Term: Corinth, Second Battle of
Date(s): October 3-4, 1862
Location: Corinth, Mississippi (Google Map)
Other name(s): none
Campaign: Iuka and Corinth Operations (September-October 1862)
Outcome: Union victory
In June 1862, Union troops besieged Corinth, Mississippi, (see Corinth, Siege of). Four months later, on October 3, 1862, Confederate troops tried
unsuccessfully to take it back.
When the battle began, Union forces in outer fortifications were ready to meet the enemy. Each side had about 23,000 soldiers who faced off in 90-degree
heat. On the first day, Confederate forces gradually pushed the Union troops back into the city before night fell. The next morning, however, Union artillery
swept the field and held their enemy at bay. By the end of the day the Confederates retreated with 4,848 soldiers killed, wounded, or missing.
The 8th, 14th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and the 6th and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery batteries helped defend the city.
The brigade commander recalled that, "I had the 8th Wisconsin, big burly fellows, who could march a mule off its feet, and who proved at Corinth... that
they could fight as well as march." At one point, musket fire coming at the 8th Wisconsin Infantry cut the tether holding Old Abe the Eagle on his perch, and
as the battle raged beneath him he soared high above the lines. The general also cited the 14th Wisconsin Infantry for heroic service at Corinth, calling it
"the regiment to rely upon in every emergency; always cool, steady, and vigorous." The 17th Wisconsin Infantry was composed mainly of Irish immigrants. They
led a bayonet charge with the Gaelic battle cry "Faugh a ballaghl" ("Clear the way!"), which the same general called, "the most glorious charge in the
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[Source: Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields (Washington, 1993); Estabrook, C. Records and Sketches of Military Organizations (Madison, 1914); Love, W. Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion (Madison, 1866).]