Kentucky in the Civil War
Brig. Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer’s
main responsibility was to guard Cumberland Gap. However, in November 1861 he
advanced west into Kentucky to strengthen control in the area around
Somerset. Zollicoffer found a strong defensive position at Mill Springs and decided
to make it his winter quarters. He fortified the area, especially both sides
of the Cumberland River.
Mill Springs Battlefield
Association has done a splendid job in creating a lasting monument to the
battle. The battlefield tour has nine stops which track the movements in the
engagement. The tour begins at the visitor with an excellent video on
the battle. The visitor center museum has exhibits of items found on the
battlefield and the Confederate camp.
Please click on link below for map.Mill Springs, Wayne, Kentucky, United States
The Confederate Heartland Offensive or Kentucky Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in East Tennessee and Kentucky. From June to October 1862, Confederate forces under the commands of Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith launched a series of movements to outflank the Union Army of the Ohio and draw the border state of Kentucky into the Confederacy. Though the Confederates gained some early successes, their progress was stopped decisively at the Battle of Perryville, leaving Kentucky in Union hands for the rest of the war.
The following battles were part of this campaign:
This road trip covers the battles of Richmond, Munfordville and Perryville.
In Maj. Gen. Kirby
Smith’s 1862 Confederate offensive into Kentucky,
Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne
led the advance with Col. John S. Scott’s
cavalry out in front. The Confederate cavalry, while moving north
from Big Hill on the road to Richmond, Kentucky, on August 29th, encountered
Union troopers and began skirmishing.
After noon, Union artillery and infantry
joined the battle and forced the Confederate cavalry to retreat to Big Hill. Brig.
Gen. Mahlon D. Manson, who commanded Union forces in the area,
ordered a brigade to march to Rogersville, toward the Confederates. Fighting for the day stopped after pursuing
Union forces skirmished briefly with Cleburne’s
men in late afternoon.
The Battle of Richmond Association has worked to preserve the battlefield. The association maintains an auto vehicular tour of the battle corridor. The corridor, areas of battle interest and involvement, extends 17 miles from Big Hill at the southern point of Madison County to White Hall State Historic Shrine in the northern portion of the county. Historical markers provide information at each tour station and brochures are available from Richmond Tourism.
Please click on link below for map. Richmond, Kentucky, United States
Kirby Smith's forces moved toward
Lexington, Gen. Braxton Bragg’s
army left Chattanooga, Tennessee, in late August. The Confederates
troops were followed by
Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Union Army.
This site is in need of repair. The visitor center is closed, the trails are not mowed and the signs are water-damaged. Still it is worth a stop to see the railroad bridge and the outlines of Wilder's star fort.
Please click on link below for map.Munfordville, Hart, Kentucky, United States
Gen. Braxton Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky had reached the outskirts of Louisville and Cincinnati, but he was forced to retreat and regroup. On October 7th, the Federal army of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell converged on the small crossroads town of Perryville, KY. Union forces skirmished with Confederate cavalry on the Springfield Pike and the fighting increased when the Confederate infantry arrived. At dawn the following day, fighting began again around Peters Hill as a Union division advanced up the pike and stopped before the Confederate line. After noon, Confederate forces struck the Union left flank and forced Union forces to fall back. Union troops on the left flank, reinforced by two brigades, stabilized their line, and the Confederate attack stalled. A Confederate brigade assaulted a Union division on the Springfield Pike but was repulsed and fell back into Perryville. The Yankees pursued, and skirmishing occurred in the streets in the early evening. With Union reinforcements threatening the Confederate left flank and the Army of the Mississippi short of men and supplies, Bragg's forces left during the night. Confederate forces withdrew into East Tennessee ending the offensive and giving the Union control of Kentucky.
The State Historic Park has numerous trails that describe the movement of the attacking Confederate forces and retreating Union troops. The trails are well documented with markers.
Please click on link below for map.Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site (state historic park), Kentucky, United States
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