THE PINEY WOODS 163 Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, destroying train cars of ammunition and supplies. From Hazlehurst, Grierson initially moved west toward Grand Gulf, only to be blocked by Confederate cavalry under Colonel Wirt Adams. From this point on, the Confederate forces relentlessly pursued Grierson’s command. Grierson turned back south toward the New Orleans, Gulf and Northern Railroad station at Brookhaven, where he captured 200 prisoners and a store of muskets. They continued south along the tracks, tearing up the railroad tracks and burning railroad bridges. At both Bogue Chitto and Summit, Grierson burned railcars and supplies. Instead of continuing along the railroad south to Osaka, Grierson turned westward toward Amite County. Three companies of the 9th Tennessee confronted the Union cavalrymen at Wall’s Bridge on May 1, but they were unsuccessful in stopping the Union advance. Grierson reached the safety of the Union lines outside Baton Rouge on May 2. His command destroyed much-needed While Knight and his men certainly held a great deal of power in Jones and surrounding counties, the county never officially seceded from the Confederate States of America. Confederate supplies and disrupted the regional railroad network that was supporting General Pemberton’s forces along the Mississippi River. More important, the 550-mile raid was successful in drawing Confederate forces away from the Mississippi River, allowing General Ulysses S. Grant to land his forces on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Grant’s foothold in Mississippi allowed him to encircle Pemberton’s forces at Vicksburg, and after a forty-seven day siege, the garrison surrendered on July 4, 1863. The defeat at Vicksburg was a critical one for the Confederacy, as it was the last stronghold on the Mississippi River and gave the Union complete control of the river. Mississippians soon learned that just one day before the siege ended at Vicksburg, Union forces under General Meade defeated General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg (July 1–3). While the majority of Piney Woods residents staunchly supported the Confederacy, some began to doubt the cause after 1863 as morale faltered and economic conditions PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMP SHELBY, STAFF SGT. TIM MORGAN, JFH-MS PUBLIC AFFAIRS