Civil War The men of an Illinois regiment of the Union army camped around the Oxford, Mississippi courthouse in December 1862. This is the only known photograph of Oxford's original courthouse and is authenticated for The Local Voice by President Grant's Library.

Published on December 5th, 2012 | by Newt Rayburn


December 5, 1862: General Ulysses S. Grant’s troops camped on the Square in Oxford, Mississippi


December 5, 1862.

If you were on the Square in Oxford, Mississippi, this is what you would have seen: the men of an Illinois regiment of the Union army camped around the courthouse. In fact, there would be about 40,000 troops now in the Oxford area under the command of Union General Ulysses S. Grant, who first walked on the Square on this date.

The raging “Battle of Coffeeville” was taking place south of Oxford with Confederate General John Pemberton’s troops ambushing and whipping the Union army by the end of the day.

This is the only known photograph of the original Oxford courthouse and the photo was shot in the approximate location of what is now Old Venice Pizza Company.

Oxford’s original courthouse was burned in 1864 by Union General A.J. “Whiskey” SmithThe Local Voice Ligature

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About the Author

was born and grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, starting in 1971. Newt's many publishing projects led to THE LOCAL VOICE, which started in 2006. Newt won a National Magazine Award in 1999 for his SOUTHERN MUSIC ISSUE with THE OXFORD AMERICAN. Previously, Newt was Editor of PROFANE EXISTENCE in Minneapolis, and later, Art Director for Ole Miss' LIVING BLUES magazine. Newt Rayburn founded THE LOCAL VOICE media company in March of 2006. A seventh-generation Lafayette County, Mississippian, Newt Rayburn has been involved in the Ole Miss area for many years. Newt's alter ego—Neuter Cooter—lead the Mississippi band THE COOTERS to Rocknoll Glory across the USA from 1993-2018. Newt is proud Father of eight-year old daughter Alex.

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