Meridian campaign

Map of Meridian Battlefield study area by the American Battlefield Protection Program
Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of Union forces in the Meridian campaign
Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk, commander of Confederate forces during the Meridian campaign

The Meridian campaign or Meridian expedition took place from February 3 – March 6, 1864, from Vicksburg, Mississippi to Meridian, Mississippi, by the Union Army of the Tennessee, led by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

- Meridian campaign
Map of Meridian Battlefield study area by the American Battlefield Protection Program

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Sherman's March to the Sea, Alexander Hay Ritchie

Sherman's March to the Sea

Military campaign of the American Civil War conducted through Georgia from November 15 until December 21, 1864, by William Tecumseh Sherman, major general of the Union Army.

Military campaign of the American Civil War conducted through Georgia from November 15 until December 21, 1864, by William Tecumseh Sherman, major general of the Union Army.

Sherman's March to the Sea, Alexander Hay Ritchie
Savannah campaign (Sherman's March to the Sea): detailed map
Savannah campaign (Sherman's March to the Sea)
Sherman's advance: Tennessee, Georgia, and Carolinas (1863–65)
Sherman's men destroying a railroad in Atlanta
Sherman's March to the Sea was celebrated in music in 1865 with words by S.H.M. Byers and music by J.O. Rockwell.

The campaign was designed by Grant and Sherman to be similar to Grant's innovative and successful Vicksburg campaign and Sherman's Meridian campaign, in that Sherman's armies would reduce their need for traditional supply lines by "living off the land" after consuming their 20 days of rations.

The Siege of Vicksburg

Army of the Tennessee

Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River.

Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River.

The Siege of Vicksburg
Brigadier General Grant and staff, Cairo, October 1861
Battle of Fort Henry and the movements to Fort Donelson.
Shiloh: Crucible of the Army of the Tennessee
General Henry Wager Halleck
Grant's Operations against Vicksburg
Grant discussing the terms of the capitulation of Vicksburg with defeated Confederate General Pemberton
Major General Sherman, second commander of the Army of the Tennessee
Major General McPherson, third commander of the Army of the Tennessee
Sherman's March to the Sea
Sherman's Carolinas Campaign
General Sherman at war's end with Generals Howard, Logan, Hazen, Davis, Slocum, and Mower; Howard and Logan were the last two commanders of the Army of the Tennessee

Under other generals, starting with William Tecumseh Sherman, the army marched and fought from the Chattanooga Campaign, through the Relief of Knoxville, the Meridian Campaign, the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea, the Carolinas Campaign, and to the end of the war and disbandment.

Meridian, Mississippi

Seventh largest city in the U.S. state of Mississippi, with a population of 41,148 at the 2010 census and an estimated population in 2018 of 36,347.

Seventh largest city in the U.S. state of Mississippi, with a population of 41,148 at the 2010 census and an estimated population in 2018 of 36,347.

A monument in Rose Hill Cemetery honoring Lewis A. Ragsdale, one of the founders of Meridian.
Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman fought and won the Battle of Meridian in 1864.
Downtown Meridian in the early 1900s (photo taken near intersection of 22nd Ave and 4th St looking north)
Meridian Union Station in the early 1900s
Looking into downtown Meridian from the 22nd Avenue Bridge in 2008. The Hotel Meridian was later demolished.
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Meridian City Hall after restoration efforts
Meridian City Council ward map
Meridian Museum of Art
The Riley Center, renovated in 2006
Hamasa Shrine Temple Theater
Dentzel Carousel in Highland Park
Upper lake at Bonita Lakes park
Okatibbee Lake
Meridian's Union Station
Highways in Meridian
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Meridian Community College has served the city since 1937
The headquarters of Meridian's only daily newspaper, The Meridian Star

During the American Civil War, General William Tecumseh Sherman burned much of the city to the ground in the Battle of Meridian (February 1864).

XVI Corps badge

XVI Corps (Union Army)

Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War.

XVI Corps badge

Maj. Gen. Hurlbut assumed direct command over these divisions known as the Right Wing and participated in the Meridian Expedition in February 1864.

Polk in uniform, c. 1862

Leonidas Polk

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and founder of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, which separated from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and founder of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, which separated from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.

Polk in uniform, c. 1862
St. John's Church at Ashwood

Polk unsuccessfully attempted to oppose Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's raid against Meridian, Mississippi, in February 1864.

Photograph by Mathew Brady of Sherman at Washington, D.C., in May 1865. The black ribbon of mourning on his left arm is for President Abraham Lincoln.

William Tecumseh Sherman

American soldier, businessman, educator, and author.

American soldier, businessman, educator, and author.

Photograph by Mathew Brady of Sherman at Washington, D.C., in May 1865. The black ribbon of mourning on his left arm is for President Abraham Lincoln.
Sherman's childhood home in Lancaster
Young Sherman in military uniform
California Registered Historic Landmark plaque at the location in Jackson Square, San Francisco, of the branch of the Bank of Lucas, Turner & Co. that Sherman directed from 1853 to 1857
Two cannons on display in front of the Military Science building at Louisiana State University, which were used at the Battle of Fort Sumter and procured by Sherman for the university after the U.S. Civil War.
Portrait by Mathew Brady, c. undefined 1864
Oil portrait of Sherman by George P. A. Healy, 1866
Engraving depicting Admiral Porter's flotilla of gunships and transports arriving below Vicksburg on April 16, 1863. General Sherman is rowing out to the flagship, the USS Benton, in a yawl.
Map of the Battles for Chattanooga, 1863
Map of Sherman's campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas, 1864–1865
Sherman on horseback at Federal Fort No. 7, after the Atlanta Campaign, September 1864
Green–Meldrim House, which served as Sherman's headquarters after his capture of Savannah in December 1864
The Burning of Columbia, South Carolina (1865) by William Waud for Harper's Weekly
From left to right, Sherman, Grant, Lincoln, and Porter meet on board the River Queen on March 27, 1865, near City Point, Virginia. The 1868 oil painting The Peacemakers by G. P. A. Healy is in the White House collection.
Sherman with Howard, Logan, Hazen, Davis, Slocum, and Mower, photographed by Mathew Brady, May 1865
Portrait by Mathew Brady or Levin C. Handy, between 1865 and 1880
Photograph by G. N. Barnard of Sherman's troops destroying a railroad in Atlanta, 1864
An 1868 engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie depicting the March to the Sea
Map of Sherman's advance from Atlanta to Goldsboro
Cover of sheet music for a song celebrating the March to the Sea (1865)
Sherman (third from left) and other Indian Peace Commissioners in council with native chiefs and headmen, at the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868
Portrait of Sherman in the frontispiece of the second edition of his Memoirs (1886). The engraving is based on a photograph taken ca. 1885 by Napoleon Sarony.
Shoulder strap insignia, introduced by Sherman in 1872 for his use as General of the Army
Sherman in his later years, in civilian evening clothes
Sherman's death mask
William Tecumseh Sherman monument by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1902, located at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, New York, incorporates a statue of Nike titled Victory

In February 1864, he led an expedition to Meridian, Mississippi, intended to disrupt Confederate infrastructure and communications.

William Sooy Smith

William Sooy Smith

West Point graduate and career civil engineer who became a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

West Point graduate and career civil engineer who became a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

William Sooy Smith
Smith in later life.

On January 27, 1864, as part of the Meridian Campaign, Smith was given the command of General Hurlbut's force of 7,000 cavalry, to be consolidated from their positions throughout western Kentucky and Tennessee, along with the 2,500 that was already under his command.

Stephen A. Hurlbut

Attorney and politician, who commanded the U.S. Army of the Gulf in the American Civil War.

Attorney and politician, who commanded the U.S. Army of the Gulf in the American Civil War.

General Hurlbut

Hurlbut was present at the Battle of Shiloh and served under General Sherman during the Meridian Expedition.

Map of Okolona Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Battle of Okolona

The Battle of Okolona took place on February 22, 1864, in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, between Confederate and Union forces during the American Civil War.

The Battle of Okolona took place on February 22, 1864, in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, between Confederate and Union forces during the American Civil War.

Map of Okolona Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program.
General William Smith
Major General Forrest

With Confederate reinforcements, Forrest routed Smith but did not pursue due to lack of ammunition, and Smith limped over the state line to Tennessee on February 26, where he was criticized for putting Sherman's Meridian Expedition in danger.

James C. Veatch, c. 1862

James C. Veatch

Lawyer who served as an Indiana state legislator and county auditor.

Lawyer who served as an Indiana state legislator and county auditor.

James C. Veatch, c. 1862

Veatch led the 4th Division of the XVI Corps during the Meridian Expedition.