Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I've always liked Corinth. Maybe its because its so close to Shiloh, but I've always enjoyed my time in Corinth. In recent years they've built a Visitor's Center that while I'm not a huge fan of, it is still very nice and well overdue.

The new visitor's center sits near the site of Battery Robinette. How close exactly? I'm not anyone really knows for sure. There used to be a recreation of the battery on the high ground here and when the visitor's center was built it seemed like it was put nearly on top of the recreation. When I first saw it being done I didn't realize the battery was a recreation, apparently the real site is 50-100 yards farther away.

They built a fake Battery Robinette just outside of the visitor's center which I'm sure provides a great location to show how the battery would have operated during battle.

As you can see, it was rainy that day.
They also had this water garden memorial area depicting the war. There is loads of symbolism in the artwork. The water starts at the far end of the picture in 13 small streams for the 13 original colonies (or I guess one could say for the 13 Confederate states). Each of the red blocks is a battle and they differ in size based on the men involved in the battle. The water goes around the red blocks in two streams, for the two main theaters of the war. And at the end the water joins up again in one big pool, much like the country (eventually) was reunited. I'm not much for that sort of thing but it was neat to see.

My only complaint about the visitor's center is that there seemed to be way more room than exhibits. I was there a few months after it opened so maybe they have filled it in more by now, or plan to do so over the coming years. I did like that they had exhibits on Corinth's role as a contraband camp and how the newly freed slaves were taught how to read, write and generally lead productive lives. This is an area that tends to be ignored so it was nice to see something about it.
This is Battery Robinette before the visitor's center was built nearly on it.
Battery Williams was near Battery Robinette. It would have been on the high ground where there is now a building. Preservation in the Corinth area is a mixed bag. Some sites, like this one, have been completely lost while others remained largely intact.
Battery F is one of the forts that is relatively well preserved. Its farther away from the city than Robinett is (Battery Robinett is really in the city now) and while there are some newer homes out here there is also a park that preserves the fort.
My shots of the fort are not that great because the trees have grown all over it .....
... but you can make out the outer walls here. You can't get too good of a feel for its size except that its not large. Too many trees but I'd rather that trees are on the fort than a warehouse.

I'm just guessing here but this shot might be Battery E. Its in about the right spot, the terrain looks a bit out of place. Unfortunately this is a pre-digital shot so clicking on the picture does not bring up a fantastic image. But if you do click on it in the center of the photo you will see a green wall that is nearly perfectly level, which wouldn't be remarkable except that the rest of the hill has quite a bit of slope. I might be completely wrong but every time I passed it I thought it looked wrong for the landscape. And placing it on a map put it in the vicinity of where Battery E was. Can I say 100% this is Battery E? Nope, but too much about it seems like it might be. Maybe someone from Corinth will read this and can point out if I'm totally wrong (which I might be).

The old visitor's center was an outbuilding at the Curlee House. The Curlee House was used as headquarters by General Halleck, Bragg and Hood.

There is a nice walking/driving tour of town that takes you past several homes that served as headquarters, including some that are no longer standing.

This one was Albert Sidney Johnston's headquarters.

This is Oak Home, which was used by Leonidas Polk.

And Fish Pond House, used by one of my favorite generals, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. I have a weird dream of one day owning four dogs (at the same time) named Pierre, Gustave, Toutant and Beauregard. I know its a weird dream but I know my wife will never let me use one of those names for a child.

As always I visited the National Cemetery in town.

It has quite a few Civil War era graves, including this one that I found particularly interesting.


Chris Evans said...

Great post! I have always enjoyed the Corinth campaign ever since I read Peter Cozzens' 'Darkest Days of the War'. Really one of my favorite campaign studies. I wish more could be written on it. I remember hearing a rumor a couple of years ago that Timothy Smith of 'Champion Hill' fame was thinking about writing a study of the Iuka and Corinth campaign.

Nick said...

I liked Cozzens book too. I had not heard that about Smith, I'll have to ask him about that at the symposium