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The Southern eagle. : (Water Valley, Miss.) 18??-18??
Place of publication:
Water Valley, Miss.
Geographic coverage:
  • Water Valley, Yalobusha, Mississippi  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W.B. Yowell
Dates of publication:
  • English
  • Mississippi--Water Valley.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01290105
  • Water Valley (Miss.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 24 (July 10, 1869).
sn 87065500
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The Southern eagle. July 10, 1869 , Image 1


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The Southern Eagle

Yalobusha County, in north-central Mississippi, saw fighting during the Civil War as General Ulysses S. Grant pushed south along the Mississippi Central Railroad in one of several aborted attempts to capture the Mississippi River port Vicksburg. In 1869 in Water Valley, one of two county seats, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers organized the first labor union in the state. The Illinois Central Railroad (ICRR) began to acquire the rebuilt Central line in 1872, establishing its Mississippi headquarters and maintenance facilities there. Famed ICRR engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones, who died in a horrific train crash near Vaughn, Mississippi in 1900, was a member of a Water Valley union when he briefly lived in the county seat in the 1890s.

While the county was still recovering from the devastation of the Civil War, the four-page weekly Southern Eagle (18??-18??) was established in Water Valley. Owner William B. Yowell hired an editor in the hopes of increasing readership to justify the addition of a tri-weekly edition; the paper appears to have been short-lived. The only known extant copy of the Eagle was published on July 20, 1869. Most notable in this issue was criticism of the Republican Party in general and President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) and Governor Adelbert Ames (1868-1870; 1874-1876) in particular.

The newspaper was published during the period of "Radical" reconstruction (1867-1876) when the Republican-controlled United States Congress pushed for reforms that would ensure rights for newly freed enslaved people, including enfranchisement of African American males. The pro-South Eagle accused Northerners of being hypocrites on this issue proclaiming, "The bestowal of office on negroes in this section [the South] is all right with them, but to give an office to a Northern negro is … against the boys in blue." It further accused "some respectable Northern Republican journals" of ignorance of the character of Republican leaders in the South, claiming that most southern Republicans "… are men of the most disreputable and abandoned character.…" The Eagle went so far as to say Governor Ames went out of his way "… to get some of the worst 'cases' [people] possible to inflict, as officers, on our adjacent County of LaFayette." The Southern Eagle also contained foreign news and local news, including church service schedules, advertisements, and legal notifications such as probate notices and dissolution of businesses.

Provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History