CATEGORY: Alcorn County
"North and South" gives details of Civil War Battles
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH - A Corinth man's recently published book, "North and South - Two Decisive Battles of The Civil War of 1862," has a twofold purpose. It is aimed at helping tourists learn more about Corinth and the surrounding area and at educating local citizens about their own rich cultural past.
The Civil War is known by different names to different people. It was the War of Northern Aggression for some and the War Between the States for others. One thing is the same, however, for all Civil War buffs: There will never be enough written about the war to satisfy their historical appetites.
Learning about the famous people who crossed paths in the Crossroads City and some of the interesting stories of human suffering and courage that occurred here over 130 years ago should appeal to everyone - visitors and natives alike.
That is why Truitt Stockton, president of SSSS-P, which owns and operates a motel in Corinth, became interested in compiling some of those facts in book form.
Many tourists traveling to Corinth asked motel personnel about the history of the town and the war. And, surprisingly, many townsfolk, like himself, didn't know as much about the area's history as some of the tourists, Stockton said.
The publication of "North and South" follows just a year after another of Stockton's endeavors, a 148-page book titled "War Between the States 1861-1865," which has been very successful with visitors to the city, Stockton said.
Stockton published the first book to provide a small amount of Civil War information for motel guests. While searching for the information, however, Stockton said a wealth of information about the railroads and the battles at Corinth and nearby Shiloh was uncovered, more than enough for two books. The second book expands on the first.
Like the first book, the information for "North and South" was compiled from diaries, old newspapers and letters.
Corinth was established at the crossroads of two major railroads, the first major railroad crossing in the South. The battles of Shiloh and Corinth were fought because of such strategic importance of the railroads to both Confederate and Union forces in the Civil War.
Both Union and Confederate forces realized that if they were to win the war, they would have to control this rail system. Many historians believe that the South's loss in the bloody battles at Shiloh and Corinth sealed the outcome of the war.
One of the interesting stories contained in the new book is about the youngest recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, a 14-year-old boy who served in the Battle of Corinth.
Another interesting tale is about a beautiful horse, owned by Gen. Philip Sheridan and named "Rienzi" after the Alcorn County town. Later renamed Winchester after Sheridan's stable at Winchester, Va., the horse was stuffed after its death and is preserved as one the nation's beloved artifacts in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
The last section of the book promotes Corinth from its rebuilding after the war to the way it is today. "We tried to give Corinth a plug," Stockton said. He hopes the book will also help local citizens appreciate their rich heritage.
"There is no way, we can preserve our history if we are not aware of it," he said.
The 132-page softcover book sells for $9.95 and can be obtained at The Spice of Life Bookstore in the Harper Square Mall or at the Executive Inn in Corinth. For more information, call (601) 286-6071 or (800) 354-3932.