June 13, 1862: Evacuating Grenada

P.G.T. Beauregard

Beauregard’s retreat required a number of adjustments. As we’ve seen, he wanted to hang on to Holly Springs. He didn’t think Grenada could be held, though, and gave orders to save all the supplies stored there.

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Maybe a reader can tell me why Grenada would be harder to hold onto than Holly Springs, given that the latter was considerably closer to Union-held Corinth.

From the Official Record:

Tupelo, Miss., June 13, 1862.
Brigadier General DANIEL RUGGLES,
Commanding, &c., Grenada, Miss.:

GENERAL: I am instructed to acquaint you with the following wishes of the commander of the forces: Grenada will be evacuated as a depot for this army with the least delay practicable, to which end you will have all the ordnance, ordnance stores and supplies, and other public property there sent with all practicable dispatch to Gainesville, Ala., via Jackson and Meridian, Miss., reserving only subsistence for your command while at Grenada and ten day’s rations for the movement.

Meanwhile, if practicable or as soon as practicable, all unarmed troops under your command will be sent to Columbus by means of the railroads. This, however, must not interfere with the rapid removal of the ordnance supplies in store at Grenada. Hold your effective force ready to march hither at short notice via Coffeville, Sarepta, Pontotoc, and Harrisburg, or by any better route should you be able to find one by a careful reconnaissance, especially with regard to water, of the routes in this direction, which the general desires you to have made at once by judicious and fully competent persons. At the same time it is particularly desirable that the subsistence resources of the country through which you will march shall be ascertained, and, if practical, subsistence should be purchased and collected at points on your line of march, so that may move if possible with less than ten days’ rations, or indeed, with only the small rations. You will thus save means of transportation, which you will be expected to collect in your vicinity, stipulating, if necessary, with the owners that their wagons and teams shall be return to them without delay from this place, if not from points on the march. The command will bivouac and move with only cooking equipment and the proper changes of clothing. All other baggage will be sent off by the railroad.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Acting Chief of Staff.

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2 Responses to June 13, 1862: Evacuating Grenada

  1. Sammy Foster says:

    My guess would be that railroads were the key. Holly Springs was the midpoint of a north/south spur connecting Memphis&Charleston RR with the Mississippi Central RR and otherwise fairly isolated. Grenada was on the main line of the MCRR which was key to the Union’s strategy. I found this map while researching my blog: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2337/2328879625_f35545bf59_o.jpg

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