The Battle of Tupelo Mississippi on July 14th 1864 ensured that General William Tecumseh Sherman’s supply lines were safe.
Major General A J Smith with more 14,000 Union soldiers left LaGrange Tennessee on July 5th 1864. His order was to protect the lines Major General William T Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. Having laid waist to the country as he advanced, July 13th 1864 found Smith moving east toward Tupelo MI.
In the mean time Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry, with about 6000 men and Lieutenant General Stephen D Lee with another 2,000 were with in two miles of Smith‘s Union force. The Confederates attacked on the morning of July 14th 1864. Lee’s assaults weren’t well coordinated and the Federal troops pushed them back inflicting large casualties on Rebels.
With the Union troops running short on supplies, Smith did not pursue Lee and Forrest. He headed back to Memphis on the 15th. Smith has been criticized for not destroying the Confederate command. He had, however fulfilled his orders and protected Sherman’s supply lines.