I'm excited to report the official State of Mississippi, Department of Archives and History historical marker for the Duncan House has been ordered. The few sentences being cast in aluminum for the marker have been researched, studied, and hammered out by both the National Park Service and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. These words tell a remarkable story of Corinth as well as the Duncan House and how all this history fits together. The inscription will read:
THE DUNCAN HOUSE
Built in 1857 by William L. Duncan, the
Duncan House was the headquarters of
Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard
after the battle of Shiloh. In June 1862,
Union general William Rosecrans made the
house his headquarters during the battle
of Corinth. It was later occupied by
Maj. Noel Howard of the 2nd Iowa Infantry
and used as a telegraph office. After the
war, Pvt. Thomas Duncan, a Confederate
soldier with the "Tishomingo Rangers,"
returned to his boyhood home and
began writing his "Recollections" here.
Just a bit of explanation which you likely know already. When the war began, Corinth was in Confederate hands. General Beauregard was headquartered at the Fishpond House (Johnny Spencer's home on Kilpatrick Street). After General Albert Sidney Johnson was killed in the Battle of Shiloh, Beauregard became commander of the Confederates. When he retreated back to Corinth from Shiloh, Beauregard took the Duncan House as his headquarters. Interestingly, the Federals took nearly two months to come the 20 miles from Shiloh to Corinth, digging in every night. In one of the greatest 'ruses' of the war, when the Federals finally marched into town in late May, 1862, they were greeted by an empty village. Beauregard had evacuated his entire command. General William Rosecrans, the commander of the Federals, moved into Beauregard's recently vacated headquarters, the Duncan House. After Beauregard's withdrawal, the Federals controlled Corinth until the War's end.