The Battle of Farmington, Mississippi – Part 3

Beauregard Attacks

Near Farmington Colonel John Loomis (subbing in brigade command for the ill Plummer) was equally oblivious to the danger as he deployed his troops. He kept four companies of the 8th Wisconsin in town to act as an advanced guard and the remainder of the brigade in a line near the creek and a cotton gin. He then turned his attention to what he thought was a more pressing problem. The brigade was out of rations and there would be no relief until the next morning, May 9th. The men settled in for what was expected to be a hungry but uneventful night.

Early the next morning troops appeared but not from the anticipated direction. As Loomis looked to the rear for the scheduled replacements long lines of Confederate infantry appeared in the west. These were Ruggles and Trapier’s men initiating Beauregard’s plan. Trapier’s line on the left faced no major opposition and easily pushed back Union skirmishers and a small group of engineers that were laying corduroy at Nichol’s Ford. On the Confederate right Ruggles’ troops, mostly Louisianans, came directly at the isolated Federal brigade.

Major John Jefferson, commanding the Union advance in Farmington, quickly assessed the situation and informed Loomis that he could not hold his position long without help. The 0900 request for assistance was relayed to division commander Stanley who replied that a brigade (Palmer) from Paine’s division was on the way. This was the relief that Loomis had been expecting and when they arrived on the field he requested permission to retire. Stanley, now on the scene refused and ordered Loomis to remain in support of the fresh brigade. The help came too late for Jefferson who was forced to abandon the town under a storm of musketry.

Battle of Farmington (Campaign Series)





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