Engagement at Doctor’s Creek: The Battle for Kentucky at Perryville
October 10-11, 2018
A BGES Civil War Field University Program: A Walking Tactical Study
With Jim Ogden from Perryville, KY
For more than a century, historians told us that Gettysburg was the “High water mark of the Confederacy,” Glorieta Pass in New Mexico was called the Gettysburg of the West and yet neither claim is true. Indeed triumphant Confederate armies moved north, along a 1000 mile front, in the fall of 1862 which less than two months before the first mid term elections of the war promised huge returns if successful. In Europe and England, politicians and monarchies considered recognizing and offering assistance to end the American Civil War.
The shadow of Robert E. Lee aided by his already famous subordinate, Stonewall Jackson had reversed Union advances and were crossing, victoriously, into Maryland and looking at Pennsylvania. Wagons loaded with crated weapons were transported for the expected rush to the Confederate ranks. In Tennessee, Confederate commander, Braxton Bragg had slipped away from Federal forces in and around Corinth Mississippi and now was poised to enter Kentucky to cooperate with E. Kirby Smith in a move to liberate Kentucky and cross the Ohio River. In response a plodding movement led by Union general Don Carlos Buell abandoned its move to Chattanooga and raced to cover Nashville and then supply bases in Louisville. In Mississippi, Confederate generals Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn moved to keep US Grant from dispatching troops to repel Bragg’s advance.
As September unfolded Battles at Richmond, Kentucky and Mundfordsville and a crippling hot month combined with a rain drought made water precious and set the stage for this bloody battle on the hills above Doctor’s Creek.
The complete itinerary is here on our main website: Engagement at Doctor’s Creek: The Battle for Kentucky at Perryville