This week in the Civil War | New Union campaign ramps up in Mississippi

Union Maj. Gen William Sherman began moving thousands of federal troops toward Meridian, Miss., this week 150 years ago in the Civil War, aiming to occupy and destroy the vital railroad junction there, a supply route for the Confederacy.

The advance on the region from Union-controlled Vicksburg was part of ongoing federal war efforts to split the Confederacy.

On Feb. 3, 1864, Sherman began sending his troops toward Meridian, a move that prompted Confederate President Jefferson Davis to scramble his forces from neighboring areas.

Some early skirmishes erupted, but the main fighting would not come until mid-February 1864.