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Iuka is the county seat of Tishomingo County, Mississippi. Woodall Mountain, just south of Iuka, is the highest point in the state. The community was established on the site of a Chickasaw Indian village, and was named for one of the chieftains in the village. After the Chickasaw were removed, European-American settlers came around the time of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Prior to the American Civil War, Iuka had an all-female college, a boy’s military academy, and a large hotel. However, the Battle of Iuka, fought on September 19, 1862, resulted in large-scale devastation to the community. General Ulysses Grant commanded Union troops from Memphis to the Alabama-Mississippi state line, along the border of northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, while Confederate forces were stationed in Tupelo, Mississippi under the command of General Sterling Price. General Price occupied Iuka in the fall of 1862 to block trains carrying Union troops to reinforce General Don Carlos Buell, while Grant decided that it was necessary for the Union to take Iuka in order to prevent Price from using the railroad to reinforce General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate troops. Union troops were supposed to attack Iuka from two directions but due to miscommunications, troops under the command of Major General William Rosecrans were the only ones to engage the Confederates, and they arrived later than planned. Nevertheless, after an afternoon of fighting, the Confederates withdrew from the town on a road that had not been blocked by Union troops. The Union suffered 790 casualties, including 144 killed, while the Confederates suffered 1,516 casualties, with 263 dead. The town was very slow to recover from its war losses. The construction of the Pickwick Landing Dam, which created Pickwick Lake, in the 1930s brought recreational activity to the town. Nearby communities include Blythe Crossing, Burnsville, Oldham, and Walker Siding.

 

 

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