily Journal. (Evansville, IN), March 10, 1864, MORNING EDITION, page 4.
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Georgia Journal and Messenger. (Macon, Ga.), March 09, 1864, page 2.
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Columbus Times. (Columbus, Ga.), March 05, 1864, page 2.
 
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DixieRifles

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I think there is another thread on this topic.

I bought Margi Riddle Bearss' (yes, Ed's wife) book "Sherman's Forgotten Campaign; The Meridian Expedition". I admit that I didn't read all the way through it as I was mainly focused on the cavalry operations that resulted in the battle of Okolona. There is not enough clear information on that aspect of it. One chapter is entitled REBEL CAVALRY IS SENT NORTHWARD TO COUNTER SMITH'S THRUST.

It may have some material that you are looking for based upon titles of some of the chapters/sections:
Decatur is Put to the Torch
Meridian is Overrun by Yankees; Demolition Teams Are Sent Out in All Directions
Forces Destroy Railroads and Bridges; Homes Are Looted, Burned as Confederates Retreat
Yankees Burn, Loot, and Wreck Meridian
Lauderdale Springs is Spared
Canton Escapes the Torch
 

lupaglupa

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I think there is another thread on this topic.

I bought Margi Riddle Bearss' (yes, Ed's wife) book "Sherman's Forgotten Campaign; The Meridian Expedition". I admit that I didn't read all the way through it as I was mainly focused on the cavalry operations that resulted in the battle of Okolona. There is not enough clear information on that aspect of it. One chapter is entitled REBEL CAVALRY IS SENT NORTHWARD TO COUNTER SMITH'S THRUST.

It may have some material that you are looking for based upon titles of some of the chapters/sections:
Decatur is Put to the Torch
Meridian is Overrun by Yankees; Demolition Teams Are Sent Out in All Directions
Forces Destroy Railroads and Bridges; Homes Are Looted, Burned as Confederates Retreat
Yankees Burn, Loot, and Wreck Meridian
Lauderdale Springs is Spared
Canton Escapes the Torch
I've read some of here articles but did not know she had written a book on this - looks like a great source. Thanks!
 
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"Sherman's Forgotten Campaign; The Meridian Expedition" by Margie Bearss (1987) is, in my opinion, the best book on the Meridian Campaign, but it is very difficult to find an available copy for purchase, as the book is out of publication. You can find one from time to time online but they typically sell from $70 - $300 each, depending on condition.

Below I have attached a PDF for you detailing the Meridian Campaign (Federal perspective) which was an article published in the Chicago Tribune on March 14, 1864. The article was written from daily notes taken by one of their correspondents who was embedded with Sherman`s Army during the Meridian Campaign, from Vicksburg to Meridian and then back to Vicksburg. It includes much detailed reporting of the impact on the local population that interest`s you during that Campaign.

Samuel Wragg Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, comprised of the 2nd Alabama Cavalry (Earle), 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers (Boyles), 12th Mississippi Cavalry (Inge), 11th Mississippi Cavalry (Perrin) and the 9th Mississippi Cavalry (Miller), was the primary brigade that opposed Sherman`s army during the vast majority of the Campaign, fighting daily against his advance and vanguard from Morton, Ms. on 9 Feb 1864 until they reached Meridian on 14 Feb 1864. They were also responsible for slowing Sherman`s march by burning bridges, felling trees and brush across the roads, rivers, creeks and streams, and tearing up the roads with pick axes, shovels and spades. During this time the rest of S. D Lee`s Cavalry Corps; William Hicks Jackson, Wirt Adams and Peter B. Starke, were for the most part staying beneath the southern Railroad just in case Sherman turned at any time to march on Mobile.

Look at Column 3 under the "Great Mississippi Expedition".
 

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lupaglupa

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"Sherman's Forgotten Campaign; The Meridian Expedition" by Margie Bearss (1987) is, in my opinion, the best book on the Meridian Campaign, but it is very difficult to find an available copy for purchase, as the book is out of publication. You can find one from time to time online but they typically sell from $70 - $300 each, depending on condition.

Below I have attached a PDF for you detailing the Meridian Campaign (Federal perspective) which was an article published in the Chicago Tribune on March 14, 1864. The article was written from daily notes taken by one of their correspondents who was embedded with Sherman`s Army during the Meridian Campaign, from Vicksburg to Meridian and then back to Vicksburg. It includes much detailed reporting of the impact on the local population that interest`s you during that Campaign.

Samuel Wragg Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, comprised of the 2nd Alabama Cavalry (Earle), 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers (Boyles), 12th Mississippi Cavalry (Inge), 11th Mississippi Cavalry (Perrin) and the 9th Mississippi Cavalry (Miller), was the primary brigade that opposed Sherman`s army during the vast majority of the Campaign, fighting daily against his advance and vanguard from Morton, Ms. on 9 Feb 1864 until they reached Meridian on 14 Feb 1864. They were also responsible for slowing Sherman`s march by burning bridges, felling trees and brush across the roads, rivers, creeks and streams, and tearing up the roads with pick axes, shovels and spades. During this time the rest of S. D Lee`s Cavalry Corps; William Hicks Jackson, Wirt Adams and Peter B. Starke, were for the most part staying beneath the southern Railroad just in case Sherman turned at any time to march on Mobile.

Look at Column 3 under the "Great Mississippi Expedition".
I am blessed with the world's best librarian here in my hometown - he can get me anything! I will put in a reserve for the Bearss book today and read the .pdf in the meantime. Thanks so much for posting it.

Looks like another place where your ancestor and mine were riding together @2nd Alabama Cavalry
 
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"Sherman's Forgotten Campaign; The Meridian Expedition" by Margie Bearss (1987) is, in my opinion, the best book on the Meridian Campaign, but it is very difficult to find an available copy for purchase, as the book is out of publication. You can find one from time to time online but they typically sell from $70 - $300 each, depending on condition.

Below I have attached a PDF for you detailing the Meridian Campaign (Federal perspective) which was an article published in the Chicago Tribune on March 14, 1864. The article was written from daily notes taken by one of their correspondents who was embedded with Sherman`s Army during the Meridian Campaign, from Vicksburg to Meridian and then back to Vicksburg. It includes much detailed reporting of the impact on the local population that interest`s you during that Campaign.

Samuel Wragg Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, comprised of the 2nd Alabama Cavalry (Earle), 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers (Boyles), 12th Mississippi Cavalry (Inge), 11th Mississippi Cavalry (Perrin) and the 9th Mississippi Cavalry (Miller), was the primary brigade that opposed Sherman`s army during the vast majority of the Campaign, fighting daily against his advance and vanguard from Morton, Ms. on 9 Feb 1864 until they reached Meridian on 14 Feb 1864. They were also responsible for slowing Sherman`s march by burning bridges, felling trees and brush across the roads, rivers, creeks and streams, and tearing up the roads with pick axes, shovels and spades. During this time the rest of S. D Lee`s Cavalry Corps; William Hicks Jackson, Wirt Adams and Peter B. Starke, were for the most part staying beneath the southern Railroad just in case Sherman turned at any time to march on Mobile.

Look at Column 3 under the "Great Mississippi Expedition".

I have to be honest here. Reading that column drives thorns into my heart. "the enemy" "their haste" in defeat, "the people must suffer for want of food". It's not like reading about the great battles of WWII or WWI, the spin is the same, but the people involved are different. The 56th was there, that is my boy Sam; an old man at 16 years of age. How in the world does the world devolve this madly? I certainly wouldn't trust any of today's "leadership" to build and sustain an Army to perform these efforts. What were we thinking, on both sides?
 
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lupaglupa

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I have to be honest here. Reading that column drives thorns into my heart. "the enemy" "their haste" in defeat, "the people must suffer for want of food". It's not like reading about the great battles of WWII or WWI, the spin is the same, but the people involved are different. The 56th was there, that is my boy Sam; an old man at 16 years of age. How in the world does the world devolve this madly? I certainly wouldn't trust any of today's "leadership" to build and sustain an Army to perform these efforts. What were we thinking, on both sides?
I think by the time folks on both sides had seen enough suffering inflicted on their family, friends, and neighbors they lost a sense of the opposing side as anything but an enemy to be vanquished. And though some on the Union side were taken aback by Sherman's harsh tactics they learned to applaud his victories. I doubt we would be any different today, sad to say.
 
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Looks like another place where your ancestor and mine were riding together @2nd Alabama Cavalry
lupaglupa, yes... they were badly out-numbered, out-manned and out-gunned as part of Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade, numbering only 1,200 troopers alone opposing the whole of Sherman`s 23,500 man army, specifically from Morton to Meridian (9-14 Feb 1864). During that time they fought in the towns of Morton, Hillsboro, Lake, Decatur, Chunky, Suqualena and Meridian. They also fought and skirmished along miles and miles of lonely road which connected those small towns, hamlets and communities, through which Sherman`s army marched. From Morton to Meridian Ferguson`s Cavalry Brigade were vastly out-numbered 20-1. However, they used the road to their advantage against Sherman, as his train of 23,500 soldiers with wagons and guns in a single column of fours stretched back for 15 miles, so they were able to attack his advance and vanguard, as they tore up the roads, without having to face his entire army as long as they were restricted to the single narrow roads.

Below I have attached another source which I feel is a must read if you want to learn more about how Sherman`s army, during the Meridian Campaign, affected the local population. The book is entitled; "Editors I Have Known Since the Civil War" By author R. H. Henry (1922), who was a boy not quite old enough to fight during the Civil War and lived in Hillsboro, Ms. throughout the war and was present to witness the complete destruction of his hometown by Sherman on 10 Feb 1864, as most everything was burned to the ground. He is a good source because he gives an honest account of what he experienced. Among other things, he goes into great detail about a horrifying atrocity regarding one of his neighbors, John Hardy, whose pack of prized bloodhounds were thrown alive into the flames of their burning home by Federal soldiers, as the dogs were burned to death in great anguish and pain. To balance that act of cruelty, he gives a very compassionate account of Sherman`s army intervening when R.H. Henry`s mother was being mistreated and accosted by a "brute" of the Federal army at gun point, and was sent to report the situation to a Colonel, who put a stop to it and placed an armed detail of his Federal soldiers at the house to keep it from being further plundered and she from being further accosted. He also speaks of how the Confederates, a few months before Sherman`s army came through, also foraged on the town, taking much of the available food of the residents, while leaving them with very little, with the promise to later pay for the things which they took, but never did.

For those things follow the link below and read pages 11-14. If you want a complete eyewitness account of what he saw read what is written before and after those pages.


To clarify... regarding the bloodhounds being burned alive at Hillsboro on 10 Feb 1864, I think it only fair to state that bloodhounds were at times sought to be put down by the Federal army, as they made their way through the south. Primarily because they were used to hunt down escaped slaves, returning them to the plantation owners, in addition to tracking down Federal prisoners-of-war who would attempt to escape from Andersonville and other southern POW camps. So, when given the opportunity, they were ordered to be killed on sight, for what they represented to slave owners of the plantation class and to the guards of the southern POW camps.

As you read R. H. Henry`s account, just know that your ancestor with the 12th Mississippi Cavalry and mine with the 2nd Alabama Cavalry under S. W. Ferguson were there that day, fighting and skirmishing against Sherman`s army as the town of Hillsboro was being destroyed and burned. R. H. Henry, years after the war became the owner and editor of the Clarion Ledger Newspaper in Jackson and wrote many of these accounts and his personal experiences during the war in his Newspaper, until retiring many decades later.

If you like the book and want a copy of it for your-self you can download it for free on the same page (upper right hand corner) and save it to your hard drive in PDF form.
 
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Southwest Mississippi
"Sherman's Forgotten Campaign; The Meridian Expedition" by Margie Bearss (1987) is, in my opinion, the best book on the Meridian Campaign, but it is very difficult to find an available copy for purchase, as the book is out of publication. You can find one from time to time online but they typically sell from $70 - $300 each, depending on condition.
Mrs. Bearss' book is by far the best work on the Meridian Campaign.

And you're right, finding a decent copy is still almost impossible.

I searched for a copy about three years ago.
The prices were outrageous.

Today, $300 for a good copy is actually a decent price.

Still expensive . . . yes.

But much more affordable than thirty-six months ago.

Supply & Demand at it's best.
 
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Mrs. Bearss' book is by far the best work on the Meridian Campaign.

And you're right, finding a decent copy is still almost impossible.

I searched for a copy about three years ago.
The prices were outrageous.

Today, $300 for a good copy is actually a decent price.

Still expensive . . . yes.

But much more affordable than thirty-six months ago.

Supply & Demand at it's best.
The copy that I have I purchased some years ago, and would not think of getting rid of it. But before that I went to my local Library where they had a couple of copies that I read through several times. So for those who may not have a copy and can not find one for purchase anywhere, a Library near you would probably be the best bet, until a copy becomes available online, that is if they have a copy in their inventory.
 
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