Tupelo National Battlefield

The Tupelo National Battlefield monument stands near the center of this now bustling small town. It takes a bit of imagination to see past the storefronts and sidewalks and envision Tupelo as it looked on July 14, 1864.

Major General William T. Sherman was determined to complete his “March to the Sea.” The federal troops had recently celebrated major victories at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga.

The only thing standing between Sherman and the Atlantic was Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his Confederate cavalry. Massed in northern Mississippi, Forrest’s men were poised to take out the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, a vital federal supply line.

Sherman ordered an assault on Forrest’s corps. When the first attacked was rebuffed, he ordered the troops to turn back and “follow Forrest to the death, if it cost 10,000 lives and breaks the Treasury."

On July 14, 14,000 Union soldiers arrived in Tupelo. The Confederate army, 6,000 strong, launched a series of attacks, which the Federal troops withstood. But it was hot, and the Union army had failed to bring enough food or ammunition for a long fight.

On the afternoon of July 15, the Federal troops turned back toward Memphis. As they camped on the banks of Old Town Creek, the Confederates attacked one last time. The Union army pushed back. Maj. Gen. Forrest, wounded, was forced back to Harrisburg, one of the 2,000 casualties of the Battle of Tupelo.

Tupelo National Battlefield







Post a Comment

Share your park story today. Post your park experiences, recommendations, or tips here.*

Enter this word:

* Your comments will appear once approved by the moderator. NPCA staff do not regularly respond to postings. We reserve the right to remove comments that include profanity or personal attacks, promote products or services, or are otherwise off-topic. Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the position(s) of NPCA. By submitting comments you are giving NPCA permission to reuse your words on our website and print materials.


Want to learn more about the  ?

The   can be seen in the wild in America’s national parks. Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect parks in   & other states

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect   and other National Parks

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Please leave this field empty
Yes, please sign me up for NPCA’s newsletter and other emails about protecting our national parks!

National Parks Conservation Association
National Parks Conservation Association

Log In

Or log in with your connected Facebook or Twitter account:


Welcome to our growing community of park advocates. Thanks for signing up!

Sign Up:

Or sign up by connecting your Facebook or Twitter account: