Leaving Shiloh and driving west a few miles, my companion on this tour said to me: "Old Mount Zion is just up the hill, would you like to go up there?"
"Of course I would," I said, "for it was there, just before the war I had spent some of my happiest days while going to school at that place."
But the old school had long since passed away, and on its site stood a large church. The old burying ground is still there but has increased in size since the old school days of long ago, and I noticed on marble slabs and shafts, the names of many of my old schoolmates, who as boys and girls had attended school at this place in the long, long ago. Some of the names were of boys who, like myself, had joined the Confederate army in its earliest days, but had been brought home to sleep their last sleep among their friends and loved ones; others had grown to man and womanhood, and died to leave families to mourn their loss. I could recall but few of my old schoolmates who were now living, and I wondered why I should be left alone, so long.
While at this place I visited my old home of fifty years ago, the place where my mother lived during this great war. But the place had changed hands and strangers had entered there and there was little left to awaken the sleeping memories of the past. The county seat, once a thriving little country town with its court house and cottage buildings, has long since been moved away and a cotton field has taken its place. Purdy, once noted for its wealth, beauty and refinement, and for the production of some of the finest statesmen of the South, is now a place in name only.
On my visit to the present county seat I found only a few of the old citizens of the 1860's and only two who had gone through the war. On this trip I visited the town of Iuka, a small town on the Southern Railroad, 115 miles east of Memphis, where a hard battle was fought on the 19th of September 1862 between General Sterling Price of the Confederate Army with 14,000 men, and Generals Ord and Rosecrans of the Union forces with 16,000 men. After a hard fought battle General Price, finding himself nearly surrounded, retreated to Baldwyn, Mississippi, reaching there September 23rd.
After the battle of Shiloh General Halleck superseded General Grant as Commander of the Union forces at this town of Baldwyn, leaving Grant as the number two man in the Federal command.
Halleck had drawn reinforcements from every direction and by the last of April was ready to advance on Beauregard at Corinth with 110,000 men. Beauregard had also reinforced his army to fifty thousand. On the 9th of May a battle was fought between these two armies near Corinth. By the 28th of May Halleck's army had almost surrounded Corinth, and on the night of May 29th Beauregard evacuated Corinth and retreated to Baldwyn and Tupelo, which closed the Shiloh - Corinth campaign.
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