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Corinth school rests on Civil War battlefield

Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 2/18/2014 11:41 pm
CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) - An abandoned elementary school is resting on ancient ground, and it's getting the attention of a local center.

A little over 150 years ago, the old West Corinth Elementary School property looked quite different.

"There were men running at full speed and falling on the ground with their brains dashed about with arms and legs cut off," said Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center Historian Tom Parson.

It's described as a hot morning in October 1862 when Confederate forces blazed across a treacherous field to fight the Union Army.

"That famous Rebel yell was heard through the hills here around Corinth as they came screaming out of the woods as fast as they could," Parson explained.

That fateful day would prove to be a loss for the Confederate Army as hundreds were left dead or badly wounded.

Now, on a field that's an unmarked grave for many, rests former West Corinth Elementary, a school abandoned for more than three years.

"It's simply an incredible piece of property that we would just love to see preserved," Parson added. "We would love to be able to walk across the street and be able to talk about these attacks from the Confederate perspective."

Parson said it's believed that soldiers' bodies are buried under the school site.

The interpretive center, owned by the Shiloh National Military Park, is working toward ownership of the land; and although it must pass through several legal hoops, Mayor Tommy Irwin said it would serve an excellent addition to Corinth's rich history.

"Our city is about tourism," Irwin said. "Railroads and Civil War are our history. There's no question about it."

In the meantime, Parson said untapped history waits to be seen.

"Those very few places that we can hold onto and can show our visitors and the world what Corinth experienced during the war, we want those properties to help tell that story," he said.

Shiloh National Park officials have been in contact with city leaders about acquiring the land.

Irwin said it will most likely have to be bid out to interested parties.
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