of Richmond, KY Overview
The Battle of
Richmond, KY occurred August 29-30,1862.
It was the most complete Confederate Victory of
the American Civil War. The states of Indiana,
Tennessee, Arkansas, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky,Georgia,
Louisiana, Michigan and Florida all had soldiers who
fought and died in the fields of Madison County, KY
on those terrible days.
S. Scott commander of the Confederate Cavalry cleared
the way by defeating Union forces in the Battle of Big
Hill on August 23, 1862. They crossed the Big
Hill in force on the evening of August 28. August
29th the Battle began. It opened as Scott's Cavalry
fanned out toward Richmond, and General Patrick Cleburne's
division began crossing the Big Hill. The Confederate
Cavalry ran into skirmishers from the 55th Indiana.
The Hoosiers pushed Scott's Louisianans, Georgians
and Tennesseans back and captured one of their mountain
howitzers. Occassional rifle and cannon fire lasted
until evening ending the fighting except for a couple
of disasterious night attacks upon the Confederate Camp
by the Union's 7th Kentucky Cavalry.
Early in the
morning on August 30 Union General Mahlon Manson moved
Union forces forward around Mt. Zion Church. Here they
were attacked by Tennesseans and Arkansawyers of Cleburne's
Division. Soon they were flanked by General Thomas
J. Churchill's Texans and Arkansawyers who had manuvered
up through some ravines and suddenly popped up. The
green untrained Federals were about to give way when
General Charles Cruft's brigade arrived on the field.
They soon were overwhelmed and the Yankee Army
was forced to retreat. Manson and Cruft were finally
able to rally their troops on the White Farm.
Division came forward along with Colonel Benjamin J.
Hill's Tennessee Brigade and they struck the Union Lines
savagely. Here Union forces held bravely and the
fighting lasted for over an hour. Once again the
Confederates overan the Yankees position forcing a route.
Some of the Union soldiers had been in service
for less than a month and they had had enough.
William "Bull" Nelson, the Commander of the
Union Army of Kentucky suddenly appeared on the field.
He knew what a route looked like and began to work feverishly
to reform his troops. Nelson was posting his troops
behind the stonewall of the Richmond Cemetary. This
would be the strongest Union position of the day.
Kirby Smith, the overall Confederate Commander, pulled
Colonel Thomas Hamilton McCray's Brigade off the line
giving the Texans a much needed rest. To replace
them he brought forward Colonel Evander McNair's Brigade
of Arkansas men. McNair's brigade along with the
Tennesseans attacked the wall several times with a savage
fury. The Confederates finally reached the stonewall
and savage hand to hand fighting brought out. It
didn't take long before once again Union forces were
overan. The Yankees began to throw down their weapons
and run into Richmond while the worn out Confederates
pursued. Seeking safety, the new Union levees
ran into an ambush cade setup by Colonel John S. Scott
who had flanked Richmond with his grey riders. One
volley from the Confederate Cavalry and whole regiments
of Yankees began to surrender. Thus ended the
Battle of Richmond.
If you would
like to know more about the battle than what's included
in the overview,
just try reading Of Savage Fury - The Battle
of Richmond, KY by Anthony Hawkins.