NORTH MISSISSIPPI 437 PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY Mississippi City by a vote of 58 to 57. Sectional rivalry between northern and southern Mississippi proved to be decisive: The twenty-six counties carved out of Chickasaw and Choctaw lands in the north controlled the legislature. Oxford received the most of the northern votes. The University of Mississippi was officially chartered on February 24, 1844. The university officially opened on November 6, 1848, with eighty students enrolled for the first session. The arriving faculty and students found a campus only partially finished. Professor of Natural Sciences John Millington described stumps and tree limbs scattered everywhere and scaffolding and scantlings stacked within and outside of unfinished buildings. The original campus consisted of six buildings on a square mile of rolling land covered by virgin forest donated RUINS OF OXFORD Union troops burned much of Oxford in 1864 toward the end of the Civil War. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest had been using Oxford as a base but left it unattended to attack the Union fortifications at Memphis. When Union General A. J. Smith arrived and learned of the Memphis attack, Federal troops targeted the town. Many residents of Oxford and university students, including a group of soldiers known as the University Greys, died during the war.