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12th Kentucky Cavalry History and Battle Descriptions

The above photo is of Francis, Virgil, and James Kessinger. In these accounts of the history of the 12th, imformation will be included about Virgil and a few of the men who served in Company F, 12th Kentucky Cavalry with him. These include his brothers, Francis and James, and fellow comrads Frank Havens, and William and John Evans. Information taken from their pension records is in bold type. The history outlining the movements of the 12th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry was taken from Dyer’s Compendium and battle details were researched and added by Holly Johnson.

The 12th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry was organized at Caseyville and Owensboro, Kentucky, on November 17, 1862. It participated in the following attachments. 1) District of West Kentucky Department of Ohio until June of 1863. 2) Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio until August of 1863. 3) Attached to the Independent Cavalry Brigade, 23rd Army Corps until November of 1863. 4) Attached to the1st Brigade, 1st Division, Cavalry Corps, Department of Ohio until April, 1864. 5) Attached to the 3rd Brigade, Cavalry Division, District Kentucky, Department of Ohio until May of 1864. 6) Attached to the 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps until June of 1864. 7) Detached Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps until August of 1864. 8)Dismounted Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps until September of 1864. 9) 1st Brigade, Cavalry Division, 23rd Army Corps until September of 1864. 10) District of Louisville, Kentucky until November of 1864. 11) 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps until March of 1865. 12) 2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, District East Tennessee until July of 1865. 13) Cavalry Brigade, District East Tennessee until August of 1865.

12th Kentucky Cavalry History The 12th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry was organized in the winter of 1862. A portion was mustered in on the 17th day of November, 1862, at Owensboro, Ky. The remainder of the regiment was mustered in at Munfordsville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1863. Three of the companies were raised for the 38th Kentucky Mounted Infantry, which consolidated with the 12th Cavalry in October of 1863. The company engaged in a fight with General John H. Morgan at Horseshoe Bend and also at Marrowbone near the Cumberland River in Columbia, Kentucky on July 1, 1863. Joining in the pursuit of that daring raider in his march through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, the 12th had the honor of being present at his surrender to General Hobson in 1863 near Cheshire, Ohio. General Morgan surrendered himself in person to the 9th, 11th, and 12th regiments Kentucky Cavalry. Having marched over 1100 miles in one month, the 12th, after a short rest, struck tents, and one the 18th of August, 1863, started for East Tennessee. It was at Carter's Station when the Rebels evacuated their fortifications, and moved from that point to Athens, Tennessee; was surrounded at Philadelphia, Tennessee, and after three and a half hours of hard and desperate fighting, succeeded in cutting it's way out, however, not without considerable loss. It was there when the brave Major Delfosse fell and the fearless and dashing Captain Hill was killed. On the 14th of November, 1863, the 12th was in an engagement with the Rebel General Wheeler, and on the 18th brought on the fight at Knoxville, Tennessee, at which place the entire federal force was surrounded for 17 days, living on one forth rations. The 12th was in the thickest of the fight at Bean's Station, and being overpowered, under the cover of night, fell back on Rutledge, and thence to Blain's Crossroads. On the 16th of January, 1864 it engaged at Dandridge, Tennessee; was ordered thence to Knoxville, which was reached after a constant march of two days and nights, arriving without rations for either men or horses. On the 25th of January, 1864, it engaged Longstreet's command and on the 26th made a successful charge on his lines. Finding the position untenable, and discovering that the enemy's infantry had cut them off from Knoxville, Colonel Wolford, commanding the cavalry, marched his division through the coves of Smokey Mountains, reaching Marysville, Tennessee without serious loss. After eight day's march, the 12th reached Lebanon, Kentucky after which the regiment was consolidated into eight companies to make room for the four companies of the 16th cavalry which was transferred to the 12th.

After being mounted and equipped, the 12th moved with General Stoneman in May 1864, by way of Point Burnside, into Tennessee, and joined Sherman's main army at Varuell's Station, Georgia and remained with the 23rd army corps until after the fall of Atlanta, having been constantly engaged in skirmishing and scouting, participating in the fights at Resaca, Kennesaw, Lost Mountain, Stoneman's Hill, and many others along the line. After the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, the 12th was ordered to Louisville, Kentucky, where it was placed on post duty. From there it went to Lexington, and thence to Camp Nelson, where after being partially armed and badly mounted, it was ordered to move with General Burbridge on his second Saltville Raid. Joining General Stoneman's command in Tennessee, it was with that gallant officer at the capture of Salisbury, North Carolina, and was entrusted by him with very important and hazardous duties, which were performed to his entire satisfaction and greatly to the credit of Major Harrison, who commanded the regiment at that time. Returning from Tennessee, the 12th was stationed on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to protect it against guerrillas; and on the 23rd of August, 1865 was finally discharged, having received the very highest praise from all the officers with whom it had served. For valor, daring, prompt, and efficient discharge of duties, and high soldierly bearing.

Another account of the 12th Ky. Cavalry is made up from the summary in the adjutant-general’s report, the official records, and a very excellent statement furnished by Samuel D. Littlepage, M.D., who was surgeon of the regiment.

The 12th was recruited under Colonel Q.C. Shanks, Lieutenant Colonel A.W. Holeman and James T. Bramlette, who also became lieutenant colonel. Dr. Rutledge says, “Our regiment dated from the 16th day of August, 1862, though we were not mustered in until the 17th day of November, 1862, when eleven companies, with the field and staff, were mustered into the United States service. The twelfth company was on a scout, so it was mustered later on, and joined us at Munfordville; our roll then showed one thousand two hundred and fifty men in all, but during our service from first to last, we mustered over two thousand men, and quit the service with less than nine hundred.” The muster of the eleven companies was at Owensboro, Kentucky; it was in that part of the state generally that the companies were raised. In a communication from General H.G. Wright to General Boyle, November 17, 1862, he says, six companies of the 12th are at Caseyville, Union County, and six at Owensboro.

December 22, 1862, John Morgan left Alexandria, Tennessee, for a raid into Kentucky. He passed through Glasgow, Munfordville, Elizabethtown, Bardstown, Springfield, Lebanon, and returned to Tennessee, by way of Burksville. During the raid the 12th, with other troops under Colonel John M. Harlan, acting under General E. H. Hobson, were engaged in protecting the Louisville & Nashville Railroad; while there was much sharp skirmishing, no actual collision took place, but Colonel Harlan, in his report shows that his force saved several bridges from destruction, including the one at Rolling Fork, and the one at Shepherdsville, and by great activity prevented much injury to the road. The 12th remained on duty in Kentucky through the winter.

February 14, 1863, Colonel Shanks resigned, and March 14th, Captain Eugene W. Crittenden of the 4th US Regular Cavalry and brother of General Thomas. L. Crittenden, was made colonel of the regiment. May 10th the 12th was engaged in a hard fight with Morgan at Horseshoe Bend on the Cumberland River. In June following, Morgan crossed the Cumberland at Burksville, and the 12th was again engaged with him at Marrowbone. At that time the regiment was in the command of Colonel Crittenden, in Hobson’s brigade, Judah’s division. When Morgan crossed the Cumberland he started on the celebrated raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The 12th, with other troops, started in pursuit. The pursuit was as remarkable as the raid, and in fact more so, for the Kentucky regiments which pursued, held on their course without repose for twenty-nine days and finally passed Morgan, turned on him and captured him. Dr. Littlepage says the regiment was so separated by this chase, that it was the middle of August before it got together again. It then reassembled at Glasgow, and prepared for the expedition into East Tennessee under General Burnside.

Arriving at Knoxville, September 5th, it moved up the valley as far as Jonesboro; after skirmishing there it was sent with Wolford’s command south of Knoxville, in the neighborhood of Sweetwater and Philadelphia, where, on the 20th of October, it encountered a large force of the enemy, was surrounded, losing heavily, but cut its way out and proceeded to Loudon. The next day, however, it returned, and again for two days fought the enemy and then crossed to the south side of the Tennessee River. It then moved up to Knoxville, and crossed the Holston and proceeded down the river about sixteen miles, where it again encountered the enemy and fell back before them to Knoxville. Recrossing the river it went out on the Loudon road and contested the approach of Longstreet’s forces. It bore its full share of the fighting during the three weeks’ siege of Knoxville, and after the siege, joined in the pursuit up the valley. It participated in the severe battle at Bean’s station. It remained in East Tennessee during the winter and had numerous fights with the enemy. On the 16th of January it was attacked at Dandridge, but defended the position. After that by a circuitous march by way of Maryville, it reached Knoxville, February 3, 1864, and was ordered to return to Kentucky. At Mt. Sterling the regiment was refitted and prepared for the campaign of 1864.

There the regiment was consolidated into eight companies to make room for four companies transferred to it from the 16th Ky. Cavalry. Being mounted and equipped the regiment moved with General Stoneman in May by way of Point Burnside, into Tennessee; May 6th it was at Kingston. It joined Sherman’s army in Georgia at Varnell’s station. Colonel Crittenden commanding the brigade and Lieutenant Colonel James T. Bramlette, the regiment. July 15th the regiment reported to General J.D. Cox. Doctor Littlepage says, not a day passed in the Atlanta campaign that the 12th was not engaged with the enemy. It would require a volume to detail all its experiences in that memorable summer.

The regiment guarded the pontoon bridge over the Chattahoochee in July, and moved south to Atlanta to Jonesboro. After the capture of Atlanta it was ordered back to Kentucky, and went to Camp Nelson where it prepared to accompany General Stoneman on his raid to Saltville, Virginia. The regiment was then commanded by Major Harrison. From Camp Nelson the regiment proceeded by way of Crab Orchard, Cumberland Gap and Bristol to Abingdon, Virginia. There the regiment was ordered to proceed to Glade Springs above the salt works, and cut the railroad. Striking the railroad eighteen miles above Abingdon it destroyed a train and burned bridges, and with difficulty escaped capture. Before it could effect its return it had passed into the state of North Carolina. Returning, it again fought at Glade Spring, and passed down by way of Bristol and Blountsville. Gen. Burbridge recognizing the services of Major Harrison and his command in one of the severest raids of the war, recommended him to the War Department for promotion. After resting a few days in Tennessee the 12th was ordered to Kentucky, and was employed in the winter of 1865, to protect the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.

The following is quoted from Dr. Littlepage’s account: “About the 20th of March, 1865, we were ordered to Knoxville, Tennessee, to participate in a raid under General Stoneman, into Virginia and North Carolina. We moved into Virginia by way of Bristol, followed up near the railroad above Wytheville, where we filed right and moved into North Carolina, meeting very little resistance until we arrived at Boone, when we met a small force of rebels; after a hotly contested skirmish they gave way with some loss on both sides. From there we moved down the Yadkin river, crossed Dee river, and went to Salisbury, which we took by storm and recaptured about one thousand of our own men. From there we moved west and south to the town of Hendersonville. Then to Asheville, and from there back in to South Carolina to the town of Anderson. From Anderson by a circuitous route we moved to Athens, Georgia.

We remained at Athens a few days, when we returned to East Tennessee by way of South and North Carolina, down to French Broad river through Smoky mountain to Greenville, and down to New Market. Remained there a few days and moved to Knoxville; from thence to Lenoir Station; and from thence to Sweetwater, where we remained until mustered out of service, which took place on the 23rd day of August, 1865.”


*September 18, 1862--Action at Owensboro, Kentucky.

*September 19, 1862--Sutherland Farm

*November 25, 1862--Action at Calhoun, Kentucky

*December 22-January 2, 1863--Operations against Morgan's Raid into Kentucky.

*December 23, 1863-- Bear Wallow, Ky.

*December 24, 1863-- Near Glasgow

*December 25, 1863--Bear Wallow and near Munfordsville

*December 26, 1863– Bacon Creek near Munfordsville

*December 29, 1863 – Johnson's Ferry, Hamilton's Ford, Rolling Fork, Boston, Ky.

*Until April, 1863 – Duty in District of Western Kentucky

*April 19, 1863 – Creelsborough

*April 26 - May 12 – Expedition to Monticello and operations in Southeastern Kentucky

*April 28/29 – Narrows, Horse Shoe Bottom

*May 10, 1863--The Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan was defending a line on Braxton Bragg's right stretching 100 miles from Woodbury, Tennessee to Monticello, Kentucky. The 6th Kentucky was on the right backing up Colonel Smith. CSA Colonel’s Cluke and David Chenault had already been there, but they were almost out of ammunition. Morgan then moved up the rest of his division. An enemy force under Colonel Jacobs was driven from it’s position.

*May 12, 1863--Battle of Greasy Creek.

Confederate Colonel David Chenault had moved his regiment in the early morning from Wolf River in the direction of Greasy Creek on the Cumberland. When near Mr. Alcorn's, eight miles from the river, he received orders to come up at a double-quick and did so. He found that the enemy had been engaged, having divided their forces and moving on two different roads. Chenault pressed upon the enemy on the main Greasy Creek Road and drove them three miles. He lost of one of his most gallant officers (Captain Joseph Chenault, of Company B), who was shot through the body, and died almost without breathing again. Corporal John McClog was killed, and Orderly Sergeant McCoy was shot through the body and thigh, and had his leg amputated.

The next morning Colonel Chenault received order to move, with four companies, to the front and engage the enemy. The order was executed by Major James McCreary, who moved down and engaged the enemy about 8 a.m. The remainder of the regiment was ordered in line to the right of the whole command and the enemy opened upon them with their artillery. Although the Confederates had been under fire about ten hours without water or food they stood firm. When overpowered and compelled to fall back, they did so in good order. The command was ordered to rally and charge and did so with perfect coolness and gallantry. They were among the first to charge the enemy, and pursued them in advance of the whole column, until called in by General John H. Morgan near the river. Captain Collins, of Company F, refused to leave the field (although shot through the thigh) until the conflict was closed.

*July 2-26, 1863--Pursuit of Morgan through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s Great Indiana-Ohio raid began on July 2, 1863. The 1st Brigade consisted of 1460 men and the 2nd Brigade of 1000 men. General Braxton Bragg ordered Morgan to confine the raid to Kentucky and disrupt the supply lines to General Rosecrans' Army. Bragg explicitly ordered Morgan not to cross the Ohio River.

*July 2, 1863--Skirmish at Marrowbone.

The 1st Brigade crossed the Cumberland River at Burkesville, Kentucky and Scott's Ferry. They crossed on "two crazy little flats" and "2 or 3 canoes," and swam the horses across. General Judah's Cavalry (US) was 12 miles distant at Marrowbone. Judah was lax because the river was swollen. The 6th Kentucky and 9th Tennessee were first across. They plus two pieces of artillery covered the crossing. General Judah was routed along with the 9th and 12th Kentucky (US) under General Hobson.

*July 1863–Brandenburg, Kentucky.

In 1863, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan crossed Meade County making his way from Tennessee to Ohio. Coming from Bardstown, Kentucky, he spent three days traversing the county, cumulating in a crossing of the Ohio River at Brandenburg. Crossing the Ohio on two confiscated steamboats, The John McCombs and The Alice Dean, Morgan's 2000 men engaged in a brief naval battle with a Union gunboat, The Springfield. They encountered token resistance from the Indiana home guard on the Indiana side of the River. General Morgan observed the river battle from Buckner House atop a bluff of the Ohio. Highway markers and information at the Meade County Public Library provide more details. Requests for restitution were presented to the United States for damages to the courthouse and the Methodist Church (which was used as a hospital).

*July 19, 1863--Buffington's Island, Ohio and the Surrender of Morgan – near Cheshire, Ohio.

General John Hunt Morgan’s men crossed the Ohio River on July 19, 1863. Smith's and Grigsby's (CSA) regiments moved to attack at dawn. The Union work was found unoccupied having been evacuated during the night. The 5th and 6th were ordered to move down Pomeroy Road and cover the crossing. There the Confederates encountered General Judah's advance guard, and a detachment of the 14th Illinois Cavalry. They captured 40 or 50, killed several, and dispersed the rest. The main body of the Union arrived, including the 8th and 9th Michigan and a detachment of the 5th Indiana and charged and the 5th and 6th Kentucky were pushed back. The Parrot guns were lost. As General Hobson's force, low on ammunition, advanced on the Chester Road.

Judah and Hobson attacked simultaneously, one by the Pomeroy Road and one by the Chester Road. The gunboats commenced shelling. The Union force consisted of the 14th Illinois Cavalry, Henshaw's Illinois Artillery, 5th Indiana Cavalry, 1st , 3rd , 8th , 9th , 11th , and 12th Kentucky Cavalries, 2nd and 7th Ohio Cavalries, 43rd Ohio Infantry, 2nd Mounted Tennessee Infantry, Ohio Militia, and two Federal gunboats. Morgan's men were shelled from three directions. Wagons collided with horses and some men panicked from fear and exhaustion. Stragglers were rushing wildly about with bolts of calico streaming from their saddles. The left flank was turned and the 6th Kentucky was almost surrounded. They fought their way out under Major William Bullitt. Grigsby was separated from his regiment at this point. The 6th Kentucky under Bullitt formed the rear guard. They kept their pursuers at bay "with empty guns." The Union charged again and seven hundred Confederates were captured, including General Duke, Colonel Smith, and Major Bullitt. A few men made it across the river, including Colonel Grigsby (without his regiment) and much of the 9th Tennessee. Several men drowned and General Morgan got half way across and went back when he saw that most of the command would not make it. Morgan and 1200 men retreated still on the Ohio side of the river. At Kyger Creek 10 miles from Gallipolis, General Shackelford chased Morgan's remnant all night and through the next day after Buffington. At 3:00 p.m. he drove them to a high bluff at which point he demanded their surrender. Colonel Cicero Coleman, an officer on Morgan's staff from Louisville, bore the Confederate truce flag. It was raining and late evening when Colonel Coleman and several hundred Confederates came down the hill and surrendered. Morgan and 600 men had fled. Morgan and the remainder of his force were captured at Salineville, Ohio by Shackelford's Kentucky Cavalry under Major Rue. Morgan and 69 officers including Captain Logan were confined as common felons at Columbus Penitentiary, Ohio.

After their capture, the enlisted men of Morgan’s command were transferred to military prisons as prisoners of war. The Ohio penitentiary was not escape-proof, however, and on November 27 six men with John Morgan tunneled out of the prison and escaped south.

By Christmas, Morgan was back in Virginia. After the first of the year, he went to Richmond to try to gain another command. He issued a call for any men of his old command who were still in the south to join him again. These men and many others flocked to Morgan and he soon had a new command. With this new command, Morgan returned to the western theater and was soon ready for action again. He made one last major raid into Kentucky in June 1864 and concentrated operations in Tennessee and West Virginia. On September 4 near Greenville, Tennessee, he was taken surprise by a Union force under Captain C. C. Wilcox. Morgan and his staff were roused from sleep by approaching Federals and, being unarmed, attempted to slip out of town. Before they could escape, however, they were observed by Private Andrew J. Campbell. Campbell ordered them to halt and, when Morgan kept walking, Campbell shot and killed him. The death of Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan not only cost the South a great military leader but it also brought to an end one of the most colorful chapters of the war. This loss was best described by his brother-in-law, Basil Duke, who said: "When he died, the glory and chivalry seemed gone from the struggle".

*July 26, 1863-- New Lisbon Road / Salineville.

This pursuit took place in at Wellsville, also known as Salineville, in Columbiana County, Ohio and ended the Morgan's Raid Campaign through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Principal commanders were Brigadier General James Shackelford (US) and Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan (CS) and estimated casualties were 364 all being confederate. Around 7:30 p.m. on July 18, Morgan's lead elements made their way into the river bottom by Buffington Island Ford. As night fell, scouts were sent to look at the ford, redoubt, and earthworks. Unable to ascertain the strength of the enemy, his men near complete exhaustion, and night now in full swing, Morgan had to choose. "He would lose all or save all" was his reply when asked to leave the train, cannon, and sick and wounded. He realized that this increased his chances greatly of gunboats and union forces making their arrival. Now a rest stop at Chester had proved to be a grave mistake.

His decision made, Basil Duke, in turn ordered the dismounted 5th and 6th Kentucky to within 40 yards of the redoubt. There, lying on their arms, the men were supported by 2 parrot guns, placed on a rise to the west of the redoubt and River Road. The order was given to attack the earthworks at first light.

Pickets were sent back up towards Chester to check any movements of Hobson, yet, no scouts or pickets were sent down the River Road towards Pomeroy. This was to have a bad effect the next morning. The rest of Morgan's command filed into the bottom. Most took to sleeping, while some went about repairing flat-boats for the next morning or looking for other fords. Then some had enough energy to loot Pomeroy. With no escape close at hand, one can imagine the mood surrounding the camp.

About the time that most of Morgan's command was getting to sleep, Fitch was arriving at the foot of Buffington Island. Although the river was rising, the Moose still needed to be towed. Fitch first planned to go up the chute of Buffington Island, but this proved to be too dangerous in the dark and he was forced to wait till morning.

Judah, after resting and food, left Pomeroy around 10 p.m. intent on a full night march via River Road through Racine toward Buffington Island. At 8 p.m. Kautz's force arrived at Chester where they ate and rested for a few hours before heading for Morgan. Around 2 a.m. General Scammon ordered Wood and his force to vacate the redoubt and board the steamer, Starlight. Even with the Moose of 225 men moving and the Starlight crashing into the bank, throwing 2 men overboard, the nearby confederates were not aware that something was up.

The night had produced a thick fog over the land and as the first light came Duke prepared to storm the earthworks. Lacking the ability to see any distance, the 5th and 6th advanced into what was to be a hot line of fire. Upon reaching the redoubt, they of course found it completely vacant. Sending word to Morgan that the ford was clear, Duke wheeled his units around and advanced less than a mile down River Road. Duke guessed that this was the route of the fleeing Union troops and did not wish a flanking maneuver while crossing the river.

Judah did indeed march all night long. Discounting reports that confederates were straight ahead, Judah, with a squad of cavalry and his artillery piece, advanced on River Road. Finding a sharp turn in the road which came off a rise into the bottom, Judah, making way through the fog, came into a line of confederate troopers, no more than 50 yards away. Furthering Judah's bad luck, it happened that this occurred when he was in close quarters on the road. The Union attempted to form a skirmish line and place their cannon. Letting loose a volley through the Union force, Duke rushed the enemy position, making the Union's prospect of staying less than appealing. However, the fog, surprise, and Confederate fire was enough to hamper the Union's retreat of their position. The artillery overturned, thus blocking the most obvious route of escape.

Quickly overtaking Judah's position, Duke's men captured the artillery piece and 40 to 50 men. Judah, himself, escaped capture, barely squeezing by the artillery piece. Judah lost around 20 men, killed or wounded, in addition to which was Major Daniel McCook of the "Fighting McCooks", who fell mortally wounded.

About the time Duke was pulling back to prepare to defend the southern entrance to the ford, two other things were taking shape. Kautz's column, leaving Chester early in the morning , had reached Durst's Ridge around 1 am Heavy gunfire broke out, sending Johnson's pickets back toward the river.

Hoping to create confusion and delay the Confederates, Hibson sent 200 of his best men forward on Chester Road towards Buffington Island. With the 7th Kentucky in a skirmish line on a ridge overlooking the bottom on Chester Road, Kautz dismounted his cavalry and drove the enemy back into the valley. From here the Union poured volleys into the exposed troopers. Johnson, attempting to check this advance, attempted to organize a line of battle with the 7th and 10th Kentucky.

The second event was the arrival of the Moose. The fog was lifting as the Moose neared the Ford. With Confederate troopers visible in the river, Fitch swung his 24 lb Dahlgrens into line with the troopers, sending several shots into the enemy. About 30 men from the 5th made it across the ford, the others were either killed or made for the "safety" of the shore.

Having made his presence known, Fitch ordered full elevation and proceeded to unleash broadsides over the river bluff. Although the fire didn't affect many casualties, the confusion and demoralizing effect it had, no doubt was just as effective.

Judah had now begun to assemble a battle line at the south end of the battlefield. With the two confederate guns firing upon them, Judah was intent on making proper alignment prior to the advance. Lt. John O'Neil and 50 men of the 5th Indiana Cavalry, itching for a fight with Morgan decided enough was enough. Ignoring orders, O'Neil made for a headlong charge at the rebel guns. With several other mounted units following, Blue and Gray clashed upon the knoll, sending Confederate gunners running for cover. Duke then ordered Grisby to retake the guns. Leading several hundred troopers up towards the guns, the now dismounted Union issued forth a well-executed defense against Grisby's counter-attack. Any Confederate that did not fall under fire, was soon headed back to their lines.

With the two guns now lost, Union forces possessing the knoll, and low ammunition supplies, Duke' situation was getting critical. Duke, sensing that time was of a premium, galloped back to confer with Morgan. Morgan, trying to manage a defense, envisioned a retreat, with Duke's 5th and 6th Kentucky covering the back. Johnson's brigade was also figured in on the retreat, keeping Kautz's small number in check. But, more of Hobson's men were arriving from Chester, and as Duke was riding back to his troops, Johnson's line began to fade. With three-way crossfire coming down on the rebels, Morgan's reserves were beginning to panic. To worsen the attempts being made by Morgan to retreat, was the fact that his wagon train had been facing south, in wait to cross the Ohio River. In the face of Union troops advancing, and the guns of the Moose pouring grape shot into the train, turning the train around proved disastrous.

With disabled wagons clogging the escape route, men began to panic, cutting loose teams in an attempt to ride out of the bottomland. Morgan, knowing he had been beat, left the field to the north along River Road, sending back a message to Duke and Johnson to buy time for as long as possible.

Now waging a fighting retreat, the Confederate troopers slowly gave their ground. Judah attempted to seize an opportunity to out flank Duke to the riverside. Conferring for a brief moment, Duke and Johnson decided it was time to make an exit. Remounting, the four rebel units made for a steady retreat up the north side of the River Road. Leaving the 6th Kentucky to slow the advance, Duke took the task making a defense at the North end of the valley.

Known as Duke's Last Stand, his defenses consisted of steep ravines, marsh and hills that led into a narrow getaway. The terrain and the close proximity to the Ohio River under the continuing fire of the Moose, made this less than ideal a defensible position for Duke.

As the Moose preceded up the river, Fitch put his sights on the ravine which Duke was defending. With shot and shrapnel flying, the Confederates began to route. The 8th and 9th Michigan had been in close contact with the rebels all this time, and, after receiving an order from Colonel Sanders to charge the troopers, sent the remainder running into the brush. Brief fire fights occurred for around a half hour before the Confederates surrendered. Duke and fifty of his men surrendered shortly thereafter, being trapped in a deep ravine. Morgan and around 350 men escaped to the north and eluded General Shakelford for another week before being brought to captivity on July 26 at West Point in Columbiana County.

Statistics of Morgan's Raid resulted in at least 200 Union deaths and 350 casualties during the second week raid. 4375 people filed claims on damages. Claims awarded for Confederate damages were $428,168, and the union forces were accountable for $141.855. More than 2,500 horses were collected by Morgan's men. Over 49,000 Union soldiers were called to duty at a cost of over $500,000.00, a huge sum in those days.

*August 4, 1863--Ordered to Glasgow, Kentucky

Glasgow is the home of Fort Williams, built by the Union army in 1863 to protect the surrounding area from Confederate infantry raiders. The city renovated the earthwork fort in the early 1980s. Fort Williams is located in the Glasgow Municipal Cemetery on Leslie Avenue.

*August 16-October 17, 1863--Burnside's March into East Tennessee.

Much of East Tennessee was settled by small farmers who had little in common with the slave-holding planters in the rest of the state. They were pro-Union even though Confederate forces occupied the region early in the war. President Abraham Lincoln wanted to strengthen Federal control in East Tennessee. In late August US Major General Ambrose Burnside marched from Kentucky with 24,000 soldiers of the Army of the Ohio to secure the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad from Knoxville to beyond Abingdon, Virginia. The Confederates retreated up the railroad to Zollicoffer Station on the South Fork of the Holston River. The citizens of Knoxville welcomed Burnside's vanguard on September 3. Federal troopers forced the surrender of Cumberland Gap on September 9. Burnside's rapidly moving columns followed the railroad to Carter's Depot where the Confederates held the crossing of the Watauga River. US Colonel John W. Foster led his 1,500-man cavalry brigade on a roundabout ride to burn the railroad bridges above Bristol on September 19. Foster completed his mission, returned by way of Blountville, and tried to attack Zollicoffer Station from the rear. A Confederate brigade at Beaver Creek stopped him on September 20.

*September 7 - 10, 1863 – Operations about Cumberland Gap.

The Old Wilderness Road, cutting through the Gap, was a natural invasion route. For the Confederacy, it led to the rich Kentucky bluegrass country to the north. For the Union, it led to the Northern sympathizers of East Tennessee, and to an opportunity to cut Rebel supply lines. In late summer of 1861, the Confederacy seized the Gap and made it the eastern anchor of a defense line extending to the Mississippi River. Brigadier General William Churchwell was placed in command, and fortified the garrison during the fall of 1861. He built seven forts on the north facing slope, and cleared the mountains of all trees within one mile of each fort. Needed more elsewhere, the Confederates abandoned the Gap in June 1862.

Union Brigadier General George Morgan soon arrived to take possession of the Gap. The 20,000 men under his command began building nine south-facing batteries to repel an invasion. But none came. The Confederates under Lt. General Kirby Smith by-passed the Gap with 12,000 men and moved into Kentucky, severing Morgan's supply line. Without food and still fearing an attack, General Morgan boldly led his men north through enemy territory to safety.

The Confederates returned to the Gap, cleared up the mess Morgan and his men left behind, and strengthened the forts. Many skirmishes took place, as Unionists from Tennessee raided the garrison. In September 1863 a Union force under Major General Ambrose Burnside moved toward the Gap. On September 7, the Yankees destroyed provisions stored at the Iron Furnace. Burnside also deceived the Confederate commander, Brigadier General John Frazer, into believing that his force was stronger than it actually was. Believing his Confederates to be out maned, and short of provisions necessary for a long siege, Frazer surrendered his garrison on September 9.

Lining up along the Harlan Road, the Confederates were amazed to see the small force to which they had surrendered. The Gap remained in Union hands until the end of the war. Except for a garrison inspected by Lt. General Ulysses Grant in January 1864, when he labeled the Cumberland Gap the "Gibraltar of America," there was little excitement. Meanwhile, the war fought to it’s end in the South and East. By the end of the war the Gap had changed hands four times, yet no major confrontation took place there.

*September 20-21,1863--Carter's Station.

The Eighth Regiment Tennessee Cavalry was raised and commanded by Colonel Patton of Washington county, East Tennessee. One hundred men, mostly from Companies A and G, were detailed by order of Colonel John W. Foster, commanding brigade, for the purpose of cutting the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad between John's Depot and Carter's Depot, and between Carter's Depot and Union--it being understood at the time the detail was made that the enemy's infantry was at Jonesboro, and his cavalry at Bristol or Union. The object of cutting the road was to prevent the enemy from reinforcing his cavalry with his infantry, while out cavalry could move via Kingsport to Bristol or Union, and attack the rebel cavalry, then move on the infantry. The detachment of one hundred men, under command of Captians McFall and Kenner, marched from Greenville, Tennessee, at 3:00 P.M., crossed the Nolichucky River, three miles South of Greenville, and followed the road east on the south bank of the river. At Embreeville, Washington county, it recrossed the swollen river at 11 p.m., at one of the most dangerous fords, without losing a man. After crossing the command passed through the Greasy Cove and down Buffalo Creek, within four miles of one of the points on the railroad where it was to be cut.

Arriving at daybreak, a halt was made to obtain information about the whereabouts of the enemy. Learning that he had evacuated Jonesboro the day before, They encamped along the railroad where it was to be cut, rendering it impossible for this detachment to accomplish it’s objective. Meanwhile, the advance guard was fired into by a squad of rebels, to which chase was immediately given. After pursuing them to within one mile of their camp, the detachment left the main road and marched mostly through the woods to Jonesboro, a distance of ten miles, from where the advance guard was fired upon. At Jonesboro, though within seven miles of a rebel force, 4,000 strong, a halt was made for the purpose of feeding and resting, having marched over sixty miles after leaving Greenville.

A few hours after the arrival at Jonesboro a battalion of the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry (US) arrived, with which the detachment fell in until it could rejoin the regiment. On September 21, 1863 the regiments marched from Jonesboro for Carter's Depot: struck the enemy's outpost one mile east of John's Depot, where skirmishing commenced, which was kept up until the command reached Carter's Depot, the enemy falling back to that point, which he abandoned that night. During these operations, the detachment acted with the Twelfth Kentucky, as part Colonel Carter's brigade. Rejoining the regiment (Eighth Tennessee Cavalry) on the 25th, Fifteen men of Company A under command of Lieut. James T. Johnson, were engaged in a skirmish at Kingsport on the 18th, in which private Alfred Eastep was wounded. Also engaged at Union on the 20th, and Blountville on the 22d. (Blountville burnt.)

*September 21, 1863--Jonesboro.

*September 21-22, 1863--Watauga River Bridge.

A marker calling attention to the Civil War is located near Watauga. The marker recognizes the burning of the bridge over the Watauga River by General Samuel Carter. Called "Carter's Raid," information on the sign states: "Arriving near sunset, having captured en route, a locomotive in which Colonel Love, CSA, was a passenger, Brigadier General Carter's task force captured the Confederate garrison and destroyed the railroad bridge over Watauga River. Crossing to the south bank of the river, and with pursuit building up on flanks and rear, they moved northwest to Kingsport."

October 17, 1863 Blue Springs, Tennessee.

The Blue Springs engagement was a major battle for control of the upper East Tennessee area. The battle was more significant than a mere skirmish which was indicated by the efforts made by each side to hold east Tennessee . It was one of the last stands by the Confederates in attempt to hold upper East Tennessee. The importance is indicated by detail mentioned in reports by both commands.

General Burnside, garrisoned at Knoxville and expecting no attack from the south, turned his attention to driving the confederates from East Tennessee, and capturing the rail road, and the salt works near Abingdon. The Confederates, under the command of General Sam Jones held the upper corner of East Tennessee and southwest Virginia. By September 1863 the Union forces had cleared the area east as far as Bulls Gap which became an outpost for scouting raids farther east.

According to General Ambrose Burnside in his report of October 17, enemy moved upon his encampment driving in his videttes and guards. The men stubbornly resisted the attack, the First Tennessee Cavalry on the right wing, and the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry on the left.

The enemy received reinforcements during the day and continued to extend their lines. Burnside was compelled to lengthen his own until his front was more than 2 miles long. His four pieces of artillery were well posted and supported by two companies. At about 5 p.m. the Union made an assault on Burnside’s center composed of 75 and 100 men against which were precipitated 2 regiments and a battalion of infantrymen and a battery of 6 pieces of artillery. Here they broke through, but were moved down by batteries grape (small cannon shot) and canister (artillery bullets in a case which explodes when fired) at 250 yards. The enemy fled toward a woods but were met with rifle fire again. With heavy losses they fled to their original positions and darkness stopped the fighting. At this time General Williams hurried to Greenville to dispatch his version to General Jones at Jonesboro.

"We have had a very hard fight today beginning at 10 a.m., and ceasing at dark. The line of skirmishes was 2 miles long, which so extended my lines that the enemy at 5 o’clock with 2,000 infantry broke my center and attacked the batteries (location of heavy guns, cannon, etc.) They were repulsed with great slaughter. I have no complete returns, but hope my loss will not exceed 100 (including) several valuable officers. We hold our positions, the enemy rests on his. The force is greater than I telegraphed on the 8th.

While General Williams is in Greenville sending the telegram to General Jones he received from his subordinates a message to the effect that more enemy reinforcements had arrived on the scene and that the Rebel Troops were ready to march to Greenville if he (General Williams) consented. The Confederate Army then retreated to Greenville where General Williams then reported another skirmish a victory and a subsequent retreat.

From the report of the Union commanders it seems probably that General Williams report is exaggerated. Nowhere else is there indication of a 2 mile battle front. This exaggeration evidently was an effort to account for the break through the Rebel center lines. Detailed reports from the reconnaissance officers of Burnsides army stated that as the battle began the lines were between the rail road and the wagon road to Greenville. (The wagon road was the same as the old Knoxville Highway.)

In a later message written from Blountville on Nov. 3, General Williams says, "Subsequently information on the most positive and reliable character as well as official reports by General Burnside satisfies me that I greatly underestimated the enemy’s strength at Blue Springs. Burnside was in the engagement himself with the entire army which did not fall short of 15,000."

*October 20, 1863- Skirmish at Philadelphia.

Louden County, Tennessee was important to both sides of the war because of it railroads, rivers, and bridges. As General Burnside moved from Kentucky into Tennessee with the intent to capture Knoxville, General Simon Bolivar Buckner evacuated Knoxville and headed to Chattanooga to join forces with General Braxton Bragg. On September 6, 1863 after crossing the Loudon's railroad bridge, the Confederate troops burned the bridge to prevent Union General James Shackleford from capturing the strategic bridge. Following the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19-20, 1863, CSA General James Longstreet moved from Chattanooga to Knoxville in an attempt to recapture Knoxville. During this time, General Burnside sent a detachment of men to the Louden area. They set up headquarters in the Wiley Blair Home which was located between Louden and Lenoir City. Down the road, Colonel Frank Wolford, commander of the Union troops currently stationed in Philadelphia, had set up headquarters in the Walter Franklin Lenoir Home. On October 20, 1863, two Confederate Calvaries, one commanded by Colonel George Dibrell (of the Tennessee 8th Cavalry ) and the other by Colonel John Morrison, surrounded and attacked Wolford's forces. Colonel Morrison had marched his men 50 miles in 15 hours to place them between Louden and Philadelphia. He send part of his troops to Louden to hold Wolford's troops and sent the remaining troops to Philadelphia to join the fighting with Dibrell's troops. The Union troops were severely beaten. Seven men were killed and 447 captured. Wagon trains, supplies, and equipment were also captured.

*November 4-December 23, 1863--Knoxville Campaign.

*November 14-15, 1863--Little River and *November 15, 1863--Stock Creek.

Shortly after the September 1863 Confederate victory at Chickamauga, Confederate General James Longstreet moved from Chattanooga toward Knoxville with orders to drive the Federals under General Ambrose Burnside out of East Tennessee. Longstreet's cavalry under General Joseph Wheeler was ordered to push through Blount County to claim the heights on the Holston (now Tennessee) River opposite Knoxsville.

For several weeks prior to Longstreet's advance in November of 1863, Blount County played host to Union cavalry under the command of Brigadier General William Sanders. Sanders' assignment was to guard the Little Tennessee River fords against roving bands of Confederate cavalry and to notify the Federal authorities of any Confederate advance through Blount County. Blount County Unionists and Home Guards served as guides and scouts for the Federal cavalry, collecting information and reporting on Confederate activity in the area.

While Blount County was primarily Unionist in sentiment, Confederate sympathizers were still in evidence. On November 12, Sanders reported to General Burnside, in Knoxville, that a small party of Confederates had attacked his pickets at Maryville. The Rebels had escaped detection because they were led by a "doctor from Maryville" who brought them in by the Chilhowee Mountains and, after the Confederates stole a few horses, led them out by way of Montvale Springs.

Loyal Blount County citizens continued to report Confederate crossings at Motley's and Niles' Fords, but upon reconnaissance, Federal cavalry usually failed to find anything but a few Confederate deserters. Sanders also reported from Maryville that there were "a terrible number of roads leading to this place" (present day maps prove this point) -- presumably complicating security. These constant reports of elusive Confederates and fear of rising water in Little River at his back caused Sanders to move his main camp and wagon train north of Maryville and Little River. The new camp was near the community of Rockford, a few miles closer to Knoxville. Sanders left only one brigade at Maryville . This timely move saved the better part of Sanders' cavalry, for on the dark, rainy morning of November 14, a Rebel whirlwind in the form of Wheeler's Cavalry blew through the camp of the Eleventh Kentucky Cavalry at Maryville.

Wheeler's orders were to attack the detachment stationed at Maryville and force his way through to Knoxville. The capture of the heights opposite Knoxville would enable the Confederates to bombard the Federal works and city, forcing the Federals to evacuate. The Confederate surprise was complete as Wheeler's Cavalry dashed into the Federal camp, scattering the Kentuckians in all directions. A number of the fleeing Federals were wounded in the confusion and eventually 151 of the Kentucky cavalrymen were rounded up. In Sanders' camp at Rockford, the roar of firearms alerted the Federals to the presence of the enemy. Sanders had received reports from scouts and civilians warning of a buildup along the Little Tennessee River, but reports gave no indication that Sanders' 1,500 men were facing "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler and 4,000 hard-riding Confederate cavalrymen. The unwitting troops sprang to their saddles without their breakfast and, in a matter of moments, the First Kentucky and Forty-Fifth Ohio were galloping to the rescue of their comrades. The Federal troopers were so anxious to reach the field that they neglected to put out a skirmish line. Wheeler's men, expecting an attack, were prepared for the onslaught and the charging Federals found themselves fired upon from the front and both flanks. The fire was too withering to endure. The Federals retreated across Little River and rallied on the north bank, awaiting Wheeler's charge. Wheeler, however, was unaware of the size of Sanders' force and failed to follow up on his success.

During the night the Federals retreated toward Knoxville. The Confederate crossing of Little River next morning was unopposed, but was not completed until almost noon due to the poor condition of the ford. Once across, Wheeler's men found their advance constantly checked as they were forced to skirmish with the out-manned, but stubborn, Federal cavalry. Three miles from Little River the Confederates found their next obstacle -- the bridge over Stock Creek. Or what was left of it. The bridge over Stock Creek, perched on the Blount-Knox County line, was partially destroyed and the Creek itself was too deep for horses to ford. The reinforced Federal cavalry had taken "a strong and elevated" position overlooking the ford and were prepared to make hot work of the Confederates' entrance into Knox County. Wheeler dismounted about half his force and crossed the creek under cover of fire from his artillery. His advance uphill across open fields was hotly contested by both rifle and cannon fire from the Federals, but Wheeler successfully pushed back the Federal left wing, forcing them to retreat.

After repairing the bridge, Wheeler crossed over his entire force and engaged Sanders' troops in a rolling battle up to the heights above Knoxville. Having forced the back door, Wheeler was in for a disappointment. Instead of finding lightly defended hills, he discovered impossibly steep slopes on 300-foot ridges, defended by infantry and artillery as well as cavalry. (These heights would later be crowned by the fortifications of Forts Higley, Dickerson, and Stanley.) Wheeler exchanged fire with the Yankee batteries, but the formidable heights and their defense force convinced him that his task was impossible. The back door had slammed in his face.

Convinced that storming the heights would be too costly in time and manpower, Wheeler and his cavalry retreated back through Blount County, crossed the Holston , and rejoined Longstreet on his advance to Knoxville. Wheeler's defeat at Knoxville's back door was even more important than it would appear, for it was during Wheeler's absence that Longstreet lost the opportunity to bag Burnside and the major portion of his army at Campbell's Station, 16 miles south of Knoxville. In the absence of cavalry, the Confederates reached the vital road junction just 20 minutes after the Federal army which had blocked the road, thus insuring that Burnside's army would reach the comparative safety of the defenses of Knoxville.

The dogged determination shown by the outnumbered Federal cavalry in Blount County foreshadowed the determination of the Federal troops defending Knoxville in the next few weeks. The outnumbered Federals stubbornly endured the siege of Knoxville and its culmination at the Battle of Fort Sanders. The approach of 25,000 reinforcements under General William T. Sherman a few days later concluded all hopes of Confederate reoccupation of Knoxville. The front door was also closed.

*November 16, 1863--Near Knoxville.

*November 17-December 24, 1863--Siege of Knoxville.

From a military standpoint, Knoxville and East Tennessee were considered key strategic locations. Knoxville provided vital transportation routes into the South and both armies utilized the railway intersections and the rivers. The shortest railroad route to Richmond, the Confederate capital, was through Knoxville and Confederate possession of Knoxville was a necessity to move troops from the Deep South to the eastern seaboard. The Confederacy had lost control of Knoxville in 1863 when troops stationed there were sent to the aid of General Bragg in Georgia. Union control of this resource would limit the Confederates’ supply lines, allowing the Union to transport troops and supplies. East Tennessee was a pro-Union area, contrary to the majority of the state of Tennessee. The Unionists were confident that locals would aid their troops in the defense of the city, since retaking Knoxville had became a major priority for the Confederates.

On September 1, 1863, Union cavalry troops arrived at Knoxville with little resistance, and two days later Major-General Ambrose Burnside arrived. He attempted to assist Major-General Ulysses Grant in Chattanooga by luring Confederate General James Longstreet’s forces toward Knoxville. Under the supervision of chief engineer Captain Orlando Poe, the Union troops began construction of a complex defense system. When the Confederate troops arrived in the Knoxville area in mid-November, the fortifications were sufficient to stop Longstreet’s advances. Longstreet had planned to blockade the forts until General Braxton Bragg could arrive and assist in the attack, but Bragg’s defeat in Chattanooga meant that an immediate assault was necessary before General Grant could support Burnside.

The community of Knoxville willingly provided food, weaponry, clothing, and shelter to the Union troops . When the siege began and supplies were cut off along the main transportation lines, Union supporters would float rafts filled with rations down the river. The Northern troops had constructed a bridge between the forts for communication purposes. This bridge was used to collect the rafts and distribute the food among the soldiers. Unfortunately, the Confederates learned of the citizens’ generosity and began intercepting the supplies at the blockade.

In mid-November, 1863, General James Longstreet of the Confederate army had traveled north to Knoxville, which was occupied by Union General Ambrose Burnside and the Army of the Ohio, with an army of around twelve thousand. On November 17th, Confederate General Bragg had dispatched Longstreet and his army of 20,000 including cavalry, artillery, and infantry from almost all Confederate states, to drive Burnside out of Knoxville and recover the city and the railways. This allowed Longstreet to hold the city under siege, while northern troops fortified their defenses closer to Knoxville. Fort Sanders was completed at this time, since Burnside's men realized its strategic importance. Soldiers, citizens, and slaves worked around the clock to complete this fortification.

Longstreet’s troops positioned themselves in an arc around Knoxville to cut off supply to the Union army. However, due to Longstreet's unfamiliarity with the geography of Knoxville and faulty information, the Union army was able to establish a supply line to support the Knoxville garrison. A letter from Longstreet to General Simon Buckner, makes it is clear that Longstreet was unfamiliar with the geography of the Knoxville area. Before his arrival Longstreet requested maps, contacts, and intelligence reports concerning the strength of the Union Army in Knoxville. The idea behind the siege was to starve the Union troops into surrendering. However, the Union army had established a supply line on the French Broad, unknown to Longstreet because of faulty maps. The maps showed that the French Broad ran into the Tennessee River below Knoxville, instead of above. This error caused Longstreet to place his camp above the Union supply line and allowed the Union army to be resupplied.

After a few reconnaissance outings, Longstreet ordered General McLaws to attack Fort Sanders on November 28th. However, heavy rain on this day stalled the assault. Late that evening, sharpshooters were sent close to the fort, in order to help cover the advancing infantry. Firing soon began, and Union Forces prepared for battle. First Lieutenant Samuel N. Benjamin, of the Second United States Regular Artillery, was charged with protecting the fort. Lt. Benjamin assigned the 79th New York Highlanders and the 2nd Michigan to guard the western front. The 29th Massachusetts, the 100th Pennsylvania, and the 20th Michigan would reinforce these regiments once the attack began. Everyday during the siege the two armies skirmished.

As the siege went on, Longstreet began to prepare for an attack. Gathering intelligence regarding the positioning and defenses of the Union Army, as well as developing a strategy to defeat them. However, just like the maps Longstreet received, the reports on the Union encampment were also inaccurate. The Union troops dug a ditch around the perimeter of the hill. The actual ditch was 7-8 feet deep, and 12 feet across. However Longstreet relayed in a letter that he thought the ditch was “not more than three feet deep and 5 or 6 feet wide.” Certainly this misinformation contributed to his later defeat in battle.

On November 28, 1863, a week and a half after the siege began, Longstreet received orders from Bragg to immediately attack the Union Army at Knoxville. Longstreet was confident of victory. In a letter to General Jenkins, Longstreet wrote, “Keep your men well at their work … and we shall not fail.” Not all of Longstreet’s generals shared his optimism regarding the impending battle. Major General McLaws suggested a delay of the assault due to Bragg’s army fighting in Chattanooga, and their inability to receive reinforcements. However, on the morning of November 29, 1863, Longstreet commenced the attack on Knoxville, ending the siege and beginning the Battle of Fort Sanders.

The western side of Fort Sanders was situated on the street currently known as 17th, which is approximately two blocks from what was then known as Kingston Road (which is now Cumberland Avenue). This front was around ninety-five yards long, located between the present Laurel Avenue and Clinch Avenue. The breastwork of the fort stood between thirteen and fourteen feet high, at an angle of forty-five degrees. Just in front of this wall was a ditch, which was about twelve feet long and between six to eight feet deep (but in some places as much as eleven feet deep). Therefore, to get from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the fort, a soldier had to scale a distance of around twenty feet. Union troops utilized walking planks to get in and out of this part of the fort, which were removed before the attack. Salients projected out from the corners of the fort, to enable the artillery to fire at men in the ditch. However, the riflemen in the fort were protected from outside fire by bales of cotton, which were placed in the parapet. Just before the ditch were several tree stumps left from the time of Confederate occupation in Knoxville. Captain Orlando Poe, Burnside’s Engineering Officer, used these stumps to string a fence of telegraph wire, which would stall the advancing infantry. The sides of the fort ran along the streets now known as Clinch and Laurel for 125 yards, ending at what is now known as 16th street. This eastern side of the fort was eighty-five yards long, giving the fort the shape of a parallelogram. This end of the fort was open, which allowed the fort to connect to the infantry trenches that ran from the fort to the Tennessee River.

To defend the fort, Lt. Samuel Benjamin used twelve cannons, along with two three-inch guns. He also employed four twenty-pound Parrots, and six twelve-pound Napoleons. The plan was to hold the Confederates in the ditch with the initial troops until reinforcements arrived. Once the attack began, Roman candles were fired in the direction of the attack to notify the other US forces. The Union troops had done some planning before their attackers ever arrived. Northern soldiers went around the neighborhood during the siege, burning down railroad shops where Southern sharpshooters could hide. They also destroyed a store that had once been used by the Confederates as an arsenal. During construction of the fort, Union engineers plowed the open space in front of the western part of the fort with furrows, which converged to one central point in the ditch. The engineers hoped that this would draw the attackers to this point, which was the most direct line of fire from the fort’s cannons.

East Tennesseans played a large part in helping the Union at this time. Not only did local people help erect Fort Sanders, many of the men joined with the Union army during this occupation. During the siege, Longstreet attempted to starve out his enemy by cutting off supply lines. However, many residents south of the river, from Seymour to Sevierville, helped supply Burnside’s troops with food. In fact, the telegraph wire used by Poe was donated by the superintendent of the East Tennessee and Virginia railroad at Knoxville.

Due to the foresight and hard work of Burnside’s forces along with the aid of local residents, the Federal troops were well protected during the battle. The 440 men commanded by Lt. Samuel Benjamin were easily able to fend off nearly 4,000 of McLaw’s soldiers. If the Rebels had been equipped with scaling ladders, they probably would have overwhelmed the opposing force. Those few Confederate soldiers that did make it past the ditch to the top of the fort were immediately knocked down or killed. Large numbers of Rebel soldiers died in the battle, which lasted twenty minutes. However, there were very few Yankee casualties. A truce was soon called, so that the dead and wounded could be collected from the battlefield.

Union General Ambrose Burnside gave a detailed account of the battle. According to Burnside, on the 27th of November, the Rebels continued active on both sides of the river, indulging in considerable artillery firing, but Union men were silent. On the 28th, Burnside opened a battery on the south side, which partially commanded College Hill and Fort Sanders. About 10 o’clock that night he drove in our pickets in the center of General Ferrero’s line, capturing many of them and establishing his line on the crest of the ridge, about 80 yards in front of the fort. It was now supposed that the enemy intended to make an attack at that point. The confederates determined on an attack on November 28th, but for the reason that heavy rains had made the ground slippery the attack was postponed until daylight on the 29th. Burnside issued orders for the whole Union command to be on the alert, and a brigade of General Hascall’s division was sent during the night to re-enforce General Ferrero. Lieutenant Benjamin was on the alert during the night and roused the men at an early hour on the 29th. They were placed in position, and strict silence enforced. At about 6:30 a.m. the enemy opened a furious fire upon the fort and Burnside's batteries remained silent and the men quietly awaited the attack. The fort was so protected with traverses that only one man was injured during this heavy fire. In about twenty minutes the cannonading ceased and a fire of musketry was opened by the enemy. At the same time a heavy column that had been concentrated under the ridge, near the fort, during the night, charged on the bastions at a run. Great numbers of them fell in passing over the entanglements, but the weight of the column was such as to force the advance forward, and in two or three minutes they had reached the ditch and attempted to scale the parapet.

Guns opened upon the men in the ditch with triple rounds of canister, and the infantry shot or knocked back all those whose heads appeared above the parapet. The forces placed on the flanks of the fort by General Ferrero had a cross-fire on the ground over which the enemy approached. The first column of attack was re-enforced by a second, which pushed up to the fort as desperately as the first, but were driven back with great slaughter. Most of those who reached the ditch were killed or mortally wounded. Men climbed upon each other’s shoulders, and a few reached the parapet, only to be shot or knocked down again. An officer of the 17th Georgia carrying the regimental flag, gaining the embrasure in front of one of the guns, placed his hand on the muzzle of the cannon and demanded the surrender of the fort. The gun was discharged and the man blown to atoms. Such as could not retreat surrendered; in all, about 500. The ground between the fort and the crest was strewed with the dead and wounded, who were crying for help. An officer, supposed to be Col. H.P. Thomas, of the 16th Georgia, reached the parapet and waved a flag calling on the union boys to surrender. He was riddled with bullets and fell back dead. After the repulse was fully established, Burnside tendered to the enemy a flag of truce for the purpose of burying the dead and caring for the wounded. Confederate loss was certainly over 1,000 men, while Burnside lost but 13. Lieutenant-Colonel John Fiser, 17th Mississippi, had his right arm shot off after he had scaled the parapet. Lieutenant T.W. Cummings, 16th Georgia, was killed in the ditch; Col. Kennon McElroy, 13th Mississippi, was killed at the northwest angle of the fort.

John Watkins, Union soldier of the Ohio Battery, describes in detail the aftermath of the siege. "On the 29th as soon as the firing was stopped I went up and got on the parapet to look and such a sight I never saw before nor do I care about seeing again. The ditch was almost full of them piled one on top of the other and such groaning I never heard. The dead were laying in all imaginable shapes the wounded on top of them and dead on top of them again. And the ground was strewn with them all along their route up to the fort. It took all day to cart off the dead and wounded to their lines and gather up the arms. The wounded they exchanged with them for our wounded. The first thing it put me in mind of was a lot of maggots around a dead carcass they were crawling all around some of them all over blood. I pitied them they were all brave men. Most all of them Georgians. I would give one of the wounded a drink as quick as anybody if I had it. But at the same time I wished the whole southern Confederacy was in that ditch in the same predicament."

After the siege had commenced, as is well known, the name of this fort was changed from Fort Louden to Fort Sanders, in memory of Brigadier General P. Sanders, who was killed on November 18, 1863, on the Kingston Pike near the Cherokee Bridge, while protecting the rear of General Burnside's retreating army. General Sanders had been a classmate at West Point of Captain O.M. Poe, who was General Burnside's chief engineer. Captain Poe recommended to General Burnside that this fort be named Fort Sanders, and the suggestion was adopted and the name thus changed.

*December 6, 1863--Clinch Mountain.

*December 7, 1863--Rutledge.

*December 9-17, 1863--Bean's Station.

According to “The American Civil War”, The Battle of Beans Station took place December 14, 1863 in Grainger County, Tennessee. Confederate General James Longstreet had abandoned the Siege of Knoxville in a pouring rain, on December 4, 1863, and retreated northeast towards Rogersville, Tennessee, having marched all night. Union Major General John Parke pursued the Confederates but not too closely. Longstreet continued to Rutledge on December 6 and Rogersville on the 9th. Parke sent Brigadier General Shackelford on with about 4,000 cavalry and infantry to search for Longstreet. On the 13th, Shackelford was near Bean's Station on the Holston River and Longstreet decided to go back and capture Bean's Station. Three Confederate columns and artillery approached Bean's Station to catch the federals in a vice. By 2:00 am on the 14th, one column was skirmishing with Union pickets. The pickets held out as best they could and warned Shackelford of the Confederate presence. He deployed his force for an assault. Soon, the battle started and continued throughout most of the day. Confederate flanking attacks and other assaults occurred at various times and locations, but the Federals held until southern reinforcements tipped the scales. By nightfall, the Federals were retiring from Bean's Station through Bean's Gap and on to Blain's Cross Roads. Longstreet set out to attack the Union forces again the next morning, but as he approached them at Blain's Cross Roads, he found them well-entrenched. Longstreet withdrew and the Federals soon left the area. The Knoxville Campaign ended following the battle of Bean's Station. Longstreet soon went into winter quarters at Russellville. Their victory meant little to Confederate efforts except to prevent disaster. Estimated Casualties: 1,600 total (US 700; CS 900)

*December 16, 1863--Rutledge.

*December 16-19, 1863--Blain's Crossroads.

At Blain’s Crossroads Sherman’s division was in line of battle behind breastworks that had been hastily prepared.

*December 18, 1863-- Bean's Station and Rutledge.

*January 16-17, 1864--Bend of Chunky Road and Dandridge.

Union forces under Major General John Parke advanced on Dandridge, Tennessee, near the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad, on January 14, forcing Lt. General James Longstreet’s Confederate troops to fall back. Longstreet, however, moved additional troops into the area on the 15th to meet the enemy and threaten the Union base at New Market. On the 16th, Brigadier General Samuel Sturgis, commanding the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Ohio, rode forward to occupy Kimbrough’s Crossroads. Within three or four miles of his objective, Sturgis’s cavalry met Rebel troops, forcing them back towards the crossroads. As the Union cavalry neared the crossroads, they discovered an enemy infantry division with artillery that had arrived the day before. The Union cavalry could not dislodge these Rebels and was compelled to retire to Dandridge. About noon the next day, Sturgis received information that the Confederates were preparing for an attack so he formed his men into line of battle. About 4:00 pm, the Confederates advanced and the fighting quickly became general. The battle continued until after dark with the Federals occupying about the same battle line as when the fighting started. The Union forces fell back to New Market and Strawberry Plains during the night, but the Rebels were unable to pursue because of the lack of cannons, ammunition, and shoes. For the time being, the Union forces left the area. The Confederates had failed to destroy or capture the Federals as they should have.

*January 1864.

In January of 1864, Frank Havens joined Company F 12th Kentucky Cavalry and he, along with Virgil and James Kessinger, and John Evans, left out of Cromwell on foot for seventy miles before being transported to Mount Sterling, Kentucky. The other men were already privates of the 12th, having enlisted when the regiment was first formed, and were returning from furlough.

*January 26-28, 1864--About Dandridge.

*January 26, 1864--Flat Creek and Muddy Creek.

*January 27, 1864--Fair Garden.

Since the Battle of Dandridge, the Union cavalry had moved to the south side of the French Broad River in Sevier County, Tennessee and had disrupted Confederate foraging and captured numerous wagons in that area. On January 25, 1864, Confederate General James Longstreet, commander of the Department of East Tennessee, instructed his subordinates to do something to curtail Union operations south of the French Broad. On the 26th, Brigadier General Samuel Sturgis, having had various brushes with Confederate cavalry, deployed his troopers to watch the area fords. Two Confederate cavalry brigades and artillery advanced from Fair Garden in the afternoon but were checked about four miles from Sevierville. Other Confederates attacked a Union cavalry brigade, though, at Fowler's on Flat Creek, and drove it about two miles. No further fighting occurred that day. Union scouts observed that the Confederates had concentrated on the Fair Garden Road, so Sturgis ordered an attack there in the morning.

In a heavy fog, Colonel Edward McCook's Union division attacked and drove back General William Martin's Confederates until about 4:00 pm. At that time, McCook's men charged with sabers and routed the Rebels. Sturgis set out in pursuit on the 28th, and captured and killed more of the routed Rebels. The Union forces, however, observed three of Longstreet's infantry brigades crossing the river. Realizing his weariness from fighting, lack of supplies, ammunition, and weapons and the overwhelming strength of the enemy, Sturgis decided to evacuate the area. But, before leaving, Sturgis determined to attack Brigadier General Frank Armstrong's Confederate cavalry division which he had learned was about three or four miles away, on the river. Unbeknownst to the attacking Federals, Armstrong had strongly fortified his position and three infantry regiments had arrived to reinforce him. Thus, the Union troops suffered severe casualties in the attack. The battle continued until dark, when the Federals retired from the area. The Federals had won the big battle but the fatigue of continual fighting and lack of supplies and ammunition forced them to withdraw resulting in a Union victory. Estimated Casualties: 265 total (US 100; CS 165)

*January 28, 1864--Dandridge

*February 3-12, 1864- Moved to Lebanon, Kentucky

*At Mt. Sterling until April, 1863.

*April 29 - May 11- March from Nicholsville, Kentucky to Dalton, Georgia.

*May 11 - September 8, 1864 - Atlanta, Georgia Campaign

(Prelude to the Atlanta Campaign) In the spring of 1864 William Tecumseh Sherman was placed in charge of the Military Division of the Mississippi comprised of George Thomas' Army of the Cumberland, James McPherson’s Army of the Tennessee, and John Schofield's Army of the Ohio, a total of about 100,000 men. Sherman's superior numbers, well fed and equipped, faced a Confederate force of 65,000 men whose biggest problems were getting blankets, shoes and small arms. In December, 1863 Joseph Johnston assumed command of the Army of Tennessee when Braxton Bragg resigned following the defeat of his forces at Chattanooga. The stage was set for what is known as the Atlanta Campaign.

During the winter of 1863-64 operations in the west had not ceased. In late February Sherman marched on Meridian, Alabama to attack Leonidas Polk. Thomas feinted against the Rebel fortifications in Dalton from his base at Ringgold to prevent Johnston from reinforcing Polk. He was easily repulsed. All during the winter, preparations continued for the campaign coming in the spring. "Uncle Billy" ordered his soldiers trained not only in military tactics but rail work as well, since he realized the Western and Atlantic would be his lifeline, and any Rebel damage would have to be quickly repaired.

General Ulysses S. Grant told Sherman that his mission was "...inflicting all the damage you can against their War resources." The destruction of the Southern war machine played a key role in Lincoln's "divide and conquer" strategy. Atlanta lay as Sherman's prize with the Appalachian Mountains and the Confederate Army as its protector. *May 11, 1864 - Vernell Station On May 7th 1864, the Army of the Tennessee [US] moved south from Lee and Gordon's Mill along Taylor Ridge, using it to cover McPherson's flanking movement. A division of the Army of the Cumberland [US] attacked Rebel skirmishers at Tunnell Hill. On the 8th fighting commenced along Rocky Face Ridge west of Dalton, specifically at Mill Creek and Dug Gap. On the 9th McPherson's Army of the Tennessee ran into stiffer than expected Rebel resistance as he moved towards the Western and Atlantic railroad bridge near Resaca. In hostile territory, the general decided to dig in and await reinforcements. Sherman spent the night at the Clisby-Austin house in Tunnel Hill. Moving south after disembarking at the Red Clay depot, Schofield's Army of the Ohio encountered Joseph Wheeler's Confederate Cavalry near Varnell. Fighting along this spine of high mountains continued until May 11, at which time the 12th Kentucky Cavalry arrived, having marched from Nicholsville, Kentucky to Dalton, Georgia.

On the 11th of May, Carter Stevenson awoke to silence. He communicated that his men could find no soldiers immediately west of Rocky Face to Johnston, who ordered a cavalry sweep of the area. Wheeler's cavalry find almost no Union soldiers. On May 12th Johnston discovered that he was outflanked, with superior numbers to his rear, and withdrew to Resaca.

*May 14-15, 1864 – Battle of Resaca

Location: Gordon County and Whitfield Counties Georgia. On May 12, 1864, General McPherson was at the center on the direct road, preceded by Kilpatrick's cavalry, with Thomas on his left, and Schofield on his right, the main force began to move forward against the defenses of Joe Johnston at Resaca. Wheeler's cavalry was the first force engaged, at a cross-road, two miles outside of Resaca. Wheeler was in retreat, but Kilpatrick was wounded and his command was turned over to a Colonel Murray. As McPherson's troops came upon them, the Union cavalry moved off the road and let them pass. The Army of the Tennessee moved forward and struck Confederate pickets, driving them to their fortified lines. They then occupied a small range of hills to McPherson's right on the Oostenaula, two miles below the railroad bridge. Ole Pap Thomas came up on McPherson's left at Camp Creek, and after breaking through some dense forest, Schofield arrived on Thomas' left.

In Dalton, Joseph Johnston was suspicious about light assaults upon his positions. He ordered Wheeler to scout the situation on the west face of Rocky Face. Wheeler confirmed that the major force of Union troops had indeed flanked Johnston's position at Dalton. Johnston was furious that he let his old friend Sherman out-maneuver him. To remain in Dalton would be futile and his troops further south could not prevail against Sherman's strength. Being out-numbered, outgunned, and most importantly, out supplied, Johnston realized that he could not stop the Union forces, but with strategy, he could reduce their movement south with minimal loss of troops. Johnston had the foresight to construct a good road to Resaca prior to fortifying Dalton. He ordered the evacuation of Dalton to reinforce his troops to the south.

May 13, 1864, Confederate General Joseph Johnston positioned his forces along a ridge that lay between the Oostanaula River and the Conasauga River just north of the small town of Resaca, GA. This defensive line protected his supply line to Atlanta, the Western & Atlantic Railroad. On the afternoon of the 13th, Federal Major General John Logan's XV Corps arrived west of Resaca to discover that General Johnston had reinforced his army with General Leonidas Polk's Army of Mississippi, which became the third Corps of the Army of Tennessee.

The morning of the 14th, Federal General Sherman ordered an attack at Johnston's center with a division of Federal General John Palmer's XIV Corps. They pushed across Camp Creek valley towards a crest held by Confederate General Hardee's Corps. There they met devastating infantry and artillery fire. General Henry Judah launched an independent attack with his 2nd Division of Schofield's Army of the Ohio accompanied by Baird's 3rd Division. The attack was uncoordinated due to an overlapping of brigades. They met head long into Confederate Joseph Lewis' Kentucky Orphan Brigade and Edward Walthall's Mississippi Brigade. The attack was repulsed by infantry fire and heavy artillery from Major Thomas Hotchkiss's battalion.

On the Federal left, General Johnston ordered General Hood to attack the exposed flank of General Howard's IV Corps. General's Carter Stevenson and Alex Stewart were ordered to "wheel" against them. General Stevenson's Division hit directly upon the exposed flank of David Stanley's Federal Division. General Stewart's division ran into and was stalled by the effective fire of Peter Simonson's 5th Indiana Battery. The attack was still moving somewhat successfully until the timely arrival of Col. James Robinson's 3rd Brigade of Alpheus Williams' 1st Division of Hooker's XX corps which helped restore the Federal line.

The only Federal success of the day was when several brigades of Logan's XV Corps managed to push back Polk's troops on the Confederate left. There the Federals dug in on the recently acquired high ground as Polk's troops withdrew to a new position closer to town. Sherman ordered Sweeny's Division of the XVI Corps to move several miles south to Lay's Ferry. Late on the afternoon of the 14th, Sweeny pushed back a small compliment of Confederate Calvary and crossed two regiments, in pontoon boats, to the Oostanaula's southern shore. Confederate General William Walker's Division was sent to intercept. Upon learning of Walker's Division being en route, Sweeny pulled back across the river. When Walker arrived and found no enemy, he drew back to the east and left the ferry unguarded. Sherman ordered Sweeny back across the river on the 15th and Sweeny crossed with his whole division.

Sherman then shifted Hooker's XX Corps and at 11:30 on the 15th, the attack on the Confederate right was renewed. Hooker's three divisions, with Gen. William Ward's Brigade, over ran Captain Maxillian Van den Corput's Cherokee Georgia Battery, but the attack stalled in front of Brown's, Cumming's and Reynold's Brigades' deadly musketry.

General Johnston, more than satisfied with Hood's previous attack on the Federal left the day before, had again ordered General Hood to attack. General Stevenson was already engaged with Hooker's XX Corps and could not attack. General Stewart moved out in the same half wheel manner. General Johnston attempted to call off the attack when he learned of Sweeny's crossing again at Lay's Ferry, but Stewart was already heavily engaged. Over a thousand men were lost before Stewart could return to his works.

Despite carrying both days, Sweeny had gained a foothold and threatened the Army of Tennessee's supply line. General Johnston informed his senior officers that the Army of Tennessee had no choice but to fall back from Resaca or be cut off from Atlanta. Under the cover of darkness, the Army of Tennessee fell back and crossed the Oostanaula River toward Calhoun and Adairsville.

In the early morning hours of May 16th, the Confederates set fire to the railroad span crossing the Oostanaula and a nearby wagon bridge to prevent it from falling into Federal hands. By early afternoon of the 16th, the Federals had repaired the damaged bridges and Howard's IV corps was in pursuit of the Confederates. Thus ended the first major battle of the Atlanta Campaign. The fight at Resaca involved for the Federals, 110,123 men and 254 guns as of April 30, 1864 and for the Confederates, 54,500 men and 144 guns as of April 30, 1864. The Battle of Resaca was one of the largest engagements of the Civil War. Estimated Casualties: 5,547 total (US 2,747; CS 2,800).

*May 18, 1864- Pine Log Creek

*May 19-22, 1864 - Cassville & Eutaw River

On the 19th Johnston withdrew to the Allatoona Mountains south of the Etowah River after an attack at Cassville, Georgia is cancelled. Sherman decided to regroup in Kingston.

*May 25 - June 5, 1864 -About Dallas.

On May 23rd he left the Western and Atlantic and headed south from Kingston. In 1844 the General visited the Etowah Indian Mounds near Cartersville, Georgia and the W&A cut through Allatoona Pass east of Cartersville, which Sherman remembered and avoided.

*May 26-27, 1864 - Burned Church.

On the 25th of May the Battle of New Hope Church occurred and Johnston, forced by Sherman to abandon his stronghold in the Allatoona Mountains, moved to block the Union advance on Atlanta meeting Sherman's Army at a small church some 25 miles northwest of Atlanta

*May 27-28, 1864 - Mt. Zion Church

Spreading their respective lines east from New Hope Church on the 27th, Sherman and Johnston battled at Pickett’s Mill. On the 28th, after 2 defeats in three days Sherman, realized that fighting there was a mistake, and moved east towards the railroad. Johnston tried to take advantage of this move by testing Sherman's right flank. Confederate General William Bates ran headlong into McPherson's regulars at Dallas after misunderstanding a signal from his cavalry.

*May 30, 1864 - Allatoona.

On June 1rst, General George Stoneman's cavalry captured Allatoona Pass. Realizing the mistake he made, Sherman ordered his men to return to the railroad in Acworth.

*June 10, 1864 - Pine Mountain.

The Battle of Pine Mountain has several names including Pine Hill, Gilgal Creek, Noonday Creek, and Ruff’s Mill. The most common name, however, is Marietta. The battle took place in Cobb County, Georgia during the Atlanta Campaign (June9-July3, 1864) with principle commanders being Major General William Sherman [US]; General Joseph Johnston [CS] and forces engaged being Military Division of the Mississippi [US]; Army of Tennessee [CS]. Pine Mountain, the highest point between Lost and Kennesaw Mountains, was fortified by the Confederates and was used as an outpost of the main Confederate line. General Joseph Johnston led the Confederate troops and hoped to slow the advance of General William Tecumseh Sherman as he neared Atlanta. During the Atlanta Campaign, instead of frontally attacking Johnston’s army which would cause too many casualties, Sherman usually attempted to maneuver the enemy out of defensive positions. Thus, when Sherman first found Johnston entrenched in the Marietta area on June 9, he began extending his lines beyond the Confederate lines, causing some Rebel withdrawal to new positions. On June 18-19, Johnston withdrew to an arc-shaped position centered on Kennesaw Mountain. Sherman made some unsuccessful attacks on this position but eventually extended the line on his right and forced Johnston to withdrawal from the Marietta area on July 2-3. During this time General Johnston's troops had been joined by General Leonidas Polk. While observing the advance of the Union troops from the top of Pine Mountain, General Polk was killed by Union artillery fire on June 14, 1864. Pine Mountain was one of the few areas used by both the Confederate and Union armies. The Confederate army used the mountain as a fortification. The Union army used the mountain as an observatory during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.

*June 10 - July 12, 1864 - Operations about Marietta and against Kennesaw Mountain.

*June 11-17, 1864 - Lost Mountain.

On June 4 CS General Johnston pulled his troops back from the New Hope Church-Dallas line to ten miles of prepared positions to the east. These positions extended from Lost Mountain through Pine Mountain to Brushy Mountain and shielded Marietta and the railroad. US General Sherman halted the offensive while he resupplied his army and repaired the railroad from Kingston to Acworth. He shifted his army to the east, and his railroaders bridged the Etowah River in record time. After three weeks Sherman was again connected to his railroad supply line, and the veteran XVII Corps of US Major General Francis P. Blair Jr. arrived from Cairo, Illinois, to reinforce him. Sherman sent his troops forward on June 10.

On June 14, the first day of sun after eleven days of rain, Sherman made a personal reconnaissance of the Pine Mountain area to determine how to dislodge Johnston without attacking the Confederate fortified position on Pine Mountain, one mile in advance of the Confederate main line, occupied by CS General Bate's Division. When Sherman spotted a group of Confederates on the mountain, he commented, "How saucy they are." He ordered three volleys fired at the group, which included Johnston, CS General Hardee, and CS General Polk. The fire from the 5th Indiana Battery killed Polk. That night Johnston abandoned Pine Mountain.

On June 15 the XX Corps attacked the Confederate center at Gilgal Church with the divisions of US Generals Butterfield and Geary. CS General Cleburne's Division repulsed the attack. That evening Federal artillery enfiladed Cleburne's position, and Hardee's Corps pulled back behind Mud Creek. Sherman sent US General Schofield's army to attack the Confederate extreme left flank at Lost Mountain the next day. At the same time McPherson's army pushed all the way to the base of Brushy Mountain on the Confederate right flank. Johnston withdrew his left that night from Lost Mountain. Hardee's Corps took up a new position behind Mud Creek, creating a salient where his corps joined with Polk's Corps, under the temporary command of CS Major General William W. Loring. US General Thomas's artillery bombarded this salient on June 18. Johnston withdrew after midnight to an arc-shaped position anchored on Big Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain, just twenty miles north of Atlanta.

*June 17, 1864 - Muddy Creek

*June 19, 1864 - Noyes Creek

*June 20, 1864--McAffee's Cross Roads

*June 22, 1864--Cheyney's Farm also known as Kolb’s Farm, near Kennesaw Mountain.

Estimated casualties: 1350 (Union: 350, Confederates 1,000) From the beginning of the Atlanta campaign, Lieutenant General Joseph E. Johnston faced in reality, two adversaries. The first adversary was Union General William Tecumseh Sherman who had over twice the amount of troops that Johnston had under his command. The second adversary was one of his own corps commanders John Bell Hood.

Johnston, knowing Sherman's strength and his tactics, preferred to delay Sherman rather than to confront him with a headlong assault that surely would result with heavy casualties. Hood, up to the time of his transfer to the West, was influenced by the teachings of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He did not believe in delay tactics. He did not believe in entrenchments. His school of thought was, you can win if you attack continuously, no matter what the cost may be. During The Atlanta Campaign, he continuously wrote Braxton Bragg and Jefferson Davis without Johnston knowing, complaining about Johnston's tactics. Yet several times during the campaign, Hood procrastinated in obeying Johnston's orders to attack. In fact, his behavior at times was close to being insubordinate. Johnston on the other hand, believed in entrenching, delaying, and only attacking when the advantage was definitely his. He believed that real estate could be lost and retaken later, but that when a soldier dies, he cannot be brought back to life to fight again. Lee's campaign in Virginia started around the same time that the Atlanta Campaign started. Lee in a three month campaign, lost no less than forty thousand men, while during the same period of time, Johnston lost about ten thousand killed and wounded, while inflicting twice that number of casualties on the enemy.

When Johnston arrived at Kennesaw Mountain, he set up a strong defensive position, one that was stronger than any he had since leaving Dalton. On June 18th, he set up his headquarters in a little cottage called "Fair Oaks" about a mile north of Marietta. Wheeler's reports indicated that three corps of Union troops were maneuvering to turn their left, while General James McPherson maintained a position to their front. Knowing that as a result of the continuous days of rain and the roads being nothing more than a quagmire of mud, a flanking movement would be extremely difficult if not impossible. However, the danger was present and Johnston moved Hood's troops on the 20th of June from their position on the extreme right of their battle line, marching them out of view of the Union troops to the left flank of his line. In the previous four weeks, Johnston had pulled Hood's corps from the line with the purpose of using them as a main attack force, but in this move, it was to strengthen his left flank. He then had Wheeler's men occupy the position on the right that Hood vacated.

Johnston, in his wisdom, seemed to be reading Sherman's mind. Sherman thought that Johnston's weak point was his left flank, as long as Johnston acted on the defensive. However, Sherman also thought that if he weakened part of his line for the purpose of obtaining additional troops to attack the Union lines would be wise on Johnston's part, and presumed that was Johnston's object. Also, Sherman was concerned about the ability to receive supplies and to protect the railroad and the depots, thus he had McPherson's Army of the Tennessee strengthen his left flank, all the way across Noonday Creek whereas his right flank extended across Nose's Creek. For nineteen days, the area received rain, yet Sherman was determined to press on with his operations. Early in the morning of the 22nd of June, Sherman rode the extent of his lines. He ordered Thomas to advance his extreme right corps, Hooker's 20th Corps, and instructed Schofield to keep his 23rd Corps as a strong right flank in support of Hooker's deployed line.

Following Johnston's instructions, on the 20th of June, Hood had Stevenson's Division march east to the extreme left of the army and was to be held in reserve; about three miles from Marietta. They camped near the Powder Springs Road and for two days, although they could hear the cannonading and fighting to the northwest, they were able to enjoy two days rest, despite the rain. Hood also had Hindman's Division march and were placed to Stevenson's right.

On the 22nd of June, Hood received word that the Union forces were driving back Confederate cavalry and decided to attack. Hood assumed that Sherman's forces would be the strongest on his center and left flank, and that only part of Schofield's corps would be on his right. Without informing Johnston of his plans; without knowing the enemy's strength or position, blinded by eagerness and once again following the school of thought of Lee and Jackson, ordered his troops forward. His plan, it is assumed, was to turn Sherman's weak right flank, and circle behind Sherman, thus having Johnston's other two corps on Sherman's front, and he, with his corps at the rear, trapping Sherman.

Around noon, Stevenson started moving troops down Powder Springs Road, halting at Mount Zion Church. The rain had stopped, the sun came out brightly and Stevenson, upon the orders from Hood, sent forth his skirmishers. Shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon, these skirmishers came upon two Union regiments advancing. Heavy firing from these skirmishers forced the enemy back. This was reported to Hood who thought that these Union units were the spearhead of an assault. Stevenson had Brown's and Cummings Brigades form a frontal line with Reynold's and Pettus' Brigades behind them. Constructing hastily breast-works of logs and rails, Stevenson's troops waited for the enemy to come. Within a short time, Hood sent word to Stevenson and Hindman to advance and drive the enemy down the road towards Manning's Mill. In launching this attack, Hood did so without conducting any prior reconnaissance and was not aware what exactly was in front of him. In reality, Schofield's Army of the Ohio and Hooker's XXth Corps, and it was not their exposed flank but their entrenched front that lay across his line of advance.

If Hood had the information sent to the headquarters of Jackson's Calvary Division by Brigadier General Ross of Ross's Cavalry Brigade at 3:30 P.M., he might have not been so hasty in advancing to attack. He stated in his communiqué, "My impression is that there is a considerable force of infantry advancing in my front, but I have not yet felt them, and have no means of judging except from the statements of the colonel commanding force from Humes' division, who was driven from Cheney's before I came out. Two regiments Federal cavalry have moved past my position on the road from Cheney's to Powder Springs. I gave notice of their move to General Armstrong, and have just received a courier informing me that he is moving to meet them. If he attacks vigorously on that road we shall compel the force at Cheney's to develop itself. Their skirmish line is slowly and cautiously advancing upon my position."

In a later communiqué, Ross informed Jackson's headquarters the following, "You (made a) mistake when you suppose(d) the force here to be cavalry; it is infantry. Three regiments of cavalry passed toward the bridge on the Powder Springs road, but did not halt here." Even with all this information, Stevenson ordered Brown's Brigade commanded by Colonel Edward Cook of the 32nd Tennessee and supported by Reynold's Brigade commanded by Colonel R. C. Trigg to move southeast from Powder Springs Road towards Kolb's Farm. At the same time, Cumming's Georgia Brigade commanded by Colonel Watkins of the 56th Georgia. (Cumming's Brigade consisted of four Georgia regiments, the 34th, 36th, 39th, and the 56th), supported by Pettus' Brigade with Colonel Shelly commanding, moved southeast from the south side of the Powder Springs Road towards Kolb's Farm. (Kulp's Farm in Union Dispatches)Upon reaching the farm house area they came head to head with two Union regiments, the 14th Kentucky of Hascall's Brigade of Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the 123rd New York of Williams 1st Division of Hooker's XXth Corps. Heavy fighting ensued, both by musketry and Federal cannonading. Cumming's and Pettus' Brigades were repulsed from the massive firepower of the Federals. Hood ordered them to re-form and attack again. They were again repulsed with heavy losses, but he rallied them and ordered them forward yet again, with the same result. The ground that these two brigades had moved over and fought on, was in reality a quagmire of mud from the rain it had received the two previous weeks. Footing was difficult; movement of trains and batteries, a near impossibility in their march to the farmhouse.

The two left brigades, Brown's and Reynold's, were a little luckier. They fought primarily against the 123rd New York a little north of Powder Springs Road. Here they had dense undergrowth and footing was a little better. They were successful in driving the enemy in confusion and disorder through the woods. Darkness finally ended what became known as the Battle of Kolb's Farm with Brown's and Reynold's Brigades laying in a swampy ravine, and Cumming's and Pettus's Brigades holding the road to the left. Hood claimed a victory in driving back the Union troops to their reserve line and was on the verge of routing Hooker's whole corps, and was only stopped by darkness and the arrival of Federal reinforcements. The fact is, the Confederate forces only opposed and drove back two Union regiments to their main line. Confederate losses were in excess of 1000 men, with Stevenson's Division alone losing 870 men. The Federals suffered losses of only 350.

In the words of Lieutenant General Joseph Johnston about Hood and the Battle of Kolb's Farm, "Hood had his moment of glory and reclaimed his reputation as an aggressive commander, but at a cost the Confederacy could ill afford." Information by Wayne C. Bengston.

*June 26-27--Olley's Cross Roads.

"An army to be efficient", wrote Major General William Sherman, "must not settle down to a single mode of offense, but must be prepared to execute any plan which promises success." By late June 1864, his three armies had spent the first seven weeks of the Atlanta Campaign employing essentially one mode of offense, a continual movement toward the flanks of General Joseph Johnston's Army of Tennessee. But the wily Johnston had slipped away every time, digging in behind new and formidable earthworks. Now, at last, the frustrated Sherman adopted new tactics based on the "moral effect" of a direct attack. Currently Sherman's opponent held a position on high ground about two miles northwest of Marietta, Georgia. His seven-mile-long line stretched north from Olley's Creek along a ridge line that held his center and right flank. The high ground -- Cheatham's Hill and, farther north, Kennesaw Mountain (comprising Big and Little Kennesaw, plus Pigeon Hill) -- featured steep slopes covered by trees and boulders.

Sherman, however, believed Johnston had stretched his army so thinly along that ground that his center and right lay vulnerable to assault. Further, rain-induced quagmires at least temporarily prevented any further resort to movements around the enemy's flank. Sherman scheduled his offensive for the 27th. The day before, in an effort to immobilize Johnston's lower flank, he sent part of Major General John Schofield's Army of the Ohio to demonstrate near Olley's Creek. To Sherman's surprise, three of Schofield's brigades gained a foothold on the south bank of the stream, though opposed by Confederate horsemen. Despite Schofield's gains, Sherman proceeded with his assault against the Confederate center and right. By 6 a.m. on the 27th, with the temperature beginning its climb toward 100 degrees, three brigades from Major General John Logan's XV Corps/Army of the Tennessee had moved toward the hills along the southern end of Kennesaw Mountain. After two hours of skirmishing, the Federals, two-thirds of them from Brigadier General Morgan Smith's division, rushed uphill and closed in hand-to-hand combat with the nearest Confederates, the advance guard of Major General William Wing Loring's corps. In a desperate struggle with bayonets and clubbed rifles, Smith's men captured the first line of works. But when they pressed upward to Loring's main position a solid wall of rifle and artillery fire collapsed on them. Hundreds fell dead or wounded; survivors huddled behind trees and rocks, unable to advance or retreat without exposing themselves to quick death.

Shortly after the Army of the Tennessee started forward, two divisions of the Army of the Cumberland assaulted the Confederate center on and north of Cheatham's Hill, ground held by the corps of Lt. General William Hardee. Two brigades from the XIV Corps division of Brigadier General Jefferson Davis and three brigades of Brigadier General John Newtown's division of the IV Corps made their way up the treacherous slope in the wake of an artillery barrage. The covering fire provided little help. One of Davis' brigades captured a line of trenches but was blown apart short of the main enemy works. Farther north, Newtown's men scrambled up the steep, rocky incline in two columns, only to be cut down or forced to flee under a blizzard of shot and shell. A second attack also fell short of the Confederate trench line.

By noon the Union offensive lay in a crumpled heap. It had cost about 3,000 casualties; among the dead were two brigade leaders, Brigadier General Charles Harker and Colonel Daniel McCook. Confederate losses amounted to perhaps 750. Sherman had paid a terrible price for his impatience with flank movements.

*June 27, 1864--Assault on Kennesaw.

On June 18, 1864 in Cobb county, Georgia. Johnston moved into some newly constructed defensive works along the slopes of a ridge line anchored by Kennesaw Mountain. Johnston realized how good that position was so he set up his defensive troops there. Around the same time that Johnston was setting up, Sherman was planning an attack on Johnston's lines that were supposedly too thin. He did this because he wanted to penetrate Johnston's army once and for all so he could just march into Atlanta.

An army lives on it's stomach. For as long as man has warred, the toughest tactical feat is feeding men who fight battles. Many times important tactical and strategic decisions are based on the ability to provide food. It is this concern that caused General William Tecumseh Sherman to launch a full-scale frontal assault on the entrenched position of General Joseph Eggleston Johnston's Rebels at Kennesaw Mountain.

From Chattanooga to Atlanta, these two men perform what Civil War historian Bruce Catton called a 'macabre dance.' Sherman repeatedly outflanks his opponent, only to be stopped by a small chain of mountains just west of the small northwest Georgia rail center of Marietta. Johnston sits on one side, Sherman on the other.

The red-headed commander from Ohio tries to make a run around the south end of the Confederate line when an impetuous attack by John Bell Hood at Kolb's Farm stops him cold in his tracks. Now, for the first time during the Atlanta Campaign, he must fight. The Western and Atlanta Railroad skirts the north end of Kennesaw Mountian. Simply leaving Rebel artillery entrenched on the mountain would doom any hope of using the all-weather lifeline to supply his men south of the peak. Having left the railroad one in Kingston, he feels that leaving it now would spell disaster for his army totaling nearly 100,000 men. The Confederate position must fall. John Scofield's Army of the Ohio holds the southern end of the line, George Thomas' Army of the Cumberland the middle, and John McPherson's Army of the Tennessee the northern end, west and north of Kennesaw Mountain. They go up against John Bell Hood to the South, William Hardee in the center and Polk's Corps to the north, now with William Loring in charge after the untimely death of Bishop Polk a few days earlier.

A simple plan is devised, with Sherman giving his field commanders great leeway in their choices for attack. Schofield and Hooker, at the southern end of the line, demonstrate to keep Hood in place. Thomas launches the primary attack somewhere along a front nearly two and half miles long south of Pigeon Hill. To the north Mcpherson demonstrates but also launches a secondary attack. With his men in position and the entire Union Army on the move in front of them, Army of Tennessee commander Joseph Johnston can not reinforce the actual areas of attack. Sherman wants to split two holes in the Rebel line and drive to the Western and Atlantic Railroad in downtown Marietta.

XV Corps commander John "Blackjack" Logan, from Illinois, decides to attack a salient in the Rebel line between Little Kennesaw Mountain and Pigeon Hill. To the south, Generals George Thomas ("Rock of Chickamauga") and O. O. Howard personally select a salient in the line that appears to be misplaced. The line had formed far enough back on the hill that a "dead area" beneath the Confederates might offer the attackers brief relief from the hail of lead they would surely face. Also, this is the location where the two opposing lines are closest.

The morning of the twenty-seventh ranking officer's reconnoitering gives way to the artillerymen's bombardment. For fifteen minutes across parts of the eight mile front, Union cannoneers lob shells at Confederate positions. The barrage is designed to "soften up" Rebel defenses, but it may have done more harm than good for it forewarned of the impending attack.

Plans of the Union generals almost immediately go awry. The Army of the Cumberland does not start until an hour after schedule, and the assault on Pigeon Hill runs into unexpected physical barriers.

Pigeon Hill

At 8:15 cannon fall silent, quickly replaced by the staccato bursts of gunfire as Logan's men move forward. Nearly 5,500 infantry pour into a small area to battle the intrenched Rebels. Noyes Creek, which runs north-south just west of Mountain Road, provided the first physical barrier for Joseph Lightborn's Union infantry. Behind the creek sat the 63rd Georgia Regiment, along with other groups on the skirmish line. Instead of withdrawing when others moved back, the recently transferred 63rd stays on the line. Regiments of Federals, six in all, pour out of the forest and over the line held by the Georgians. Ordered to reinforce the skirmish line, reserves come forward as support. Brief hand-to-hand fighting routs the Georgia Regiment, who head for the Rebel line followed closely by boys in blue. Punishing Confederate cross-fire halts the Federals, and the commander orders retreat within ten minutes. Just to the north, a second group of Union soldiers under Giles Smith tries to advance across Old Mountain Road, which still exists. The heavy woods, large rocks and a stone palisade at the top of Pigeon Hill doom this assault. Even further north the men of Colonel Charles Walcutt overrun the skirmish line but fail to take the main line in the heavily wooded gap between Little Kennesaw and Pigeon Hill.

Cheatham Hill

To the south of Pigeon Hill lies land that gently slopes uphill from the Union positions. Johnston assigns two of his best commanders to defend the area. Both Benjamin Franklin Cheatham and Patrick Cleburne command men who are battle tested, hardened to a fine edge. Supported by an intricate web of earthworks and entanglements, these veterans see the hardest fighting of the day. To the west Union Generals Jefferson C. Davis and John Newton form behind Thomas' line. The plan is to rush the Confederates en masse, hopefully breaking through and routing the boys in gray.

The Union Army charge south of the Dallas Highway launches at nine o'clock on June 27, 1864. 8,000 men are committed to the assault across a two-mile front, many waiting for a breakthrough to exploit. Leading the charge for Davis was Daniel McCook, an Ohioan most noted for sharing a law office with his commanding officer, William Tecumseh Sherman. John G. Mitchell would hit the salient from the southern side, McCook from the northern side. Newton's men, led by the able Charles Harker, would try to penetrate the Confederate line to the north.

Prepared for the attack by the unusual artillery barrage, the Rebel line watches the green valley become a sea of blue as the Union assault sweeps across John Ward Creek below them. Advancing men try to punch holes in the line but word from the battle is not good. Harker falls 15 feet from the Rebel line, shot in the arm and chest by Cleburne's men. Further south, at Cheatham Hill, the Union boys that aren't cannon fodder are repeatedly raked by Cheatham's Tennesseans.

Wave after wave of Federals advance towards the salient in the Rebel line on Cheatham Hill. Withering gunfire kills hundreds of boys, mostly from Illinois and Ohio. Incredibly, McCook and some of his men make it to the Rebel line, only to be shot, stabbed, or captured by the Graybacks. Later both sides would refer to this area as "The Dead Angle."

Just to the north of Cheatham Hill some woods catch on fire during the attack. Wounded Union soldiers, left during the hasty retreat, scream as they burn to death in the blaze. A colonel from Arkansas steps on top of the entrenchments with a white flag and calls to the opposing force, "Come and get your men, for they are burning to death!" Rifleless Federals approach and begin to remove the bodies, aided by men in gray. The two forces that had been killing each other less than fifteen minutes earlier now were working together to save the lives of fallen men. The next day the Union commanders present the Colonel with a matching pair of ivory-handled Colt .45 pistols.

The battle is over. Unable to pierce the Confederate line, what remains of the Union attackers withdraw to safer territory. Some Illinois men remain 20 yards from the Rebel line, trying to dig a tunnel to blow a hole in the entrenchments above them. In an hour and a half the Federals loose more than 1,000 men, the Confederates one-third that total. McCook is returned to the field hospital, badly wounded. He will die shortly after his promotion to general a few days later. Johnston withdraws on the evening of July 2 to a position in defense of Atlanta.

*July 1-2, 1864--Lost Mountain

*July 2-5, 1864--Nickajack Creek.

As the Union forces pursued the Confederates in their retreat from Kennesaw mountain the 14th corps passed through Marietta and on the evening of the 3rd went into bivouac on Nickajack creek, within sight of the enemy's works on the south side of the creek. Early the next morning the two batteries of Davis' division opened on the enemy and a heavy skirmish line was pushed through the swamp and across the creek. Shortly after noon Morgan's brigade crossed and after a short skirmish drove the Confederates into their trenches. The brigade bivouacked close to the enemy's works and at daylight on the 5th discovered that the Confederates had retreated during the night in the direction of the Chattahoochee river. The whole corps then crossed the Nickajack and the pursuit was continued, the 34th Ill., which was in advance, skirmishing with the enemy's rear-guard almost to the Chattahoochee. No casualties reported. Source: The Union Army, vol. 6

*July 6-17, 1864--Chattahoochie River.

Major-General Thomas will prepare to cross his army at Powers' and Pace's Ferries, and take position out from the Chattahoochee River, until he controls the country from [Long] Island Creek to Kyle's Bridge, over Nancy's Creek, but will not move the whole of General Palmer's and General Hooker's corps across until he hears that General Stoneman is back from his present expedition. He will endeavor to provide General Stoneman enough pontoon boats, balks, and chesses to make one bridge. He will dispose General McCook's cavalry and detachments of his own infantry to watch the Chattahoochee about the old railroad crossing.

As soon as General Stoneman returns he will dispose his cavalry to watch the Chattahoochee at Turner's Ferry and about the mouth of Nickajack, connecting by patrols with General McCook, and will, if possible, procure enough pontoons to make a bridge ready on the first chance to cross the river about Howell's or Sandtown, and break the Atlanta and West Point railroad and telegraph.

Major-General Schofield after having well secured his crossing-place at Phillips' [Soap Creek], will move out toward Cross Keys until he controls the ridge between Island and Nancy's Creeks and the road represented as leading from Roswell to Buck Head. Major-General Blair will immediately, on the return of Major-General Stoneman, move rapidly to Roswell and join his army. Major-General McPherson will then move his command out, either by the Cross Keys road on the old Hightower trail, until he is abreast of Major-General Schofield, and General Garrard, with his cavalry, will scout from McAfee's Bridge toward Pinckneyville, and if no enemy is there in force will picket McAfee's Bridge and take post on General McPherson's left, about Buchanan's.

The whole army will thus form a concave line behind Nancy's Creek, extending from Kyle's Bridge to Buchanan's, but no attempt will be made to form a line of battle. Each army will form a unit and connect with its neighbor by a line of pickets. Should the enemy assume the offensive at any point, which is not expected until we reach below Peach Tree Creek, the neighboring army will at once assist the one attacked. All preliminary steps may at once be made, but no corps need move to any great distance from the river until advised that General Stoneman is back. Major-General Thomas will study well the country toward Decatur via Buck Head, Major-General Schofield to a point of the railroad four miles northeast of Decatur, and Major-General McPherson and General Garrard that toward Stone Mountain. Each army should leave behind the Chattahoochee River, at its bridge or at Marietta, all wagons or encumbrances not absolutely needed for battle. A week's work after crossing the Chattahoochee should determine the first object aimed at, viz the possession of the Atlanta and Augusta [rail] road east of Decatur, or of Atlanta itself. By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman: L. M. Dayton, Aide-de-Camp. Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

*July 22 - August 25, 1864 - Siege of Atlanta.

With more than 100,000 troops under his command, Union General William Sherman kicked off the massive Atlanta campaign from Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 5, 1864, against a Confederate force of 65,000 under General Joseph Johnston. Sherman's advance was part of a Federal drive against the two main Confederate armies in the field in 1864. This drive by George Meade against Robert Lee and Sherman against Johnston was designed to end the war. Johnston began one of the great retreats in history, stalling everywhere, threatening on good ground, evading traps, backing up with guns and men intact until he looked down on Sherman's legions from defenses atop Kennesaw Mountain. There Sherman was checked (June 27), but he flanked the Confederates and besieged Atlanta by the end of July 1864. Johnston was relieved of command on July 17. His replacement was General John B. Hood, whose more reckless tactics failed to halt Sherman's advance. Hood evacuated Atlanta during the night of August 31, and Sherman moved in the next day.

*July 22, 1864 - The Battle of Atlanta.

Estimated casualties: 12,140 (3,641 Union, 8,499 Confederate.) Before the battle of Peachtree Creek, north of the city of Atlanta, General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered his men to advance towards Atlanta. Formed in a semi-circle around the north and east of the Georgia city, they began pressure young John Bell Hood, new commander of the Army of Tennessee. Moving towards Atlanta from the east, General Francis Blair spotted a high ridge known as "Bald Hill" and ordered Mortimer Leggett to take the hill. A charge on July 20, 1864 failed to move Patrick Cleburne’s crack troops. The following day, however, Manning Force's brigade successfully gained control of the ridge and immediately dug in, moving artillery to the top of hill. Although artillery shot had reached Atlanta earlier, from this position the Union forces could fire into the town center. Sherman and much of his staff believed that the battle for Atlanta was over.

Forward federal lines began observing large-scale troop and civilian movements within the city. This was only further proof that Hood was withdrawing from his position, no matter how well Lemuel P. Grant had built the defenses. What the Union troops were witnessing was not a withdrawal. General William "Old Reliable" Hardee began a wide swing around the Union flank to attack the rapidly entrenching Army of the Tennessee from the south. Hardee, a swarthy Cajun, was well-respected by both the Union and Confederate commanders.

Unfortunately, the scene of the battle has been completely destroyed. Using present-day landmarks, the battle stretched from just south of the Carter Center to the intersection of Moreland Avenue and I-20. From here it formed an arc to Glenwood Avenue finally ending up in the vicinity of Memorial Drive and Clay Street, almost to the site of Jesse Clay's house. Bald Hill is part of a ridge along which Moreland Avenue runs. The "hill" portion of the ridge runs north of I-20 and a few feet east of the present-day road. As soon as the hill was taken Union soldiers renamed it Leggett's Hill, after their commander. This name is still used today.

Time was a factor that was in favor of the Union commanders. Hardee, behind schedule in his forced march, turned north too early, running headlong into Granville Dodge's XVI Corps on the left flank of the Army of the Tennessee. Confederate General W. H. T. Walker, who had moved forward to observe the field of battle was picked off by a sniper before the start of fighting. Early Confederate advances pushed Union soldiers back along the line of Hardee's attack.

During the fighting the Union troops pulled back across a wide front. A gap in the lines misled Union General James McPherson, commander of the Army of the Tennessee, into a group of Confederate soldiers. Upon realizing his mistake the general doffed his hat, reversed direction and rode off at a gallop. A Confederate enlisted man quickly fired and McPherson fell from his horse, mortally wounded.

The left flank (southern end) of the Union forces recoiled from the withering attack of General Hardee's Corps. For a few minutes it appeared that the Confederates might win the battle. However, the tenacity of Grenville Dodge's XVI Corps saved the day as they finally formed and held a line.

Unaware that Union forces had successfully stabilized their line, Hood launched a secondary attack to the north at about 4:00pm, in the vicinity of the Decatur Road (now Dekalb Avenue). The advancing Rebels overpowered artillery in the area, coming into possession of 2 Parrott rifled cannon. These heavy weapons cannot move without horses, so the horses are killed by the Union soldiers before the retreat. The Rebels who took the hill immediately turn the cannon on the retreating bluecoats.

Well-placed artillery fire, directed by General Sherman himself helps turn back the Rebel onslaught. General John "Blackjack" Logan is not prepared to let the guns fall into enemy hands and leads a charge to retake the hill near the Troup-Hurt House. To the south Hood's men briefly battle at the top of Leggett's Hill, at an extremely heavy cost. With the line stabilized and losses mounting to an unacceptable level, Hood called off the attack.

*August 25/30, 1864 - Flank movement on Jonesboro

*August 31 - September 1, 1864 - Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia

For a month General William Tecumseh Sherman had tried to capture Atlanta using cavalry and artillery to no avail. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee had clung to its lifeline, the Macon and Western Railroad, using it to resupply the Confederate troops in the Gateway City. Two things weighed heavily on Sherman's mind. Lincoln needed a victory prior to the 1864 Presidential election and Sherman needed Atlanta. It would be impossible to achieve his goal of "saltwater" without this north Georgia rail hub.

From his position east of the city, Sherman ordered a "grand movement" of troops to the west, then south. Six divisions totaling 60,000+ men were making a semi-circle around the city to small town of Jonesborough, Georgia. By cutting the railroad that Hood depended upon for supplies Sherman hoped to force the well-entrenched Confederates to retreat. With minimal food, clothes and munitions the march began on August 25 and took four days. Only Henry Slocum's XX Corps remained in the vicinity of Atlanta.

Just west of downtown Jonesboro the Flint River afforded the Macon and Western Railroad some semblance of protection. Oliver Howard advanced to the Flint to get water for his thirsty men, crossed the river after a brief struggle with Confederate cavalry and gained the high ground east of the river. Having gained more ground than thought possible, Howard wisely ordered his men to entrench and regroup. The commander of the Confederate cavalry informed Hood that a significant amount of the Union Army was within a couple of miles of the Macon and Western Railroad.

By nightfall on August 30 Confederate troops began to take positions west of Jonesboro, preparing to attack, however, a large force was delayed by advancing Union soldiers north of the city. It would not be until 1:30 pm on the afternoon of August 31 that Hardee and Lee were in place and ready to attack. As Patrick Cleburne advanced and engaged the enemy from the north, S. D. Lee ordered his corps to advance from the west. Disheartened from bloody attempts to take Union entrenchments at Utoy Creek, East Atlanta and Peach Tree Creek, these veterans stopped when they came under heavy fire. Even S. D. Lee wrote "The attack was not made by the troops with that spirit and inflexible determination that would ensure success...The attack was a feeble one and a failure."

Cleburne's attack was more successful than Lee's. In command of Hardee's Corps, the Arkansas Irishman advanced, broke through the outer Union lines and crossed the Flint River, capturing two pieces of artillery. Lee's unsuccessful assault spelled the end to Cleburne's advance, as he had to withdraw to support his brethren in gray.

After the attack of Lee's and Hardee's Corps on the Union entrenchments west of Jonesboro during the afternoon of the 31st, General Hood made a series of errors. Hood sent orders for Hardee to "...return Lee's Corps to this place [Atanta]." Hood knew that the Union trenches were only lightly defended by Slocum's XX Corp's. Additionally, both the commander of the remaining Confederate cavalry and General Hardee himself had informed Hood that significant amounts of Union forces were threatening his rear. With General Joseph Wheeler and his cavalry off disrupting the rear echelons, Hood refused to believe the only reliable reports of troop strength and location that he had and arrogantly reinforced himself.

Hardee faced a logistical nightmare. Sixty thousand Union soldiers were concentrating south of Atlanta, with some of the best forces marching on his position. Ordinance and subsistence trains, hastily sent south for protection from the Atlanta attack envisioned by Hood, only "encumbered" Hardee with additional problems, since they could not travel unescorted because of Union cavalry. The attack was commanded by General Sherman personally. Jonesboro offered no natural defense perimeter and Hardee did not have the time to construct additional defenses. Finally, with the rail lines cut the Confederate Army was preparing to move to Lovejoy [Station] on the Macon and Western Railroad south of Jonesboro, so "Old Reliable" was, in essence, fighting a rear guard action on September 1.

Formed in a Horseshoe around the tiny hamlet, Hardee's troops now were now fighting for time...the time needed to march two corps of men from Atlanta to Lovejoy Station. Slowly the Union forces advanced towards Hardee's line, and none seemed in a hurry for the encounter. At 4:00pm the first attack came against the entrenched Rebels, barely more than one deep. The onslaught continued, increasing in ferocity as the sunset drew near.

Then, much more quickly than it had started it was over. The Rebel line was overrun, pierced multiple times. Confederate artillery that moments earlier had been firing canister and other forms of death on advancing Bluecoats were given up to the invaders who had not been deterred by the guns of destruction.

Sherman hoped to strike a devastating blow against Hardee by cutting off his line of retreat, but the swarthy Cajun easily outfoxed the red-haired Ohioan and withdrew to a strong position some seven miles south of the city. The battle of Jonesboro was over. Estimated casualties were 1149 Union and 2200 Confederate. *September 14, 1864 -- Ordered to Louisville, Kentucky. Duty there at Lexington and Camp Nelson, Kentucky until November.

*November 29, 1864 -- Rally Hill

*December 10 - 29, 1864 -- Burbridge's Saltsville Expedition.

In late September of 1864, things were not going at all well for the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis had stated to a congressman, "Sherman's army can be driven out of Georgia." Even if this had happened, it would not retrieve an Atlanta already devoured by flames. The West had been gone since the fall of Vicksburg. The Federal naval blockade was in full swing, cutting overseas imports to a trickle. Every remaining asset, animal, vegetable or mineral, that the Confederacy still held took an overwhelming importance.

One such asset was a town called Saltville down in the pointy tip of southwestern Virginia. It was best known as the site of a salt mine. It is hard to realize that in the 19th century salt was an incredibly valuable social and military resource, as opposed to the table condiment and blood-pressure-raiser as we think of it today. There was no such thing as mechanical refrigeration. The only means of preserving food was drying it, freezing it outdoors, or salting it. Read any soldiers diary and you will quickly learn that salt beer or salt pork (even salt horse or mule if the situation was desperate enough) was one of the most detested aspects of army life, but it was the only way to get meat to the troops at all. There were two means of getting salt. One dates back to prehistory--extract it by boiling from sea water. The other was to dig it out of mines in the ground. This is what they did at Saltville. Now that we know why this otherwise insignificant piece of land was worth fighting over.

The attacker was U.S. Major General Steven Gano Burbridge. He helped in the repulse of Confederate cavalry officer John Hunt Morgan, which earned him the honor of major general. It was after this that he was switched from field command to administration, and from there things went rapidly to Hell.

Ben Butler in New Orleans was hated by the Confederates but he kept the peace and protected his troops and Union Loyalists. Burbridge made Butler look good in virtually every category; He was utterly hated by Southern and Northern loyalists alike. His notion of 'balanced treatment' of a politically border state was to make ALL farmers and businessmen sell their goods to Union authorities at lower prices than they could have gotten in the open market. Farmers called it looting and called for his removal.

His response was to threaten arrest of virtually everyone in the state. Those he suspected of supporting anyone other than Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming election were particular targets of his wrath. But the levels of complaint from his home state were beginning to get through to Lincoln's ears and Burbridge realized he needed another military spectacular to secure his hold on his job.

Therefore Burbridge set forth to conquer Saltville. His first problem was getting the troops to march with him on this venture. Sterling Price was on yet another foray through Missouri. Jubal Early was rampaging through the Shenandoah Valley. U. S. Grant was planning the assaults on Richmond and Petersburg that would take place September 29th. Sherman was a trifle occupied in Atlanta. The only forces available to Burbridge were three brigades of Kentucky Cavalry and mounted infantry brigaded. But three days after marching out of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, Burbridge's men met up with their reinforcements at Prestonburg. It was a newly formed unit called the Fifth United States Colored Cavalry.

Kentucky was a slave state, but still a Union state. It was not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation. It was a dreadfully delicate situation for Army recruiters. First they tried offering what amounted to bribes to slave holders to allow their slaves to join up. White Kentuckians were not amused at the thought of armed blacks even in uniform, until they realized that every Negro who enlisted filled a quota slot that would otherwise have to be occupied by a white man. Recruiting officer Captain James Fidler signed them up anyway from his office in Lebanon, Kentucky. They had a fighting spirit aplenty, a certain sense of humor, and a great deal of bitterness. They had courage but not training. The vast majority were illiterate and to serve as a sergeant or even a corporate a man had to be able to read written orders. The 5th USCC was given three months in a 'camp of instruction.' Upon graduation they were issued untrained horses and Enfield single-shot rifles, utterly useless to a man on horseback.

The forces under Burbridge now numbered his three white brigades and the 600 men of the 5th USCC. The unification of the forces was not an entirely happy one. The blacks were assigned to Colonel James Wade and he in turn assigned their management to Colonel James Brisbin, who noted that his men were 'made the subject of much ridicule and many insulting remarked by the white troops...these insults, as well as jeers and taunts that they would not fight, were borne by the colored soldiers patiently. Getting this from their 'friends', they had no idea what they were about to get from the enemy.

They marched out of Prestonburg 4,000 strong on September 27. The plan was for another force of 800 men to hold an area called Bull's Gap, and a further force of 1,600 to make a raid on Jonesboro, Tennessee as a diversion. Burbridge apparently thought that the move was going to be a walkover. He did not know that his plans were known, and that some big names were moving to keep the salt in Confederate hands.

Initially, Confederate forces in position to oppose Burbridge's advance numbered all of 300, most of whom were also from Kentucky, many of them veterans of the raiding force of John Hunt Morgan. Morgan himself had recently been killed by a Federal raiding party, so these men were in bad humor as undisciplined to the point of rebellion. Under the command of Confederate Colonel Henry Giltner, they did their best to harass and delay the Federals as the crossed hazardous mountain passes in horrible weather. Eight Union men, at least, died when their horses lost their footing and fell over cliffs. Thus was Laurel Mountain crossed, the night of September 29.

Unbeknownst to Burbridge, in fact not yet known to Glitner, reinforcements were on their way to the defense of the saltworks. At the same time the support Burbridge had every reason to assume were coming to join him were in fact being diverted to fight Nathan Bedford Forrest. On October 1, Burbridge's men began the battle of Saltville, encountering opposition severe enough to force them to dismount and fight on foot for the first time. They essentially swept the militiamen out of the way, and Burbridge decided to stop for the night. This proved to be a mistake.

On October 2 the true battle took place. Union cavalry and infantry raiders led by Burbridge attempted to destroy the saltworks. He was delayed at clinch Mountain and Laurel Gap by a makeshift Confederate force. Several units of Confederate forces had made it to town, increasing the total combatants to about 2800 Southerners against 4500 Federals. This enabled Brigadier General Alfred Jackson to concentrate his troops near Saltville to meet Burbridge. Burbridge never had more than half of his men in battle at any given time, essentially making the odds equal. Confederate reinforcements continued to arrive throughout the day and the Southerners fought like Hell. Old men and young boys though many of them were, they resisted ferociously. Many women and their children stayed throughout the battle, taking refuge in cellars or even brick fireplaces, with feather mattresses in front of them to block bullets. After a long day of fighting, Burbridge retired without accomplishing his objective.

At the end of the day the Federal advance was stalled. Confederate reinforcements continued to arrive. These including men under the command of General Basil Duke, General Felix Robertson, the little known General Albert "Mudwall" Jackson, and one last fellow with no rank at all, named Champ Ferguson. It would be Robertson and Ferguson who would play the most prominent parts in the atrocity about to unfold.

The last, and most famous, of the defenders to arrive was Confederate General John Breckinridge. By the time he got there, though, the battle was over. Burbridge was pulling back in a panic after an assault by a small but loud force on his wagons and supplies. He left his wounded on the field. Breckinridge was concerned with organizing the available forces for an expected attack the next day, and resting after an exhausting day getting to Saltville. What was happening was a slaughter of blacks. Virtually all were wounded so severely they had no possibility of escape, as eyewitness report men with arms shot off, or shot through lungs, or hips, who did manage to flee, rather than be captured. Those who had the courage of moral outrage to write of the incident later add that some white prisoners were killed as well. Champ Ferguson walked up to a white man from the 12th Ohio Cavalry named Crawford Hazelwood as he lay on the field. Hazelwood's friend, Private Harry Shocker, also wounded but able to move, had to lie in hiding and watch as Ferguson asked "Why do you come here to fight with the damn niggers?" and then ask Hazelwood if he wanted to be shot in the face or the back. While Hazelwood did his best to talk him out of either, Ferguson blew him way and walked on.

It was not only the Union men who recorded this massacre. One trooper, George Mosgrove, of a Kentucky Confederate Cavalry unit, witnesses men killing, "every wounded Negro they could find," although he blamed the outrage on Tennesseans. Captain Edwin O. Guerrant, Also Confederate, wrote in his diary that there was "sung the death knell of many a poor negro who was unfortunate enough not to be killed yesterday." There were no negro prisoners. And when General Breckinridge himself arrived on the scene and saw what was happening, he to was infuriated. He ordered the shootings stopped, Musgrave wrote. “It stopped, all right... until Breckinridge was again out of sight, whereupon it resumed.” Musgrove wrote that even a little boy who had been talking to General Basil Duke was not spared. "The little mulatto (half-black) jumped behind a sapling not larger than a man's arm... it was no use. In another moment the little mulatto was a corpse."

Breckenridge did all he could do to put the bloodlust to a more honorable use, ordering a pursuit of Burbridge's retreating forces. He also ordered all wounded Federals, including the few remaining blacks, moved to a field hospital near Emory and Henry College not far away. As lat as October 7, however, intruders came into the college and killed two black soldiers in the hospital beds. The next day Champ Ferguson himself came to call, but this time killed one US Lieutenant Elza Smith, who was not only white but had been Ferguson's friend before the war. He was looking for a couple of other men against whom he had grudges, but the hospital staff managed with incredible bravery to persuade him to leave. The next day the remaining wounded were removed to Lynchburg. After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the Federals captured Champ Ferguson and put him on trial in Nashville in the summer of 1865. In total, the court found Ferguson guilty of murdering fifty-three men and convicted him as a "border rebel, guerrilla, robber, and murderer." On October 20, 1865, Ferguson was hanged, one of only two men executed for war crimes after the Civil War. Champ Ferguson was the only person ever brought to justice for the murders at Saltville. In the same month Steven Burbridge was finally removed from command of Kentucky. So hated was he by all sides that he had to leave his native state and never return.

For the rest of the month of October official reports trickled back to the headquarters of both armies, North and South. The Richmond papers had no trouble either finding the truth or celebrating it, publishing a list of Yankee casualties from Saltville that not only broke things down by race but applauded the fact that the only blacks welcome in Virginia were the black buzzards now devouring Yankee carcasses.

In late October, General Breckinridge filed a report of the massacre to Robert E. Lee, placing the blame on Felix Robertson. Lee responded that he was "much pained to hear the treatment the Negro prisoners are reported to have received, and agrees with you entirely condemning it... He directs that if the officer is still in your department you should prefer charges against him and bring him to trial." Needless to say, Robertson was no longer in the vicinity. Leaving his brigade behind, where they turned into brigands in their own land, he had run off to join Joe Wheeler's cavalry. In the confusion that led to the end of the war he was never prosecuted by either side. He eventually settled in Texas and lived until 1928, one of the last Confederate generals.

Confederate forces pursued Burbridge's retreating columns for two days after the Battle of Saltville. The Union army successfully eluded their pursuers and returned to Kentucky without absorbing heavy casualties. In December 1864, General Stoneman led a successful raid on Saltville. The 5th USCC, which was officially organized on October 24, 1864, also participated in this raid. Colonel Ratliff was breveted to Brigadier General in recognition of his actions in both Saltville campaigns.

George Stoneman had recently been given command of all the cavalry in Northeast Tennessee. He set out from Knoxville with 500 troopers on December 10 in an attempt to reach and wreck the salt and lead mines in Southwest Virginia. Beyond Kingsport, three days later, he brushed aside the remnant of Morgan's men, grieved by the loss of their leader three months before, and through Bristol, across the state line to Abington, where he drove off a small force of Greybacks posted in observation by Breckinridge, whose main body, down to a strength of about 1200, was at Saltville, less than 20 miles ahead.

Stoneman bypassed Morgan's men for a lunge at Marion, twelve miles up the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, obliging Breckinridge to back-pedal in an effort to save the vital lead works there at Wytheville. This he did by a means of a fast march and a day long skirmish on December 18; but while the was fighting was in progress, Stoneman sent half his horsemen back to undefended Saltville, with instructions to get started on the wreckage that was the true purpose of the expedition. Reuniting his raiders there the next day, after giving Breckinridge the slip, he spent another two days completing the destruction of the saltworks, then withdrew on December 21. Back in Knoxville by the end of the year, he could report complete success. Salt had been scarce in the Old Dominion for two years. Now it would be practically nonexistent, leaving the suppliers of Lee's army with no means of preserving what little meat they could lay their hands on for shipment by rail or wagon to the hungry men in the trenches outside Petersburg and Richmond.

Union forces had throughly beaten the Rebel armies by the spring of 1865, but the Southern people had not yet admitted defeat. The Union practice of waging war not just against enemy soldiers but on civilians, farms, and factories that supported them- known today as "modern" or "total" warfare- had done much to demoralize the people of the Deep South and Virginia. It was now North Carolina's turn to experience the wrath of the Union Cavalry. Six thousand troopers under the command of General George Stoneman headed east from Mossy Creek, Tennessee on March 23, 1865 with orders to "dismantle the country" and to "destroy but not fight battles."

Facing only scattered detachments of regular troops and a few home guard units, the raiders moved through the state virtually unopposed. On March 28, they plundered the village of Boone, and the next day they captured Wilkesboro. On April 2 they turned north and crossed into Virginia, where they spent a week destroying 150 miles of the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad.

Reentering North Carolina on April 9, they traveled south to the towns of Salem and Winston and then moved on to High Point. The local population remembered the Yankee raiders mostly as horse thieves, even though all factories and bridges encountered were burned, as were 1,700 bales of cotton found in High Point.

On April 12 they entered Salisbury, and important railroad hub and military depot and home to an infamous prison for captured Union soldiers. They were disappointed to find the prisoners had been evacuated, but the Yankee raiders set fire to the filthy prison and millions of dollars worth of supplies. The fire was so immense that it could be seen for 15 miles away. Traveling west, the blue troopers plundered the towns of Stateville, Lincolnton, Taylorsville, and Ashville before re-entering Tennessee on April 26. Stoneman's force traveled over 600 miles, captured 2,000 prisoners, and left behind "a destruction that promised a future of poverty, bitter indeed."

*December 13, 1864 - Kingsport

*December 14, 1864 - Bristol

Stoneman's force raided up a railroad line that started at Bristol, Tennessee and moved up the line to Abington, Virginia which was burned to the ground.

*December 15, 1864 - Near Glade Springs

*December 16, 1864 - Marion and capture of Wytheville, Virginia.

After burning Abington, Stoneman split his forces in two and took half of the command up the railway, bypassing several towns and moved on Wytheville, Virginia. His intentions were to burn the ammunition factories in Wytheville while Burbridge was to capture and destroy all of the lead mines and Confederate supply stores around the towns of Glade Springs and Marion, Virginia. Burbridge detached the 11th and 12th Kentucky Cavalry regiments to do this work. The regimental commanders of the 11th and 12th Kentucky sent out an advance guard detail that at times were riding eight miles ahead of the main command.

According to Barry Goodall on December 16, 1864, his ancestor Frank Havens, a private of Company F 12th Kentucky Cavalry, had been in a four man team of an advance guard unit and they had captured a train at Glade Springs. The team covered the train with coal oil, positioned the throttle wide open, set the train ablaze, and sent it down the line. The train collided at the main depot at Saltville and burned it down. Frank's team then captured 200 horses and fastened them in a lot in Marion, which the main command picked up later. Then the team, along with Captain Elms, private Virgil Kessinger, and private John Evans of Company F 12th Kentucky Cavalry, and Captain Cherry of Company A, and a few other teams led by Burbridge, were sent to the Rye Valley. They were on a mission to destroy a lead melting furnace at a place called "Furnace Hill" about two miles south of Marion, Virginia. What this "gang of fifteen" did not know was that Confederate General John C. Breckinridge had been waiting in the Rye Valley with about 1500 of his men to stage a defense of Marion. Frank and his comrades ran directly into Breckinridge's main force. Frank did not immediately surrender. A desperate hand to hand fight took place before Frank was captured. He sustained a gunshot wound in his thumb and two Sabre slashes in his hand. He was finally taken captive, along with Virgil Kessinger and John Evans and they were sent to Salisbury Confederate Prison in North Carolina.

From Frank Havens' pension records, "I was captured on the 16th day of December A.D. 1864 in Rye Valley, Virginia. I was in the advance guard of Jim Burbridge's command in the assault on the saltworks in Virginia. We were at times eight miles ahead of the command burning railroad bridges and run 500 rebels from their grounds in Masin, which was four miles toward Richmond from Glade Springs, which was ten miles from the saltworks. At this place we captured 500 good horses and fastened them in a lot and the 12th Kentucky Cavalry valued them at $375.00. At Glade Springs we captured a train and coal oiled it and set it afire and sent down the grade with the throttle open. It is reported that it burned the depot of the saltworks up before the raiding party got there.

*December 24, 1864

Frank, John, and Virgil arrived at Salisbury Prison in North Carolina on Christmas Eve of 1864, eight days after their capture by the Rebels. Shortly after arriving, Frank became deathly ill and, due to lack of food and drinking contaminated water, contracted scurvy and acute diarrhea. One day Frank, John, and Virgil were eating a scarce portion of bread when John looked over at Frank and saw blood streaming from his mouth. John told Frank to stop eating and open his mouth. When Frank did John and Virgil were shocked to see a shard of glass about and 1/8 of an inch long sticking out of his tongue. Frank asked one of the Rebel prison guards if there was broken glass being intentionally put in the bread and the guard replied that there was. He told Frank that it was under orders of the Secretary of War. Frank, John and Virgil later testified that from that point on that there was glass in their bread and their stools were bloody for the duration of their stay at Salisbury.

From Frank Havens' pension. "We drew meat two times while there (Salisbury Prison), one time it was said to be mule meat and the other time, dog meat. We drew soup made out of the North Carolina peas cooked up with hulls. We drew bread that was said to be made of navy beans and cotton seed and seasoned with pulverized glass. Frank Havens also states, " I was in prison 83 days. I never had any change of clothes, never had a wash of hands or face, and the body lice was so thick I could see them crawling on the ground in the prison. I so not recollect how many I killed every day, some two or three hundred. I pulled out padding of my coat and put in my ears to keep the lice out of my ears at night while I slept. These may seem like idle stories to average readers and thinkers of these days but they are true as the gospel. What I mean by telling you of my treatment is that you may know of such fair my diseases were aggregated instead of eradicating them. I do not know how many of our boys were undergoing so much torture. I ask why not give t he old prisoner some way while he is still here. He was not the cause of the tension of prison life. I would like to be hired at 1000 dollars a day to witness the suffering of my fellow soldiers and the suffering that I had to endure while there, and soldiers told me that Andersonville, Georgia and Bell Island near Richmond, Virginia were decidedly worse than Salisbury, North Carolina."

In 1861 Salisbury Prison had originally been built for 1200 men. When U.S. Grant stopped the prisoner exchange program late 1863 the Southern prisons started to overflow. By the fall of 1864, Salisbury Prison contained over 11,000 men. In the five months that led to the time that Frank, John, and Virgil were released over 5,000 men died there. The only water accessible to the prisoners was contaminated, meaning certain eventual death. Men were dying at a rate of fifty to sixty a day, but by an act of God, there was a special exchange of sick prisoners in late February of 1865. Frank, Virgil, and John, along with 3,100 other prisoners, were marched to Wilmington, North Carolina and paroled. They were paroled at North East Ferry on the Black River on March 2nd, 1865.

Barry Goodall, direct descendant of Frank Havens, went to the place were the prison once stood in August of 2003. There is only one building left that survived and it housed prison guards. Barry registered Virgil Kessinger, Frank Havens, and John Evans and all their information with the Salisbury Confederate Prison Association. It turns out that they are the first and only known Kentuckians listed there.

The above information was taken from, "A History of Saltville, Virginia" by William B. Kent, "The Saltville Massacre" by Laurie Chambliss, Frank Havens' pension records, and Virgil Kessinger's pension records. ADD INFORMATION FROM VIRGIL’S PENSION ABOUT THE PRISON

*December 17, 1864 - Mount Airey

*December 17 - 18, 1864 - Near Marion, Virginia.

Riding through the Cumberland Gap, Stoneman's expedition advanced on the important lead mines and salt ponds around Marion and Saltville. On December 17, Stoneman defeated a makeshift force of Confederate defenders. On the 18th, the Federals destroyed the leadworks and mines. On the 20th, they captured and destroyed the saltworks at Saltville in Smyth County, Virginia resulting in a Union victory.

*December 20-21, 1864 – Capture and destruction of saltworks at Saltville, Virginia.

*January / February, 1865 – Operations against Sue Monday's guerrillas near Elizabethtown, Kentucky and in Green River Counties.

*March 20, 1865 – Moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and joined General Stoneman.

*March 20 - April 27, 1865 – Stoneman's Raid in Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina.

*March 28, 1865 – Boone, North Carolina.

*April 10-11, 1865 – Statesville.

*April 11, 1865 – Shallow Ford near Mocksville.

*April 12, 1865 – Grant's Creek and Salisbury.

*April 17, 1865 – Catawba River near Morgantown, Kentucky.

*April 22, 1865 -- Howard's Gap, Blue Ridge Mountains.

*April 23, 1865 -- Near Hendersonville.

*April 25, 1865 -- Ashville.

*August 23, 1865 -- Returned to east Tennessee and duty at Sweetwater until August. Mustered out. Regiment lost during service three officers and 22 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 officers and 204 enlisted men by disease. Total of 233.

Roster of Company F 12th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry

CAPTAINS: Silvinas B. Johnson, Adam Elms, Samuel Baker,

1RST LIEUTS: Simon P. Morgan, Hiram D. Roberts, Sidney C. Swift, David H. Baker.

2ND LIEUTS: James A. Anderson, William T. Flora,

SERGEANTS: James W. Howard, William R. Wilson, Francis M. Roberts, Joseph M. Little, Preston W. Maxy, Eli Howard, Elijah Cheny, Andrew J. Snodgrass, Hugh J. Hales, Carrol Bradley, Andrew J. Garst, William J. Hales, Rufus Walp. James W. Arbuckle, William J. Oglesby.

CORPORALS: James H. Otey, Nathaniel Howard, Elias Hutchison, John H Grimes, James w. Robinson, William W. Ellis, William E. White, Laffeatt Morgan, Sanford S. Snodgrass, Henry C. Beckham, John D. Clarkson.

FARRIERS: John W. Little, William M. Townsley, Benjamin M. Morrow.

SADDLER: John H. Hester

BUGLER: Anthony Rink

TEAMSTER: William F. Kirtley

PRIVATES: Foster Adams, Thomas Bratcher, William C. Chastain, Jesse B. Chastain, James Chastain, William Cook, Frederick A Cook, Irvin W. Davidson, Newton Davis, John W. Daugherty, George Dexter, Samuel B. Dudley, David R. Embry, Jefferson H. Embry, John S. Eads, Albert Fitts, George J. Flippo, Halbert H. W. Gaither, William P. Gregory, George H. Grable, John F. Hessen, Robert H. Herd, James Hatfield, Stephen Holder, Francis M Haven, Jonathan Holmes, Emanuel B. Jones, James Kesinger, Francis M. Kesinger, William E. Kerny, Leonard W. Lamastus, General M. Morgan, William B. Martin, Ashford W. Mills, Thomas T. Morgan, James McRoy, Isaac N. Miller, Yerby N. Orange, John H. Perry, Reezen Poole, William Richmond, Amos Richy, James A. Roberts, Robert T. Sweat, Chasteen S. Stewart, Curren T. Sublett, John Stroud, William Tucker, Jackson C. Thomas, Oliver C. White, Thomas J. Welch, William C. Arbuckle, Ephriam S. Baker, James M. Bradley, John Cheny, Benjamin Critzer, John Thomas Daugherty, William Evans, William Ellis, Malickih Embry, John C. Evans, James D. Ferguson, James S. Faiths, Francis R. Gray, Robert H. Hightower, Charles Heck, Virgil P. Kesinger, Newton Morgan, Henry L. Maxy, Lawson H. Martin, Creede F. Puckett, Henry Russell, Granville N. Schroader, Joseph C. Sharror, James C. Stobaugh, Joseph Upton, Robert F. Wand, James J. Clark, James P. Harrison, William Hernden, Daniel Kesinger, James P. Nall, Alfred Armor, Oliver Bratcher, Charles H. Calloway, George Coxan, Benjamin W. Davis, Thomas H. Divine, John T. Dougherty, John Kittinger, John A. Kasinger, Leonidas E. Jones, Mack Foster, Joseph Moore, Henry J. Mosly, Benjamin A. Polly, George Phillips, Hardin P. Stahl, Nathan Ellis Scott, Robert M. Simons, Samuel Terhune, William M. Applegate, John A. Huff, Isaac D. Haly, John W. Morgan, Edward Still, John W. Smith, A.J. Spradly, Henry Senour, George Washington.


Salisbury Prision

(Where Virgil Kessinger was held Prisioner of War)