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Army of Mississippi
Civil War Encyclopedia >> Armies - Confederate
Also called: Army of the Mississippi
With Ulysses S. Grant's Army of West Tennessee capturing Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, the Army of Mississippi was created on paper as Albert Sidney Johnston withdrew from Murfreesboro. He sent P. G. T. Beauregard south to Corinth, Mississippi to handle mostly organizational responsibilities of gathering coastal defense forces that became the "veteran" contingent of the army made up mostly of raw recruits.
When Johnston arrive in late March he combined Beauregard's forces, Braxton Bragg's forces, and his own remaining army under this name, marched the men to a small church near Pittsburg Landing and fought the bloodiest battle ever on American soil at the time.
On April 6, 1862 the Army of Mississippi nearly drove Grant's army from the battlefield. When Sidney Johnston was killed in fighting in a peach orchard Beauregard again assumed command of the Army of Mississippi. Advancing to an entrenched position known as "Grant's last line," Beauregard called off the attack shortly before dusk. On the following day Grant, reinforced by Don Carlos Buell, drove the Army of Mississippi back past the point of first attack. Realizing his army was defeated Beauregard ordered a general retreat back to Corinth.
At the end of April, 1862, Henry Halleck began marching on Corinth. Over the next 30 days the Army of Mississippi watched as the Army of West Tennessee advanced in slow-motion towards Corinth. Before it arrived, the Army of Mississippi withdrew to the east, ending up in Tupelo, Mississippi. Unfortunately, Beauregard never told Jefferson Davis he was going to leave Corinth, so the Confederate President took command away from the Creole general as soon as the opportunity presented itself, replacing Beauregard with Braxton Bragg.
From Chattanooga, Bragg advanced to the east of Murfreesboro along the Cumberland Plateau, turning west, then north again into Kentucky. Buell, in command at Nashville was caught completely off-guard when Bragg turned north. Racing Bragg north, the Army of the Ohio made a sweeping move west of the Army of Mississippi and arrived in Louisville while Bragg besieged a stubborn 5,000 man garrison in Munfordville, Kentucky.
After taking Bardstown and Frankfort, the Army of Mississippi began a desperate search for water that led them to Perryville. Unfortunately for the Confederates, the Union Army had heard the same rumors, arrived first, and entrenched. Bragg hit about half the Union Army and won a tactical victory but was forced to withdraw from the battlefield, so complete victory was not his.
Leaving the battlefield the Army of Mississippi went southeast to Cumberland Gap, then south to Knoxville before returning to an entrenched position southeast of the Army of the Ohio in Murfreesboro. On November 20, 1863 the Army of Mississippi became the Army of Tennessee.
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Army of Mississippi was last changed on - November 12, 2007
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