This community, located a few miles from Stephens Arbor, got its
name from the occasion when the Union troops burned the cotton
mills here after a skirmish battle during the Civil War
commanded by Grierson. Nancy Catherine Selman was living at
Burnt Mills Community area then, and witnessed the battle. After
the war, the mills were not rebuilt and only tow general stores
remained, Sam Smith Store and the Buchanan Store. Mrs. Lyla
McDonald of Iuka furnished us with a word picture of this battle
written for the Iuka Vidette April 23, 1896 by M. Koogah.
“I was a boy of 15 when the Battle of Burnt Mills was fought. My
father’s family was living in a schoolhouse after the
destructive of the Burnt Mills settlement.
On the morning of the battle, my father sent me out to look
around the ruins of our old home. As I was entering the Jacinto
and Russellville Road at the mouth of the lane between
Robinson’s farm and my fathers, I met the advance guard of the
Federals. One of the blue coats said to me, “Hello Bub, where
are you going?” I told him my business, “Well, Bub, we will not
let you carry any news, so get in front of us.”
So they marched me towards Burnt Mills. We hadn’t gone for when
we met the Confederated. There were several shots fired and the
Confederates retreated to Burnt Mills.
The Federals carried me on until we passed Panther’s Creek, and
by this time, there was quite a company past me. The Yanks who
had me in charges said, “Well, Bub, you can take care of
yourself.” I took refuge under the bank creek until the army had
passed, then I made haste for the schoolhouse. The Yanks got the
better of the battle by having all the advantages of position
The Yanks left orders for the citizens to bury the dead and care
for the wounded. Myself and few others and two old men found and
buried the one man that was dilled. He was a Confederate. We
found the two wounded Confederates whom we took to Mrs. Reeds.
One of them died.”
Submitted by Joe Stephens.