Part XV

Affairs In Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

       While these great military events were occurring in Virginia, General Bragg's army was at Tupelo; Van Dorn and Price were operating in Mississippi: Kirby Smith was in east Tennessee, and the cavalry of Wheeler, Forrest and Morgan were advancing into Tennessee and Kentucky.
       After Shiloh, all events began to point to a general Confederate triumph, and when the summer ended the Confederate armies were marching into Kentucky under Bragg and Smith, and into Maryland under Lee. Cheered by success the Confederate people indulged the hope that recognition of their independence would soon be their reward for all their sacrifices.
       Bragg moved his army, early in July, to Chattanooga, and joining Smith projected an advance into middle Tennessee and Kentucky. With the divisions of Cleburne and Churchill, Smith routed the Federals at Richmond, Ky., and reinforced by Heth moved into Lexington. Bragg, with Polk and Hardee, marched out of Chattanooga with 30,000 men, and entering Kentucky September 5th, the date of Lee's advance into Maryland, captured a garrison of 4,000 men at Munfordville on September 17th, the date of the battle of Sharpsburg. After this successful achievement he occupied Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky.
       The Federal General Buell followed these Confederate armies, gathering reinforcements as he went, and forced the battle of Perryville, October 8th, which was well fought on both sides, but the disparity of numbers was greatly against Bragg, his effective strength being reported at 16,000 and the Federal force in active battle at about 24,000. Bragg, in his retreat, perfected his junction with Kirby Smith at Harrodsburg, as he originally intended, and awaited there a Federal attack, which Buell did not choose to make. Bragg soon gave up Kentucky and concentrated his forces at Murfreesboro in Tennessee. General Wheeler, who was the active leader of the cavalry in this campaign, says that the "two months of battles and marches by the armies of Bragg and Smith cost the Federals a loss in killed, wounded and prisoners of 26,530. We captured 35 cannon, 16,000 stand of arms, millions of rounds of ammunition, 1,700 mules, 300 wagons loaded with military stores and 2,000 horses. We recovered Cumberland Gap and redeemed middle Tennessee and north Alabama."

This Page last updated 02/10/02