Battle of Perryville fought today in Kentucky in 1862


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Today, the 8th October, in 1862 a strange battle  was fought at Perryville in Kentucky.
    It was strange because three Confederate Divisions attacked 8 Union ones and actually won the contest. The three valiant and hard hitting Divisions of Ben Cheatham, Patton Anderson and Simon Bolivar Buckner(who had surrendered Fort Donelsen to Grant in Feb, giving the North its first victory) smashed into one of the Northern army’s three Corps, routing it.
    The other two Corps were not engaged as the Army’s commander, an Ohian and former West Pointer, did not know a battle was going on! Acoustic shadow meant his army’s other 35000 men stood idly while a third, the Left, was wrecked. 
    The next day, the Southern army’s commander, Braxton Bragg, who had realised he was now facing insurmountable odds, withdrew.
    The South’s golden opportunity to wreak havoc in the state, possibly even pushing the Northern host from it, was lost as Bragg and another Southern "army’ commander, Edmund Kirby Smith, refused to cooperate their military actions.
    In Summer the Southern administration had hoped to bring its sister Slave State back to the fold.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Wanted to add a few numbers.
    Bragg’s small army contained 16 or 17000, of which 1200 were Cavalry.
    The Union Army’s three Corps were divided unequally as McCook’s Corps that was attacked so violently was only two Divisions and the other two Corps had three Divisions.
    McCook’s 13000 men were attacked by about the same number.
    The Centre Corps was able to repel the third Confederate Division, which it outnumbered tree to one. Despite the disparity in numbers, however, the Union Corps did not follow up the failed assault of the last Confederate Division.
    The Right hand Corps did even more poorly this day. It was commanded by a former US Regular Army Captain, just promoted. It contained 20000 men and its commander was Charles Gilbert.  He did not move from his starting position and was held by a solitary Confederate Cavalry Brigade.
    Gilbert would not receive another lofty command, whereas the 26 year old Georgian Cavalry Brigadier, Joseph Wheeler,  would ultimately command all the Army of Tennessee’s cavalry.

    Casualties were still horrendous, considering the small number of men actually engaged.
    The North suffered 4211 and the South 3396.
    Perryville was Kentucky’s bloodiest battle.



  • I’ve actually visited the Battlegrounds since it’s not too far from where I live.  The reenactments are pretty well done and quite a community that is very involved.  Nice place to visit if you are in the area.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I remembered you lived there.
    I have always loved this battle and even have  a Brigade Series battle of it.
    I was in Florence at this time last year, so could not post of it. I promised I would not miss it twice!
    The Western Army of Tennessee is a favourite of mine and this is the first of its battles.



  • @wittmann:

    I remembered you lived there.
    I have always loved this battle and even have  a Brigade Series battle of it.
    I was in Florence at this time last year, so could not post of it. I promised I would not miss it twice!
    The Western Army of Tennessee is a favourite of mine and this is the first of its battles.

    Florence Y’all!  😄



  • Just visited Perryville today with the wife. The confederate mass grave was very reflectivity sad.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    @ABWorsham:

    Just visited Perryville today with the wife. The confederate mass grave was very reflectivity sad.

    Glad you got to see it. Was only a small battle by Western standards, but both sides did a good job of killing each other.
    If Bragg and Kirby Smith had have cooperated and joined their two three Division armies, instead of childishly and jeslously squabbling, the state may have gone the other way. The capital was at their mercy, undefended, but they allowed Buell to occupy it and all the good work was for ought.
    It was a well thought out, but badly executed campaign.
    God bless the dead.



  • I wonder how Kirby Smith would have done leading the combined confederate forces, his defeat of Union forces at Richmond Ky, was complete. Capturing 5000 POWs. Shelby Foote, described the battle as the only “Cannae” of the war.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    I had forgotten which of the two had won that battle, so thank you for the reminder.
    I am sad for the Kentucky Brigade who never got to see its state and fight and die there at Perryville. Can’t remember where they were left behind and whose stupid idea it was to not use that fine Brigade in its own state.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    What was the South trying to do in this campaign?

    I know this is one of their farther tours into enemy territory, but seems no point.



  • @Imperious:

    What was the South trying to do in this campaign?

    I know this is one of their farther tours into enemy territory, but seems no point.

    Bring Kentucky into the Confederacy, recruit numbers into the ranks and to plunder supplies along with relieving pressure off the badly turn Tennessee campaigns.

    Little supplies could be found, Kentucky was suffering from a harsh drought.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    OK.



  • @Imperious:

    OK.

    The South didn’t have the numbers to pull off this campaign, but with what Confederacy sent into Kentucky the South fought well.



  • I’ll visit Shiloh tomorrow.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Nice!
    Think of me when you are standing by where AS Johnston died through blood loss. He is undoubtedly one of the war’s great enigmas and what ifs.
    Forrest came to the fore at this battle and one of my favourite generals was present too: Patrick R Cleburne, commanding a Brigade.
    Hope the weather is not to bad.


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