Monday, December 20, 2010
Quickly Took Control Of Holly Springs
In charge of three mounted brigades, Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn, moved his force against Union Major General Ulysses S Grant’s supply depot at Holly Springs, Mississippi. On December 19th 1862 Grant learned that Confederate Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest was attacking the Mobile & Ohio Railroad, tearing up the track in West Tennessee. Van Dorn used this cover, moved his men well east of the Union troops, then cut west to Holly Springs. Grant didn’t learn of Van Dorn’s move until late on December 19th 1862, at which time he warned Colonel Robert C Murphy at Holly Springs.
Van Dorn split his force and at dawn on December 20th 1862, the Confederates sweep into town from the north and east. He posted patrols to prevent Union reinforcements from reaching the town. Van Dorn’s troops routed the Union soldiers in Holly Springs, taking 1500 prisoner; and quickly taking control of the supply depot. The Confederates cut the telegraph line, took up the track and sacked the warehouses, burning anything they couldn't take. Van Dorn then headed north, moving away from Grant’s headquarters. Although Grant pushed his cavalry he was unable to catch up with the Confederates.