Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Iuka, Battle of

Civil War Battle Summary

Iuka, Battle of | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeThis map of the Battle of Iuka depicts the May 19, 1862, positions of the Union forces in blue and Confederate in red.

Battle of Iuka, 1862.

This map of the Battle of Iuka depicts the May 19, 1862, positions of the Union forces in blue and Confederate in red. The 8th Wisconsin Infantry, 14th Wisconsin Infantry, and 16th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and the 8th Wisconsin Light Artillery and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery batteries were present at Iuka but saw little or no action. View the original source document: WHI 90879

Date(s): September 19, 1862

Location: Iuka, Mississippi (Google Map)

Other name(s): none

Campaign: Iuka and Corinth Operations

Outcome: Union victory

Summary

In September 1862, Confederate leaders moved 15,000 troops northward from the Deep South into Tennessee. On September 14, they captured a Union supply depot at Iuka, Mississippi, a small town 20 miles southeast of Corinth. It was the easternmost point that the western armies of the Union had reached. The Confederates seized food, weapons, supplies, and 13,000 rounds of ammunition.

Union leaders planned a three-pronged assault to recapture Iuka and its valuable supplies. On September 19 they executed the plan, but only one force arrived in time to attack the enemy. It nevertheless pushed enemy forces out of the town after one day of heavy fighting. Afterward, the Confederates regrouped, joined with reinforcements, and prepared to attack nearby Corinth two weeks later.

Wisconsin's Role

The 8th, 14th, and 16th Wisconsin Infantry regiments and the 8th and 12th Wisconsin Light Artillery Batteries were present at Iuka but saw little or no action.

Most of the fighting was done by a Union division commanded by General Charles S. Hamilton of Fond du Lac. A graduate of West Point, Hamilton had been quickly promoted from colonel of the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry to a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. At the Battle of Iuka, his horse was shot from under him and his sword shattered by enemy fire but he retained his composure and command throughout the fiercest combat.

Links to Learn More

[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).