|Earl Van Dorn|
|Civil War view of Holly Springs, Mississippi|
Van Dorn had performed badly as an army commander in the Battles of Pea Ridge and Second Corinth, and although he was acquitted by a court of inquiry, he was demoted back to a cavalry commander. Back in his element, he set out with 3,500 troopers on December 18th and just two days later on December 20th, 150 years ago today, he struck the Union supply depot at Holly Springs. There he captured or destroyed over $1 million worth of supplies, and captured the 1,500 Yankees who had been assigned to guard them. In the next days he would attempt to move north into Tennessee, but meeting Union opposition at Davis Mill would return to his starting point on December 28th, having accomplished a very useful raid for the Confederacy.