June 12, 1862: Defending Holly Springs

William Hicks Jackson

Beauregard, although forced to retreat into central Mississippi, wanted to secure the railroad depot at Holly Springs, in the north central part of the state. He sent Colonel William Hicks Jackson with a cavalry unit to hold the town, and to raise additional troops in the area for defense. Jackson had taken part in the battle of Belmont, and would go on to serve as a brigadier general of cavalry. Holly Springs was destined to be a point of contention for some time.

From the Official Record:


Numbers 80. Tupelo, Miss., June 12, 1862.

1. Colonel W. H. Jackson, of the cavalry, will remain at or near Holly Springs with his regiment as long as practicable, or until otherwise ordered.

II. It having been represented by responsible persons that an efficient and considerable force may be raised in North Mississippi and the southern counties of West Tennessee for special service-the defense of that region from the inroads and ravages of marauding parties of the enemy- Colonel Jackson is authorized to muster into service, under the act of Congress approved August 21, 1861, providing for local defense and special service. These troops will remain in service for ninety days, unless sooner discharged; must be armed and equipped by themselves, and not liable to service under the conscript act approved April 16, 1862.

III. When the requisite number of these troops shall have been mustered into service they may be employed, under the orders of the department, either in West Tennessee or in Mississippi, according to the exigencies of the service.

By command of General Beauregard:
Acting Chief of Staff.

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