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The Southern motive. : (Greensboro, Choctaw, Miss.) 18??-18??
Place of publication:
Greensboro, Choctaw, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Greensboro, Choctaw, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
John N. Bowen
Dates of publication:
  • English
  • Greensboro (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Mississippi--Greensboro.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01874636
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 3, no. 16 (May 7, 1864).
  • This is a one column "war news" paper printed on one side only.
sn 87065118
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The Southern motive. May 7, 1864 , Image 1


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The Southern Motive

Located in timbered hill country of north-central Mississippi, in 1860 Choctaw County consisted primarily of small farmers who owned few if any slaves and were pro-Union. Once the Civil War began, however, a majority of its citizens remained loyal to the Confederacy. In December 1864, Union General Benjamin H. Grierson led a raid that included destruction of the Choctaw county seat, Greensboro, and of nearby Confederate cloth and shoe factories in Bankston, Mississippi.

While not the earliest newspaper published in the now defunct town of Greensboro, the Southern Motive (1862?-64?) may be the only non-occupation Mississippi newspaper issued only during the Civil War years. Published by John N. Bowen, volume numbers indicate that the Motive began in January 1862; there are no known issues after 1864. Reprints appeared in the Memphis Daily Appeal (1847-86) from August 1862 until April 1863 when the Tennessee newspaper was temporarily published in Grenada and then Jackson, Mississippi. The Southern Motive contained primarily war-related news, but also occasionally carried general interest stories, foreign news, poems, obituaries, advertisements, and legal notices.

Choctaw County residents experienced hard times as described in a May 7, 1864 Southern Motive editorial entitled, "Destitute Families," which declared "corn can scarcely be bought at any price-and as for meat we do not know of a pound for sale." A conscription act published in the same issue required all white males between the ages of 17 and 50 to serve in the Confederate military and offered amnesty, with conditions, to all soldiers absent from their commands.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History