Chunky River Recreation
Campground & Trading Post

24055 Hwy. 80 -- Chunky, MS  39323 -- 601-480-3045

Chunky History

    The Town of Chunky started from a Indian village that was located just South East of our current location, in the edge of Lauderdale Co. Prior to 1848 there is very little documented concerning the area.  This area was occupied by the Choctaw Indians and widely used for Gaming and Fall Festivals.  The different village's would come together in the fall to gather food for the winter and play the games of their time and culture.  Some games were just for fun and social competition, while others were for settling disputes short of going to war.

    One of the most popular games among the Native American tribes was called "Chunkey" (or alternatively "Chunkee or Tchung-kee"), which was played with polished, disc shaped stones and a lance or spear like stick.  Chunkey stones have convex edges and concave sides and were occasionally perforated in the center.  The tchung-kee or stick would have been made of Ash or Hickory at a length of 6ft or so. It would have had little bits of leather projecting from its sides of an inch or more in length and about a foot apart, which he throws before him as he runs, sliding it along upon the ground after the ring or stone.  The object was to place or stop the tchung-kee in such a position when it stops that the ring or stone would fall upon it. Stones with holes in the center falling upon the bit of leather projecting from it would score or mean one thing while the solid stone falling upon or near the leather would mean or score differently. 

    Below are images from various sources of Chunkey Player's, a Pipe bowl in the form a Chunkey Player recovered in Fulton County Georgia, as well as two different type Chunkey Stones.   



    On May 8th 1848 a Post Office was established in Chunkeyville, John G, Gallaspy was the first Post Master there,  The Post Office was operational until September 28 1868. It has been told that there were a couple of stores a bank and a warehouse probably used for cotton, grain and lumber there.  Meanwhile just North West of there a small community was beginning to form where the Railroad Agents had rumored that the Railroad would pass through this area. Local folks begin to move closer to where the Railroad would be located due to jobs, transportation and commerce.  The Railroad was completed circa 1850 - 1852 and was known as the A&V (Alabama & Vicksburg), the community had become known as Chunkey's Station, a whistle stop along the A&V route.   At this time most jobs consisted of Farming, Grist Mill and Saw Mill operations.  Within a few years of being established there were several small business's that began to operate in the community, there were two grist mills, two saw mills, livery stable, cotton gin, hotel, railroad depot, doctor's office, merchandise or dry good stores, two drug stores and a barber shop.  There was also a calaboose or one room jail with a town marshal.   

    Civil War happenings in our area.

    On the evening of February 13th 1864, General Manning Force had received orders to detach his brigade from the column and march early the next morning to Chunkey's Station, eight miles distant on the Railroad.  Breaking camp at daybreak on Sunday, February 14th, General Force's Brigade started for Chunkey.  The weather was cloudy and foggy, the clouds were heavy gray.  The men carried 40 pounds of ammunition each and were accompanied by only two ambulance teams.  Before marching, General Force had given instructions as to the order of march, the demolition work to be carried out, and the return journey.
    Two companies of the 4th Illinois Cavalry would screen the flanks of General Force's Brigade, and Company F of the 45th Illinois would serve as the point.  Companies A and F, 124th Illinois were detailed to burn the railroad bridge across Chunkey Creek; Companies C and H were to destroy the villiage, and the rest of the troops were to tear up the railroad.  When the Union vanguard encountered the Confederate rear guard one mile from Chunkey, the men of Company F, 45th Illinois were deployed as skirmishers to the right of the road.  General Force then ordered Major John O. Duer to deploy the rest of the 45th Illinois 
in support of Company F.  The 20th Illinois was formed to the left of the road.  The 124th Illinois followed by the 31st Illinois and moved along the road.
    After a hard sharp skirmish ensued before the Confederates were driven back across the river.  Confederate sharpshooters took cover and sniped at the Yankees as they went about their work of destruction.  Another small force of Confederates holed up in the stockade which guarded the railroad bridge.  From this stronghold they were expelled only with great difficulty.
    The Federals captured and burned 8 loaded army wagons.  The 45th Illinois burned 6 and the 124th Illinois 2.  After the Confederates were driven out of the stockade the Yankees fired the railroad bridge, a strong trestlework of 8 trestles and two abutments.  Rebel sharpshooters firing from vantage points in the village and across the creek made the task difficult.  Companies B and G of the 45th Illinois were posted to protect the companies of the 124th Illinois who were destroying the bridge.  
    Two water tanks were wrecked and several hundred yards of track were ruined.  The iron rails was taken up and bent out of shape and the ties burned.  Two small trestles, a warehouse building holding about 100 bales of cotton, and a house in which S.D. Lee had made his headquarters were all fired.  All houses not occupied by families were burned, about half dozen houses estimated.
(Information taken from Sherman's Forgotten Campaign, The Meridian Expedition by Margie Riddle Bearss)

To be added, the history of Chunkey's Heroes which became Co. D. 3rd Regt. Miss. Inf. CSA Sept. 5th 1861
To be added, Chunkey Creek Train wreck Feb. 19, 1863

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