During the Vicksburg Campaign, a Union cavalry raid led by Colonel Benjamin H. Grierson moved from LaGrange, Tennessee, toward the Southern Railroad at Newton, Mississippi. On the afternoon of April 21, 1863, Grierson's cavalrymen rode into Starkville. Here, the Union troopers seized the post office, destroyed Confederate property, and confiscated livestock to replace their own horses. The raiders departed Starkville via the Louisville Road. Three days later, the Federals cut the railroad at Newton.