The Siege and the Battle of Corinth

Often confused, from like of interpretation, are the Siege of Corinth and the Battle of Corinth. The Siege of Corinth occurred one month after the Battle of Shiloh, May of 1862. It was not a battle and should not be thought of as such. It was, indeed, a planned withdrawal. The North wanted to destroy the armies of the South located in Corinth but the Confederates decided that a terrific defeat, this early in the War, could be devastating for the South, so a the withdrawal was planned and the mission to do so was enacted. Great leadership was portrayed by the South in making this decision. Even though the loss of the railroads was great, other battles would have to be fought.

The Battle of Corinth was an attempt, made in October of 1862, to retake the grounds that had been lost to the North. After the Siege of Corinth the South felt the loss of the control of the railroads and were humiliated by the devastating loss at Shiloh. They were determined to make a final claim to the railroads and the community known as Corinth. On October 2nd, 1862, troops began moving from southwest of Corinth in a northerly direction following the Hatchie River basin. The northern Generals were informed of this and could not decide whether an attack would be made on Corinth, Bolivar, Tennessee, or Jackson, Tennessee. At the last minute, the Confederate's moved toward Corinth from near the Chewalla, Tennessee thereby surprising those in charge at Corinth. On October 3rd, the southern army moved closer to Corinth and skirmishing began to take place a few miles west of the town. By evening, a large battle occurred as the troops came even closer to the town and the Confederate army took possession of the camp grounds of their enemy and chased them into the village. That night the Union Army called in all it's troops from surrounding areas and plans were made by both sides for the forth-coming battle the next day.

On the morning of 4th, the Confederate artillery opened on the Union Army in an attempt to soften up the opposing troops. The Southern Army was able to obtain the main Fort of interest, Battery Robinette , for a short time but was unable to hold it. The Confederates even made it into the downtown area of Corinth but were forced to abandon their attempt as the Northern re-enforcement's arrived. There was great loss of life on both sides during the battle and a small house just West and a little North of Robinette, called the White House , was used for a hospital. When the owner, who had left the home during the battle, returned, he found body parts so thick in the yard that it was almost impossible to walk to the house without stepping on an arm or leg. Due to poor troop management, the Battle of Corinth was lost to the North. This was the final attempt to hold Corinth and retain the use of the railroads, as a Southern possession, and it remained in the North's control for the rest of the Civil War .

Return to Home