On February 21, 1864, Confederate and Union forces faced off over the banks of the Chuquatonchee Creek on Ellis Bridge in West Point, Mississippi. This three-hour battle pitted Nathan Bedford Forrest with his small but mighty cavalry against William Sooy Smith and his dogged Federal troops as they attempted to push through the prairie and destroy the railroad junction in Meridian. Smith's men did not succeed in their mission and suffered heavy casualties at the hands of Forrest in a precursor to the Battle of Okolona. Author John McBryde details the nuances of the battle that initiated Rebel opposition to the Meridian Campaign, including accounts from West Point locals of the time.
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John McBryde is a Mississippi resident and Commander of the Holt Collier Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp. He is a former pastor, firefighter, paramedic and fire inspector and holds a B.A. in history from Delta State University. He has written articles on local civil war history for the Daily Times Leader and website for the City of West Point. Dr. Brandon H. Beck is the author of eight books on Civil War history. He is the founder and director of the McCormick Civil War Institute at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. He currently lives in Columbus, Mississippi, and teaches part time at East Mississippi Community College.
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