Gen. Grisham’s DestructionBy DEBORA REESE HISTORIC CLARKE COUNTY,
On February 21, 1864, the Memphis Daily Appeal reported the following on the front page:
“Latest from the Federals in Mississippi
The Federals Twenty five thousand and Strong – They Burned a Railroad Bridge and Mill.
Shubuta, February 17.
MAJOR FLEMING: The enemy burned the (Quitman) railroad bridge and Dr. Saunder’s mill, above DeSoto, this evening. They then returned to Quitman.
Our scouts have just come in and report the enemy 25,000 strong. We are expecting them here to-morrow. The Yankees and citizens had a small brush when they entered Quitman this morning, and several of the enemy were killed.
There is a cavalry company now here.
The pickets say they think the enemy will go down the east side of the railroad and go around Shubuta.
S. C. PRESLEY.”
The front page story in the Daily Dispatch, of Richmond, VA, on March 2, 1864 read:
“…Our informant states that the enemy committed few depredations upon private property, beyond helping themselves to provisions. At Quitman they took bed clothes, but their excuse was that they were misinformed as to the distance, and came without blankets, expecting to return the same day. They are supposed to have carried off about 800 negroes, selecting the likeliest, and in one or two instances driving back some lots that they did not consider eligible.
Some persons at Enterprise took the Yankee oath, and accompanied them on their retreat, but this was entirely voluntary, no attempt was made to enforce it.
The brigade that visited Quitman conversed freely of their place, and inquired if there was not an attack going on upon the forts below Mobile…”
On page three, the Weekly Intelligencer of Fayetteville, SC, dated March 8, 1864, tells of a fifteen year old spy captured at Shubuta. The youth gave two different names William Cunningham and William Kidd while being questioned. After being interrogated, the teenager was transported to Mobile.
These are just a few of the documented reports the local events during the War Between States. You can learn more about the history of the Civil War and the battle that took place in Quitman at the Battle for the Texas Hospital event February 21st through February 23rd at Archusa Creek Water Park. Over 200 re-enactors from across the state and from other states will be demonstrating drills, battle re-enactments, and displaying the way of life of a soldier during this period.