The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Corinth (Mississippi)

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CORINTH, a village and the capital of Alcorn co., Mississippi, in the N. E. corner of the state, near the Tennessee line; pop. in 1870, 1,512, of whom 679 were colored. The village, being at the junction of the Memphis and Charleston and the Mobile and Ohio railroads, was a position of great strategical importance during the civil war, and had been early occupied by the confederates, who constructed there defensive works. It was still further strengthened by Gen. Beauregard after his retreat from the battle of Shiloh (April 6, 7, 1862). Gen. Halleck slowly followed him thither, and began those operations which at the time were designated as “the siege of Corinth.” There was some fighting in the vicinity, at Farmington (May 21), and an attempt was made to flank Corinth and to cut the railroad S. of it, when the confederates evacuated the position, and retreated to Tupelo, pursued by Gen. Pope, though without material results. Corinth was now occupied by the Union troops, who enlarged the defensive works; and in the autumn it was held by Gen. Rosecrans with 20,000 men. The confederates, under Van Dorn and Price, with about 40,000 men, undertook to recapture the place. On Oct. 3 they attacked a strong outpost, which they carried, inflicting considerable loss; and on the 4th they endeavored to take Corinth by storm. The assault was made in two columns at different points. Each column gained some advantage at first; but when they reached the main defensive line both were swept back in utter rout. The whole confederate force fled in disorder, and were pursued for several miles with great slaughter, and without making a show of resistance. The entire Union loss was 315 killed, 1,812 wounded, and 232 prisoners, taken on the 3d. The confederate loss, as stated by Rosecrans, was 1,423 dead left behind and buried on the field, probably 5,000 wounded, and 2,248 prisoners, besides large quantities of small arms and ammunition.