Special Report

US Cities and Towns Destroyed During the Civil War

Source: Illustrated London News / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Fredericksburg, Virginia
> When: Dec. 11-14, 1862

The Battle of Fredericksburg, halfway between Richmond and Washington, D.C, was one of the most decisive victories for the South, with the Union Army suffering over 12,000 casualties. Union cannons however, did a number on the town. Nearly every house in the city bore signs of cannon damage, and certain quarters were completely demolished.

Source: Public Domain / Library of Congress

Celina, Tennessee
> When: April 19, 1863

This town near the Kentucky border saw many skirmishes and was the headquarters of a Confederate regiment that patrolled the area between Celina and Gainesville. In April 1863, Union cavalry shelled the town, destroying the Confederate camp and supply houses.

Greenville, Mississippi
> When: May 1863

During the siege of Vicksburg, a Union gunboat landed in Greenville, which lies north of Vicksburg along the Mississippi River. After coming under Confederate fire, troops from the gunboat burned down the entire town.

Source: Illustrated London News / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Jackson, Mississippi
> When: May 14, 1863

As a part of the Vicksburg campaign, Union troops under Generals Grant and Sherman seized the capital of Mississippi, which was an important supply and communications center. Confederates evacuated prior to the arrival of the Army of Tennessee, who proceeded to burn and destroy anything of military value including railroad tracks, telegraph lines, and factories.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Austin, Mississippi
> When: May 24, 1863

The Mississippi Marine Brigade, a Union infantry troop that operated from ships and fought guerillas along the Mississippi River, stopped near the town of Austin in May 1863. They then marched to the town, ordered the townspeople to evacuate, and burned most of the buildings, leaving only two standing.

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