Upon These Fields of Glory—

It was hot and muggy. Historians declare it was steamy. Such is Mississippi in the summertime.

From the banks of the swollen Tishomingo River on June 10, 1864, Union soldiers jumped by the thousands to escape the fire of a burning, raging battle in the Northeastern corner of the Sovereign State of Mississippi, in a little community known as Brice's Cross Roads. Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest pulled out all the stops to pull off one of the fiercest and most strategic battles of the Civil War. He won that battle, hands down.

Late spring rains caused the narrow stream of water to overflow its banks. Union troops by the thousands, under the command of Brigadier General Samuel D. Sturgis slogged the gently sloping hills, their wagon trains pulled by mules dotting the landscape like flies on molasses, covering miles and miles of muddy terrain, until that day, untouched except by a few farm houses, a Reformed Presbyterian church, and an old log house, all set beneath the green, leafy bows of some old oak trees and towering pines. While he was busy destroying Atlanta, Sherman sent Sturgis down from Memphis to take out the Confederate cavalry and as a distraction while he finished off Atlanta in his March to the Sea.

Tishomingo River Bed
There's not much left now, except memories washing over eight hundred acres of green rolling hills, a cemetery that holds fast the remains of soldiers from both sides of that awful Civil War battle and clearly the evidence of a work in progress by Mississippians to preserve the memories of a war that took place on  their soil some one hundred and fifty years ago.

There are walking pads to be walked and slabs awaiting the arrival of old cannons and monuments to the heroes of the battle, markers that tell the story in its proper sequence, and a dried-up riverbed that boasts a new wood bridge.

The old log house with a once fine brick chimney held together by hope and a few braces is surrounded by chicken wire with a row of barbed wire at the top. I wonder what memories are sealed in the walls of that old house sheltered by nothing but oak trees and desire—desire that Almighty God would protect them from the advancing Union Army.

Sherman's forces outnumbered Forrest's. However, that was nothing new in that cruel war. From the onset when Lincoln called out 75,000 troops after the shelling of Ft. Sumter, the South was outnumbered three to one.

But Nathan Bedford Forrest knew the enemy. He knew the terrain upon which he fought. He defeated Sturgis that day in an overwhelming death blow. One of the most decisive victories of the Civil War took place that hot and muggy day at Brice's Cross Roads.

Sherman's intent was to destroy Forrest and his cavalry. That failed. But his underlying plan to keep Forrest away from his supply line succeeded. Atlanta burned and Sherman marched to the sea.

Everything about the Civil War was just a "fix" for the Confederacy. They had the will and the intelligence to fight to win. They just didn't have enough men to do the job.

Jane Bennett Gaddy
The Mississippi Boys
Isaac's House
Jane's Books
Photos by Grace Bennett


  1. This is fascinating, the photos of the log home, the path...I always wonder when I see old homes what might have taken place there, what the people were like, babies being born in the homes. I always picture in my mind women in their dresses on the front porches. Just love things like this.

    So enjoyed my visit here Jane. Have a sweet Sunday, Love, Amelia

    1. Amelia, I have been working on my three blogs for days, having neglected them far too long, and I'm reading them all, finding little blessings along the way. I don't remember seeing this from you, but here you are. I love when you read my posts for there is always a blessing. I want to reconnect. Will visit you on your blogs soon. Much love to you and the girls. How is my Mariana? Will visit her blog too. Can't believe I wrote this six years ago!


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