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Samuel McClure enlisted as a Private on the 12th October 1861 in Company B, 12th Kentucky Infantry. He mustered in on January 30, 1862 and out on July 11, 1865

Regimental History Twelfth Infantry. -- Col., William A. Hoskins; Lieut.-Cols., Laurence H. Rosseau, Montgomery Howard. Majs., William M.. Worsham Joseph M. Owens, Samuel M. Letcher.

In Sept. 1861, the organization of this regiment was commenced. Co. A was mustered into service by Gen. George H. Thomas at Camp Dick Robinson. A short time after this it moved to the Cumberland River, near Waitsboro, Pulaski county, where the other companies which had been recruited in the counties of Pulaski, Wayne, Clinton, Russell and Cumberland assembled and formally organized the regiment in October.

Its first engagement was at the battle of Mill Springs, after which it marched south of the Cumberland to the little village of Clio, where it was regularly mustered into the U. S. service. After the fall of Fort Donelson it proceeded from Louisville down the Ohio and up the Cumberland to Nashville, reaching there about the middle of March, 1862. It arrived at Pittsburg landing April 9, passed over the battle ground, went on to Corinth and performed its full share of service on the picket and skirmish lines. From Corinth it marched to Booneville, Miss., thence to Tuscumbia, Ala., where it remained until July 10. It then entered upon the great march which was prolonged from week to week until the army reached Louisville, a distance of more than 300 miles. On the battle-field at Perryville the regiment moved to different points with the reserves, but though constantly in hearing of the artillery and musketry, it was not brought into the engagement.

Its next hard service was in Burnside's East Tennessee campaign. At the Watauga River it came up with the enemy and a sharp fight occurred, followed by daily skirmishing. At Blue Springs the regiment was again engaged and suffered loss. The proposition of reenlistment as veterans being made to the regiment, scattering men from all the companies stepped forward, and in a moment nearly the entire regiment rushed to the new line. The men were granted a furlough of 30 days, at the end of which the regiment marched through Somerset, Stanford, Crab Orchard and Danville to Lebanon; from Lebanon it went by rail, being transported from Nashville to Chattanooga on the top of the cars of a freight train. Thence it went to Kingston, GA, by rail and from there marched toward the front.

The first night out it reached "Burnt Hickory" and went into camp, where it was attacked about midnight, losing 1 man killed and several wounded. It participated in the continuous fighting of the Atlanta campaign. After crossing the Chattahoochee River it advanced with the 23rd corps and took part in the battle at Peachtree Creek, where it suffered serious loss. In the engagement of Aug. 6 it again suffered, Capt. George W. Hill being killed. It took part in the fight at Utoy Creek, assisted to tear up the railroad at Rough and Ready, and suffered severe loss in the fight at Jonesboro. In November it was sent into Tennessee and on the 29th held a crossing all day at Duck River losing 75 men in killed and wounded.

The heaviest part of Hood's assault at the battle of Franklin the following day was on the Columbia pike, where he broke the front line upon which the 12th and 16th Ky. sprang forward and restored the line in their front. Other reserves assisted by Opdycke's brigade, a little to the right, did not exactly restore the broken line in their front but improvised a new line which they held.

At the battle of Nashville the regiment was again engaged, but suffered a loss of only 5 in killed and wounded. The 12th Ky. was then transported to North Carolina, where it joined in the fight at Town Creek and lost several in killed and wounded. From Wilmington the regiment proceeded to Kinston, N. C., where it took part in an engagement with the enemy.

From Raleigh the regiment went to Greensboro about the last of April, and there remained until July 11, 1865, when the men were mustered out and started for Kentucky. Source: The Union Army, vol. 4, p. 326

Battles Fought

Fought on 17 December 1861.

Fought on 02 June 1864.

Fought on 13 June 1864.

Fought on 06 August 1864 at Atlanta, Georgia

Fought on 18 August 1864 at Atlanta, Georgia

Fought on 27 October 1864 at Cedar Bluff, AL.

Fought on 23 November 1864 at Columbia, TN.

Fought on 29 November 1864 at Columbia, TN.

Fought on 29 November 1864 at Spring Hill, TN

Fought on 30 November 1864 at Franklin, TN

Fought on 20 February 1865 at Town Creek, NC

Atlanta Campaign

The 12th Kentucky Infantry commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Rousseau was under The Third Brigade of Brigader General Nathaniel C. Mclean during the Atlanta Campaign. While Confederate Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler was absent raiding Union supply lines from North Georgia to East Tennessee, Maj. Gen. William Sherman, unconcerned, sent Judson Kilpatrick to raid Rebel supply lines. Leaving on August 18, 1864 Kilpatrick hit the Atlanta & West Point Railroad that evening, tearing up a small area of tracks. Next, Kilpatrick headed for Lovejoy's Station on the Macon & Western Railroad. In transit, on the 19th, Kilpatrick's men hit the Jonesborough supply depot on the Macon & Western Railroad, burning great amounts of supplies. On the 20th, they reached Lovejoy's Station and began their destruction. Rebel infantry (Cleburne's Division) appeared and the raiders were forced to fight into the night, finally fleeing to prevent encirclement. Although Kilpatrick had destroyed supplies and track at Lovejoy's Station, the railroad line was back in operation in two days. Confederate Victory.

Spring Hill, Tennessee-November 29, 1864

As Schofield was falling back from Columbia to Franklin he sent his trains to Spring Hill, Wagner's division (2nd) acting as an advance guard and Kimball's (1st) guarding the trains in the rear. As the head of the column approached Spring Hill Wagner learned from citizens leaving the place that the enemy was threatening the town. Opdyke's brigade was hurried forward and upon arriving at the village found a line of the enemy's skirmishers drawn up about a half a mile to the east, supported by the enemy in force. Opdyke's men advanced at the double-quick, threw out a strong of skirmishers, and in a short time were engaged. Lane's brigade, as soon as it reached the field, was formed on the right of Opdyke's and the skirmish line extended in that direction. The enemy's cavalry charged Lane's skirmishers, but the charge was repulsed with considerable loss to the assailants. Some of the Confederate cavalry now took up a position on a ridge, where they could observe all that was going on in the town, and Wagner ordered Lane to drive them away. Lane advanced his whole brigade, drove the enemy about a mile and then occupied the ridge. Bradley's brigade came up about this time and was stationed in a point of woods to the right of Lane's position, where it could cover the movement of the trains on the pike in his rear. A desperate assault was soon made on Bradley, but it was promptly repulsed. About sunset the enemy again tried to drive Bradley with infantry, when Wagner placed a section of battery on Bradleys right and also threw forward the 36th Ill. to protect his flank. Notwithstanding these precautions the enemy succeeded in extending his line until Bradley's right was enveloped and forced to fall back. His left was turned immediately afterward, and while he was personally directing the movements of his men on this part of the line he was severely wounded and the command of the brigade devolved on Col. Conrad. Lane moved to the support of Conrad which enabled him to withdraw his men without additional loss. By this time it was too dark for further maneuvers, and at 4 a m. on the 30th the command resumed its march toward Franklin. The losses in Lane's and Opdyke's brigades were comparatively light. Bradley lost about 150 in killed, wounded and missing. A Confederate surgeon who was on the field during the action afterward stated that the enemy's loss was 500. Source: The Union Army, Vol. 6, p. 837


Franklin, Tenn., Nov. 30, 1864. After Gen. Hood, commanding the Confederate forces at Atlanta was compelled to evacuate that city he started northward with the main body of his army, in the hope that by cutting Gen. Sherman's line of communications he could draw that officer after him and thus transfer the war to Tennessee. Sherman did follow until everything was in readiness for the march to the sea, when he suddenly changed front and started for Savannah, having previously divided his army and sent Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas to Nashville with a sufficient force to take care of Hood. During the first half of November Hood confined himself to operations around Florence, Ala., where he was joined by about 10,000 cavalry under Forrest, giving him a compact army of from 50,000 to 60,000 men of all arms. Thomas had a movable army of 22,000 infantry and 4,300 cavalry, in addition to which he had the garrisons at Chattanooga Nashville, Murfreesboro, and some other points. On Oct. 29, Gen. A. J Smith was ordered to report to Thomas at Nashville with three divisions of the 16th corps, then operating in Missouri, and Thomas hoped for the arrival of these troops in time to give Hood battle south of the Duck river. To delay the Confederate advance he sent Hatch's cavalry to obstruct the roads crossing Shoal creek and send rafts down the Tennessee river to break Hood's pontoon bridges. He also ordered Gen. Schofield, with about 20,000 men, to Pulaski to hold Hood in check until Smith could join the army at Nashville. On Nov. 20, Gen. Beauregard telegraphed Hood from West Point, Miss., to "push an active offensive immediately." Pursuant to this order Hood placed his army in motion, defeated the Union troops at Pulaski, Lawrenceburg and in some minor engagements, and on the 29th forced Schofield to evacuate the line of Duck river and fall back to Franklin, which place the head of the column reached about daylight on the morning of the 30th. Franklin is located on the south side and in a big bend of the Harpeth river. Thomas had ordered Schofield to fall back behind the river, but when the latter arrived at Franklin he found no wagon bridge across the river and the fords in such bad condition that it would be impossible to get his train across before Hood's forces would be upon him. The railroad bridge was quickly floored for the passage of the trains and a foot bridge constructed, which also proved available for wagons.

Three turnpikes-the Lewisburg, Columbia and Carter's Creek-entered the town from the south, and as fast as the troops came up they were placed in position to cover these roads. Cox's division of the 23rd corps formed on the left, extending from the river above the town across the Lewisburg road Ruger's division of the same corps joined Cox on the right, extending the line to the Carter's creek pike and Kimball's division of the 4th corps was formed facing west, completing the line from the Carter's creek pike to the river below the town. Opdyke's brigade of Wagner's division (23rd corps) was placed in reserve west of the Columbia road, and the other two brigades (Lane's and Conrad's) occupied a barricade across that road about 800 yards in advance of the main line. On the north side of the river, opposite the upper end of the town, stood Fort Granger, which had been erected about a year before. Part of the artillery of the 23rd corps was placed here, so as to command the railroad and the Lewisburg pike on the other side of the river. Wood's division of the 4th corps was stationed on the north bank of the river as a reserve and a guard for the trains after they had crossed. At 1 p.m. heavy columns of Confederate infantry were reported advancing on the Columbia road. Croxton, with his cavalry brigade, held back the enemy's infantry until 2 o'clock, when he learned that Forrest was crossing the river above, and fell back to the north side, where he joined Gen. Wilson's cavalry on Wood's left, to operate against Forrest. By 3 p.m. the trains were all on the north side of the Harpeth and Schofield gave orders for the army to cross at 6 o'clock, unless attacked sooner by the enemy. About 3:30 Hood's main line of battle advanced against Conrad and Lane in the outer barricade. Wagner had been directed to check the enemy without bringing on a general engagement, but he had in turn ordered Lane and Conrad to hold their positions just as long as possible.

As soon as the Confederate advance came within range the two brigades opened fire. The enemy in front was checked for a moment, then sweeping round on either flank drove Wagner's men back to the main line in disorder. In the race for the parapets they were so closely pursued by the yelling Confederates that it was impossible for those in the trenches to fire on the enemy for fear of killing some of their own comrades. Lane's men succeeded in gaining the trenches without disturbing the lines behind the works, but Conrad's brigade came over the parapet to the right of the Columbia road with such impetuosity that the troops at that point were carried back by the fugitives, leaving about 300 yards without any protection whatever. Toward this gap Hood's heavy lines now commenced to converge and for a brief time it looked as though Schofield's army was doomed to annihilation. But Col. White, commending Reilly's second line, and Col. Opdycke, whose brigade it will be remembered was stationed in reserve, were equal to the emergency. Without waiting for orders they hurled their commands into the breach and not only checked but repulsed the mad rush of the enemy. Opdycke's men recaptured 8 pieces of artillery that had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and with the guns took 400 prisoners and 10 battle flags. Behind Opdycke and White Wagner's disorganized brigades were formed, Strickland's brigade rallying with them, and the Confederates were driven back at all points.

While rallying the men Gen. Stanley was severely wounded in the neck and compelled to leave the field. This attack in the center was made by Cleburne's and Brown's divisions of Cheatham's corps. Cleburne was killed within a few yards of the Federal works as he followed Conrad's men on their retreat. Although the first attack in the center was the most determined and the fighting there resulted in heavy losses to both sides, the battle was not all there. Cox's line on the left was heavily assaulted by Loring and Walthall's divisions. Cox's men were partly screened by a hedge of Osage orange, behind which they waited until the enemy was within easy range, and then opened a fire that fairly mowed down the advancing lines. The brunt of the attack fell on Casement's brigade, but his men were well seasoned veterans who had learned to "fire low." They held their ground against superior numbers and repulsed every attack. It was here that Confederate Gens. Adams, Scott and Quarles were killed, the first named mounting the parapet, where his horse was killed and he fell mortally wounded inside the works.

The carnage among the Confederate officers was so great at this point that Walthall says in his report: "So heavy were the losses in his (Quarles') command that when the battle ended its highest officer in rank was a captain." The batteries of the 4th corps, stationed on an eminence near the railroad rendered effective service in driving back Loring and Walthall by enfilading their lines with a murderous fire of canister. To the west of the Columbia pike Brown's division gained and held the outside of the Federal parapet, but the troops inside threw up a barricade within 25 yards of their old works, and across this narrow space the battle raged fiercely until a late hour, the men firing at the flash of each other's guns after darkness fell. In this division Gens. Strahl and Gist were killed, Gordon was captured and Manigault wounded and left on the field. Still further to the west Ruger's right and Kimball's left were assaulted by Bate's division but the attack was neither so fierce nor so persistent as in the center or on the Federal left. Firing continued at various places along the lines until nearly midnight, Hood's object being to prevent, or at least to embarrass the withdrawal of the Union troops from the field.

While this infantry battle was going on the south side of the river the cavalry was not idle. Forrest had crossed the Harpeth above Franklin and made a desperate effort to get at Schofield's trains. Hatch Croxton and Wilson united their forces to resist the movement, and the result was Forrest was driven back across the river. During the night Schofield drew off his forces and retired to Brentwood in obedience to orders from Thomas. The Union losses in the battle of Franklin were 189 killed, 1,033 wounded and 1,104 missing. In his history of the Army of the Cumberland Van borne says: "Gen. Hood buried 1,750 men on the field. He had 3,800 so disabled as to be placed in hospitals, and lost 702 captured-an aggregate of 6,252, exclusive of those slightly wounded." Source: The Union Army, vol. 5


Fort Anderson, N. C., Feb. 17-19, 1865. In the military operations about the mouth of the Cape Fear river, the 3d division of the 23d corps, commanded by Maj.-Gen. J. D. Cox, was landed at Smithville on the 16th and at 8 o'clock the next morning began the advance on Fort Anderson, located about 10 miles above on the west bank of the river and garrisoned by a force of 2,000 Confederates under the command of Brig.-Gen. Hagood. About 3 miles from Smithville the enemy's cavalry out posts were encountered and slowly driven back to Governor's creek, where they made a stand, but were quickly dislodged by the Federal skirmishers. Cox then divided his forces to cover both roads leading to the fort, and opened signal communications with Gen. Schofield, who was on one of Admiral Porter's vessels in the river, after which the command went into camp under orders to advance at 7 o'clock the next morning. As Cox moved forward on the morning of the 18th his advance became engaged with a line of Confederate pickets about half a mile in advance of the works, and after a sharp skirmish succeeded in driving the enemy back to a line of works extending from the fort to the foot of Orton pond, a distance of some 800 yards. The ground in front of this line was open and covered by abatis and after a reconnaissance Schofield ordered two brigades to entrench on the edge of the open ground, while Cox, with the rest of the division, made a detour around Orton and Terrapin ponds to gain the rear of the fort.

Near the head of Orton pond Cox was joined by Ames' division of the 10th corps, and a considerable detachment of the enemy was found occupying trenches on the farther side of a creek, in position commanding the road. The advance guard was deployed to the right and left through the marsh, a detachment of the 104th Ohio, under Lieut. Reed, moved forward near the road and after a skirmish of half an hour succeeded in forcing a passage. In this action Reed lost 1 killed and 4 wounded, himself being among the latter. The enemy had destroyed the causeway and this caused a delay of several hours, as it had to be rebuilt before the artillery could be taken over the swamp. On the morning of the 19th the whole command moved down the left side of Orton pond, being guided by a negro, and upon reaching the foot of the pond learned that the fort had been evacuated during the night. Ames then re-crossed the river and rejoined Terry's command, while Cox, pursuant to Schofield's orders, pushed on in pursuit of Hagood. The rear-guard was overtaken about 3 miles from the fort and the skirmishing continued until the enemy reached Town creek, about 5 miles farther up on the Wilmington road. Here a of fortifications had been previouslv prepared and the Confederates made a stand, planting their 3 pieces of artillery in a position to command the approach to the bridge. This checked Cox's march but that night he succeeded in crossing two brigades in an old flatboat about a mile below the bridge and flanked the enemy from his works, the pursuit continuing toward Wilmington. Cox reported casualties amounting to 5 killed and 61 wounded in the various engagements from Smithville to Town creek, and Gen. Bragg in his report says that Hagood lost 350 of his command before he reached Wilmington. Source: The Union Army, vol. 6\f1\par }