Siege and Battle of Corinth

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Friends of the Siege and Battle of Corinth assists the Siege and Battle of Corinth Commission and the National Park Service by raising private funding and public awareness. Below are some of the local sites and events we have assisted. Click a photo to enlarge.

 

Verandah-Curlee House - The historic Verandah-Curlee House is currently "Friends" most important funding project. The house has serious structural problems, particularly with the roof and foundation. "Friends" is seeking public and private funding for the projected $2 million renovation.

UPDATE:


The Siege and Battle of Corinth Commission envisions four phases of restoration work for the Verandah-Curlee House Museum.

The Board of Aldermen recently approved an application for an additional Mississippi Department of Archives and History grant and committed to pay the local of $40,845 for work that will fall under phase two and focus on meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The grant application seeks $163,380 for a total project of $204,225.

Siege and Battle Chairwoman Rosemary Williams said the four phases include:

- Structural and roof: The structural work is now underway with roof work to follow.
This phase of work will extend into the fall.

- ADA: Plans for the second phase are an off-street parlomg area for vans, walkway and ramp leading onto the end of the north porch, and a reconfigured restroom inside the home, all to meet ADA requirements.
The phase also includes electrical improvements to include additional power and will change the system from fuse boxes to breakers, a new heating and air unit, limited plumbing improvements and restoration of the old brick sidewalks surrounding the home.
Much of the work is required in order for the house to reopen to the public, Williams noted.

- Interior improvements: Phase three would include painting, repair of fabrics and furnishings, refinishing of floors, and development and implementation of an interpretive plan.
The phase is targeted for summer and fall of 2014 using private funding from local fundraisers.

- Grounds improvements: Planned for 2015, the final phase would include grounds repair, irrigation system repair and landscaping according to the period.

The funding source may be private via fundraisers.

Originally built in 1857 for city of Corinth co-founder Hamilton Mask, the Verandah-Curlee House served as headquarters for several generals during the Civil War. The house was purchased in 1875 by Mrs. Mary E. Curlee, mother of Shelby Curlee - founder of nationally famous Curlee Clothing Co. - upon her husband's death in 1878. The house changed ownership twice for very brief periods of time before being bought by Leroy Montgomery Huggins. The Huggins occupied the home until 1921 when Shelby Hammond Curlee purchased the home again for his sister, Neil. The Curlee family of St. Louis, MO., gave the home to the City of Corinth in 1960. The home is a designated National Historic Landmark.

The home/museum located in downtown Corinth is a National Historic Landmark furnished with attractive period antiques and art.

Address: 705 Jackson Street, Corinth, MS. 38834
Hours: Tours by appointment only
Phone: 662-287-4273 or 662-287-8300



Historic Grand Illumination - Hundreds of volunteers honor the souls of the twelve thousand Civil War casualties by lighting luminaries the first weekend of November each year. The luminaries are placed at the site of Battery Robinett/Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and then form a path into downtown highlighting antebellum homes, the historic business district, the Contraband Camp and the historic railroad crossings.

Online: www.grandilluminationcorinth.com



Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center - For six months in 1862, Corinth, a critical railroad junction and second only to Richmond in military importance, captured the full attention of a divided nation. Today, one of the National Park Service's newest visitors centers, interprets the key role of Corinth in the Western Theatre of the American Civil War. The 15,000 square foot facility features interactive exhibits, a multi-media presentation of the Battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Corinth. The center stands near the site of Battery Robinett, a Federal fortification where some of the bloodiest fighting of the Battle of Corinth took place.

An obelisk stands in tribute to Colonel William P. Rogers of the 2nd Texas Infantry, who showed great bravery attempting to climb the walls of the Battery to claim it for the Confederacy. Four unknown Confederate soldiers are also buried at the site. Visitors reach the center by ascending a walkway strewn with bronze replicas reflecting the aftermath of battle. At the building's entrance, visitors pass six bronze Civil War soldiers marching into the Center at double-quick.

On the grounds, full scale reproductions of earthworks explain the importance of field fortifications. An extensive courtyard exhibit is home to a water feature commemorating two hundred years of American history. The Center also houses a seventy-five seat auditorium, public research library, and a gift shop/bookstore.

Address: 501 West Linden Street, Corinth, MS. 38834
Hours: Daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed on Christmas Day)
Phone: 662-287-9273
Online: www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/corinth.htm



Historic Crossroads at Corinth Depot - The Battle of Shiloh was fought over the railroads in Corinth. The rail crossing gave Corinth a strategic significance that made it the most important transportation hub in the western Confederacy in the spring of 1862. The crossing of the then Memphis & Charleston and the Mobile & Ohio, catapulted Corinth into the national spotlight during the early years of the War. These railroads were the only two major standard gauge railroads in the Confederacy and were important for communication and supply lines.Today the active freight lines sit in the same beds as those from 150 years ago. Visitors may also get a glimpse of the historic crossroads from the safety of inside the Corinth Depot which is now the Crossroads Museum.

Address: 221 North Fillmore Street, Corinth, MS. 38834
Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Closed all major holidays)
Phone: 662-287-3120
Online: www.crossroadsmuseum.com



Corinth Contraband Camp - Many African Americans who fled Southern plantations and farms seeking freedom and protection found the Federally occupied Corinth to be a secure location. Union General Grenville Dodge understood what effect the defection of thousands of African- Americans would have on the Confederate War effort. He began to enlist the escaped slaves who came into his lines as teamsters, cooks, and laborers. He actively recruited male refugees, armed them, and placed them in charge of security at the newly organized contraband camp in Corinth. Dodge's refugee administrative efforts led to the formation of the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent, consisting of approximately 1,000 men.

Under the supervision of Chaplain James M. Alexander of the 66th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, the Corinth camp resembled a small town, complete with a church, commissary, hospital, both frame and log houses, and a street grid with named and numbered houses. An American Missionary Association School operated where eager students of all ages sought knowledge day and night.

Today, a portion of this camp has been set aside to commemorate the events with changed the lives of so many people. Bronze figures surround the trail through the camp depicting the lives of these people once considered “contraband” of war.

Address: 902 North Parkway, Corinth, MS. 38834
Hours: Daily, Dawn to Dusk
Online: www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/contrabandcamp.htm



Corinth Civil War Earthworks - The earthworks were constructed to protect the defenders from an attacking foe. Some were built by the Confederates, others by the Union. Slaves, contrabands and soldiers using shovels and picks, moved hundreds of thousands of tons of earth to construct the rifle pits, forts and artillery positions. The placement of the earthworks was carefully selected to take advantage of the topography and the design and West Point trained engineers supervised construction. The fortifications were laid out with military precision and the adjacent forests were cut down to provide unobstructed fields of fire. Lined up end to end, these earthworks would have stretched for an incredible 41 miles of which only 7.5 miles remain.

The earthworks in and around Corinth are rare examples of the fortifications used early in the war. Hastily built, these works are among the most impressive and awe inspiring in the United States. The majority of the earthworks were built between March and October of 1862 and represent four distinct phases of construction. First was the "Beauregard Line" named for General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, which was built by the Confederates from March thru May to protect the city from attack from the north and east. The Union siege lines, constructed in May, protected the advancing Northern armies from surprise attacks. In June and July Union soldiers constructed six forts, designated A thru F to extend the captured Confederate earthworks completely around the city. This was known as the “Halledk Line,” named for Major General Henry W. Halleck, commander of the Union armies. The “Rosecrans Line,” composed of seven small forts, was constructed close to the railroad crossing and was designed to be defendedby a small garrison of soldiers. This line was named for Major General William S. Rosecrans who commanded the Federal army during the Battle of Corinth, October 3 & 4, 1862.

Today, the earthworks stand under the cool shade of protective hardwood groves. The trees provide a shield from the rain and the potentially destructive forces of erosion. The precise angles have been softened but even the casual observer can still see the remarkable walls and rifle pits.

The surviving earthworks around Corinth are one of the best preserved groups of field fortifications, dating to 1862 in the United States. "Friends" and the commission have preserved nearly 900 acres associated with the Siege and Battle of Corinth. Five sites are open with walking trails, interpretive signage, benches and other amenities. Maps may be obtained at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. All of the earthworks are well marked and have parking spaces or pull-offs and many offer racks for locking bicycles. A few of the sites are easily accessible though most require a walk of from several hundred yards up to a mile. Well-marked paths lead to the sites, and most have informative way side exhibits describing the individual earthworks.

Address: Davis Street, Corinth, MS. 38834
Hours: Daily, Dawn to Dusk

 

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