This Week in the Civil War - 771

Feb 20, 2014

Although Jefferson Davis feared that William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union force would move from Meridian, Mississippi to Mobile, Alabama to be resupplied via the sea, Sherman had no intention at pushing his luck in mid-February 1864. 

On Saturday, February 20, after his troops spent six days destroying Confederate property in and around Meridian, Sherman began leisurely withdrawing toward Vicksburg, given that no Confederate forces opposed his withdrawal.  During an expedition that penetrated approximately 100 plus miles into the Confederate heartland, his troops had suffered only 21 killed, 68 wounded, and 81 missing, for a total of 170 casualties. 

While William Smith’s Federal flanking force in northern Mississippi had not been successful as Sherman’s force, Sherman was content relative to the extent of destruction his troops had accomplished while at Meridian.