Tupelo in Lee County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
The Iron Furnace / Front Street
Hundreds of Union prisoners were interned here during the summer of 1862. Treated reasonably and guarded lightly, few tried to escape in anticipation of being exchanged, as was common practice early in the war. They were kept in a wood stockade located on the west side of Front Street, slightly south of where you stand. Adjoining the stockade on the north was a separate enclosure housing Union sympathizers, bridge burners and accused informants. They were held captive in a poorly ventilated store or warehouse. During July and August the interior of the prison was so hot the survivors called it "The Iron Furnace." Those prisoners were heavily guarded and severely treated while awaiting trial by a military court. Many of those who were found guilty were sentenced to death and forced to dig their own graves. These prisoners were shot by a firing squad or hanged from a gallows. Some still remain near this site lying in unmarked graves lost to time, One of the prisoners, Reverend John H. Aughey, escaped two days before his scheduled execution, He wrote a book after the war entitled "Tupelo," recounting the escape and his experience in "The Iron Furnace."
In 1858, when local construction on the M&O railroad began, businessmen
Erected 2013 by the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Location. 34° 15.405′ N, 88° 42.191′ W. Marker is in Tupelo, Mississippi, in Lee County. Marker is on South Front Street north of Troy Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: South Front Street, Tupelo MS 38804, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Sit-Ins Led to Civil Rights Act of 1964 / F.W. Woolworth (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tupelo Hardware (about 300 feet away); Elvis Presley and Tupelo (about 600 feet away); Tupelo Confederate Soldiers Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Younger Cabin / Confederate Headquarters (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shake Rag Community (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shake Rag (approx. ¼ mile away); First Presbyterian Church (USA) (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tupelo.
More about this marker. Part of the Tupelo Civil War Trail in the Heritage Trails Enrichment Program.
Also see . . . Three Civil War markers added to Heritage Trail. (Submitted on April 16, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Railroads & Streetcars • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 154 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 16, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.