The highest point in Mississippi is a hilltop that was once used to bombard a nearby town with artillery.
Little more than a large hill, Woodall Mountain rises 807 feet above sea level, making its summit the highest point in the state of Mississippi, but the mountain was also the site of an artillery battery during the Battle of Iuka in the Civil War.
On September 19, 1862, Union General William Rosecrans’ force of 4,500 soldiers occupied the elevation then known as “Yow Hill” and rained shells on the nearby town of Iuka, which was being held by Confederate General Sterling Price’s 3,200 grunts. Fierce fighting raged around the hill well into the night. Price would later write that the fighting he saw there he had “never seen surpassed,” and his advisors convinced him to retreat from Iuka to fight another day, allowing Rosecrans’ forces to occupy the town.
Today Woodall Mountain’s lands are owned by a hunting club, but public access is legal via the road. The summit is home to various communication towers and a commemorative plaque. The Highpointers Club, a group of explorers who endeavor to visit and honor each of the highest points in the 50 states have also installed a bench, and summit register so that visitors to the historic site can relax and take in the view before leaving their mark.
Know Before You Go
From Iuka, MS, go south on Route 187, then turn left on Route 176. Look for signs for Route 185, Woodall Mountain Road. Drive 1 mile to the summit, but the road may be rough. If the road is gated, hike the road up.
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