This Week in the Civil War - 766
On Sunday, February 14, 1864 William Tecumseh Sherman’s forces entered Meridian, Mississippi after marching from Vicksburg, with little opposition from General Leonidas Polk’s Confederate cavalry. For six days Union troops stayed in Meridian, destroying railroads, numerous other infrastructure, and supplies in the area.
One hundred fifteen miles of railroads, sixty-one bridges, and twenty locomotives were destroyed during this expedition, and Sherman later was quoted, noting “For five days 10,000 men worked hard and with a will in that work of destruction…Meridian, with its depots, store-houses, arsenals, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no longer exists.”
The same dogged spirit and determination which Sherman later pursued against the people of Georgia in his infamous “march to the sea” was first displayed on the unfortunate residents of the Meridian, Mississippi area.