Special To The Herald
COFFEEVILLE – The Coffeeville Public Library and Yalobusha County Historical Society will host a program Thursday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Yalobusha County Historical Society Headquarters (former Coffeeville Presbyterian Church) about Civil War soldier Edward Livingston Chatfield.
Terry and Peg McCarty of Georgetown Texas will share from their experiences in transcribing and researching the Civil War letters and diaries of Chatfield into a book, “The Chatfield Story.”
Twenty-year-old Edward Livingston Chatfield, of Kankakee, Illinois, volunteered for the Union forces in 1862. Assigned to Company B of the 113th Illinois, Private Chatfield maintained three diaries and wrote home nearly every week.
He recorded his experiences in the Western Theater which preserved a detailed biography. The McCartys’ examination of Chatfield’s tour of duty helps define and encapsulate the major events that took place on the western front – including the December 1862 events above Oxford.
Serving under General Sherman, Colonels Pad-dock and Hoge, and the ill-fated General Sturgis, Chatfield saw action at Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Corinth, and Brice’s Cross Roads, where he was captured by CS General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Remarkably surviving the unspeakable prison horrors in Andersonville, Savannah, Millen, and Florence, Chatfield eventually became well known in Littleton, Colorado.
Chatfield State Park, Chatfield High School, Chatfield Avenue, and a host of businesses sport his name today.
Of regional significance to the Coffeeville area is that Chatfield camped in the College Hills area above Oxford (December 4-9, 1862), when Grant’s advanced cavalry was routed by CS General Sterling Price’s forces in retreat to Grenada.
Chatfield’s letters and diaries describe what occurred on the march from Memphis to the Tallahatchie, onward to the College Hill, and then returning to Memphis for transport south to face the bluffs above Vicksburg. “The Chatfield Story,” was written and published by the McCartys.
With the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the timely and intriguing story of Union Private Chatfield is a great way to bring history to life for all ages.
The public is invited to come and hear this free program Thursday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Yalobusha County Historical Society HQ
For more information, contact the Coffeeville Public Library at 662-675-8822 or Historical Society President Mike Worsham at 662-623-7360.