On May 14, 1863, General Sherman began the bombardment of the city of Jackson... I recall the terror-stricken flight of thousands of women and children as we streamed along the roads that hot day, with everything we could carry. I had two suits of clothes on, and mother was wearing her furs-for we did not know whether we would ever come back to the house or whether the house would escape the fire. We camped in tents on the Pearl River for several weeks.--Thomas Frank Gailor, six-year-old child, future Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee
Over 1,000 soldiers died, the majority of them Confederates. Majors General U.S. Grant, William Sherman, and James McPherson held a celebration in the Bowman House, the only hotel in town. The town was looted and burned and the Union troops continued on toward Vicksburg.
Jackson was a beautiful town before we visited it but now it is a desolate looking place. I was very much apposed to burning when we first came in the service but I don't care now if everything in the Southern Confederacy is burnt.--Sergeant Asahel Mann, Co. A, 4th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, letter home dated May 31, 1863
|House, furniture, and fine library of three thousand volumes,|
were committed to the flames. -Benson J. Lossing, The Civil War in America
Howell, Jr., H. Grady. Chimneyville: "Likenesses" of Early Days in Jackson, Mississippi. Chickasaw Bayou Press, 2007.