Tupelo Battlefield - Markers at Town Creek?

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lupaglupa

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In 1969 historian Edwin C. Bearss wrote a history of the Tupelo Campaign, commissioned by the National Park as a part of the development of the Natchez Trace Parkway. At the end of the history Bearss notes that the historic site for the Battle of Tupelo isn't really near a noteworthy spot, though a recommended site along the Trace was even less tied to the events of the battle. Bearss instead recommends that a site near the crossing of Old Town Creek, northwest of Tupelo, would be well suited, as "savage fighting" took place there on July 15th during the Union withdrawal.

As far I can tell, no site along the Trace interpreting the Battle of Tupelo was ever developed and no marker is placed along Town Creek where the July 15 fight took place. Is that correct? I've driven that part of the Trace quite a few times and could have missed it.

For those interested, Bearss's history, along with some nifty hand drawn maps, can be found here
 

Ole Miss

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@lupaglupa I thought I would share another excellent source for informatiom regarding the Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg written by one of our own, @TomP. I have copied below my Amazon review for Tom's Work for Giants: The Campaign and Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg, Mississippi, June-July 1864 by Thomas E. Parsons. I have listed the link to this thread below and recommed it for all.
Regards
David

"I have finally finished Tom's book, shoulder surgery has been a 2 month recovery process, and was extremely pleased with his tome. I am enclosing a copy of my review for Amazon. His knowledge of the participants and campaign is excellent and he is a natural storyteller.
Regards
David"

Work for Giants: The Campaign and Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg, Mississippi, June-July 1864 by Thomas E. Parsons

This book covers the “Summer of Hell” for the state of Mississippi in 1864! General Sherman sent General A. J. Smith to ensure that Nathan Bedford Forrest would be occupied in North Mississippi and out of his supply lines. If during the campaign Smith could destroy Forrest and his army so much the better.

Living in North Mississippi I am very familiar with the territory covered in this excellent book and have long studied the participants with a personal slant that might have been biased. Parson’s presentation of this small but important struggle for North Mississippi in the summer of 1864 is comprehensive but written in an entertaining manner allowing the reader to keep up the cavalry units as they patrol and fight.

Forrest meets with a worthy opponent in Smith who is as tough a campaigner as Forrest but better armed and supplied. These Giants engaged in a fight to the death and Mississippi suffered the wounds! Parson has a unique insight into this study having served National Park Ranger both at Shiloh and now at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. His familiarity with the local terrain is displayed in his crisp descriptions of tactical maneuvers and objectives of both commanders and their ultimate aims.

Work for Giants is a must for any serious student of Forrest and his operations in North Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama destroying Sherman’s supply lines during the summer of 1864. Smith is sent to stop Forrest and this book covers that campaign in great and accurate detail.
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/work-for-giants-the-campaign-and-battle-of-tupelo-harrisburg-mississippWork for Giants: The Campaign and Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg, Mississippi, June-July 1864 by Thomas E. Parsonsi-june-july-1864.100476/#post-886188
 

lupaglupa

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I have read Work for Giants and it is indeed a great account of Tupelo/Harrisburg. It certainly was a "Summer of Hell" for all my ancestors living there at the time.
 
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TomP

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@lupaglupa , thanks for the kind comments on the book.

As to the site of the National Park Service property, during the battle the Union wagon train was parked in this vicinity, overlooking King's Creek. There is indeed a very nice trio of interpretive panels at the site of the fight at Old Town Creek. The pull-off is in Mt. Vernon Road, on the south side of the creek and about mid-way between the Interstate 22 overpass and Barnes Crossing Road.

There are a number of campaign and battle sites that can still be visited, though many are not marked. I wrote the article for the summer 2014 issue of Blue & Gray Magazine and at the end of the magazine, like always, is "The General's Tour." The tour begins at LaGrange, TN and follows Smith's route to the battlefield, the driving tour ending at the Mississippi's Final Stands Interpretive Center in Baldwyn. In all there are 26 stops.

About six years ago the City of Tupelo became very active in creating historical markers to be placed around the city. They were in three categories; Native Americans, Civil War, and Civil Rights. I was on the board for the war markers and we produced six markers with different text on either side. Not all of the markers or text dealt with the '64 campaign; there was one about an infamous jail, the plank road, Forrest's earlier headquarters, and two other Union raids. There is one more sign that has yet to be placed, and it will show the site of the fight at Coonewah Creek/Camargo Crossroads. There is a lot to see, you just need the map to show you the way.

I am headed out there in mid-October to show Brice's Crossroads and Tupelo to a Round Table group from central Illinois. Oh, and I am neck deep in writing a book on Brice's Crossroads.

Tom
 

lupaglupa

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About six years ago the City of Tupelo became very active in creating historical markers to be placed around the city. They were in three categories; Native Americans, Civil War, and Civil Rights. I was on the board for the war markers and we produced six markers with different text on either side. Not all of the markers or text dealt with the '64 campaign; there was one about an infamous jail, the plank road, Forrest's earlier headquarters, and two other Union raids. There is one more sign that has yet to be placed, and it will show the site of the fight at Coonewah Creek/Camargo Crossroads. There is a lot to see, you just need the map to show you the way.
I have seen these online and they look great. I especially like that there is one for the Battle of King Creek. My gr-gr-great grandfather was taken prisoner there. I will be in Tupelo next month and hope to see the markers in person. Thanks so much for working on them!
 
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