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Holly Springs in Marshall County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Hugh Craft House

Stop 7 Van Dorn Raid:

 
 
Hugh Craft House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 15, 2021
1. Hugh Craft House Marker
Inscription.  Built in 1851 for Hugh Craft, a prominent early citizen who came to Holly Springs in 1839 in the ernploy of the American Land Company. This house is locally recognized as the first of the "big houses" during the town's initial affluence preceding the King Cotton era of the late 1850s. The decorative iron fence is traditionally thought to have been made by the Jones-McElwain Irtm Foundry. During occupation, Colonel Robert C. Murphy, commander of the Holly Springs garrison, and his staff resided in this home.

On the evening of December 19, 1862, Grant, in Oxford, telegraphed Murphy of a probable cavalry raid upon Holly Springs. When Murphy asked for instructions, Grant replied; "In the morning will early enough for your cavalry to start." Murphy and his men then went to bed. In the early morning hours of December 20, one of Craft's daughters, Helen, recalled, "We were awakened… by an excited clatter of swords overhead and voices in the adjoining hall and knew that something unusual was taking place." According to Murphy, at 5:00 A.M. a contraband (fugitive slave) was brought to this house reporting that Van Dorn's Confederate cavalry
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was approaching and would be in Holly Springs at daylight. Murphy stated that he sent orders to the cavalry at the fairgrounds to report to the railroad depot, and that he then went to the depot. Van Dorn's men attacked and captured Holly Springs before Murphy's troops could respond.

On December 23 Grant wrote to Murphy that the surrender was "disgraceful" and that his conduct was "reprehensible." On December 27 Maior John Mudd, who escaped to Memphis with seventy Illinois troopers wrote that the capture of Holly Springs was due to "the drunkenness or inefficiency of commanding officers," whom he said "were quietly sleeping at the houses of rebel citizens." On January 8, 1863, General Grant dismissed Colonel Murphy from the service of the United States, retroactive to December 20, 1862. On January 10, the War Department approved the dismissal.

Donated to the people of the United States by Mr. and Mrs. John Richards of New Jersey.

(captions)
Robert C. Murphy
Downtown Holly Springs
Hugh Craft House
 
Erected 2005 by Blue & Gray Education Society, Holly Springs Tourism & Recreation Bureau. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is December 20, 1862.
 
Location. 34° 45.989′ N, 89° 
Hugh Craft House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 15, 2021
2. Hugh Craft House Marker
26.924′ W. Marker is in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in Marshall County. Marker is at the intersection of South Memphis Street and West Gholson Avenue, on the left when traveling south on South Memphis Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 184 S Memphis St, Holly Springs MS 38635, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Yellow Fever House (within shouting distance of this marker); Mississippi Central R.R. Campaign (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Van Dorn Raid (about 500 feet away); Holly Springs (about 500 feet away); Control Of The River (about 500 feet away); Van Dorn Captures Holly Springs (about 600 feet away); General Order #11 (about 600 feet away); Osborne Bell (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Holly Springs.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 451 times since then and 147 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 16, 2021, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Jul. 21, 2024