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- The Army of the Cumberland - 1/43 -

The Army of the Cumberland

By Henry M. Cist, Brevet Brigadier-General U.S.V.; A. A. G. on the staff of Major-General Rosecrans, and the staff of Major-General Thomas; Secretary of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland.


The scope of this work precluded the entering into details as to the minor operations of the troops in the commands named. It has even been impossible to give the movements of troops on the battlefields in lesser organizations than brigades. The rosters of the several armies given in full in the appendices will enable those interested to trace the movements of the minor commands.

The subject is too great a one to be fully and justly treated within the limitations, both of time and space, which have necessarily been imposed here. Still, with the hope that the future student of history may glean something of value in this volume not found elsewhere, it is sent forth for the favorable consideration of its readers.

To the many friends who have kindly aided me in various ways, I return my sincere thanks. To Col. R. N. Scott, U.S.A., I am under special obligations for data furnished.

The maps for this volume were prepared by permission from those of Captain Ruger in Van Horne's "History of the Army of the Cumberland," published by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati.

H. M. C.


PAGE List of Maps, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix CHAPTER I. Early Movements, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CHAPTER II. Mill Springs, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CHAPTER III. Concentration at Nashville, . . . . . . . . 21 CHAPTER IV. Morgan's and Forrest's Raids, . . . . . . . 31 CHAPTER V. Bragg's Advance into Kentucky, . . . . . . 48 CHAPTER VI. Battle of Perryville, . . . . . . . . . . . 61 CHAPTER VII. The Advance to Murfreesboro, . . . . . . . 87 CHAPTER VIII. The Battle of Stone's River, . . . . . . . 102 CHAPTER IX. In Murfreesboro, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 CHAPTER X. The Advance on Tullahoma, . . . . . . . . . 154 CHAPTER XI. The Movement to Chickamauga, . . . . . . . 173 CHAPTER XII. The Battle of Chickamauga, . . . . . . . . 193 CHAPTER XIII. The Siege of Chattanooga, . . . . . . . . . 230 CHAPTER XIV. Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge Battles, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243

Appendix, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 Index, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273


PAGE General Map of the Campaign, . . . . . . . 1 Mill Springs, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Battle of Perryville, . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Battle-Map Stone's River, . . . . . . . . . 103 Chickamauga Campaign, . . . . . . . . . . . 172 Battle of Chickamauga, . . . . . . . . . . 194 Battlefield of Chattanooga, . . . . . . . . 245




In Kentucky, during the spring of 1861, every shade of opinion prevailed, from the most pronounced Union sentiment to the most ultra secession sympathy.

The Government at Washington wished to enlist Kentucky heartily in support of the Union, while every effort was made by the rebel leaders to secure the secession of the State from the Union, and to have it join its fortunes to those of the South. These several efforts enlisted the active support of those in the State in sympathy with them, and Kentuckians became ultimately divided into two sharply defined parties. Under the peculiar doctrine of "armed neutrality" adopted by the local authorities, no serious infraction of the peace of the State was had until the fall. With the invitation given General Anderson to take command in Kentucky, by the State Legislature, the doctrine of "armed neutrality" came to an end. While it at times restrained prompt action on the part of the Union men of Kentucky during the first six months of the war, and hampered the Federal Government in the movement of troops in the State, still in the end it was of immense benefit to the cause of the Union, and enabled those in support of it in Kentucky to unite and perfect their plans in comparative peace, unmolested by the rebels from Tennessee and their own State. Under cover of "armed neutrality" the Union men remained quiet until the time had arrived for prompt and decided action, with men, and arms for their support, in the measures they adopted to retain Kentucky in the Union.

In accordance with a general plan of operations adopted by General Albert Sidney Johnston, on September 18th, General Buckner broke camp with the rebel forces at Camp Boone, Tenn., near the Kentucky line, and marching north, occupied Bowling Green, throwing out his advance as far as Elizabethtown.

On receipt of reliable information as to Buckner's movements, General Anderson sent General W. T. Sherman, second in command, to Camp Joe Holt, with instructions to order Colonel Rousseau with his entire command to report at once in Louisville. The "Home Guards" were also ordered out, and they assembled promptly in large force, reporting at the Nashville depot, and by midnight they were started to the front by train. Rousseau's command followed at once, General Sherman being in command of the entire force, amounting to some three thousand men. The advance by train was stopped at the Rolling Fork of the Salt River, about thirty-one miles south of Louisville, at which point the railroad bridge had been burned by the rebels. During the following day the troops under Rousseau forded the stream, and pressing forward occupied Muldraugh's Hills with its two trestles and a tunnel over fifteen hundred feet long. The Home Guards were left in camp at Lebanon Junction, some two or three miles in the rear, where Lieutenant-Colonel R. W. Johnson of the Third Kentucky Cavalry reported later in the day with some additional companies of Home Guards, and, by order of General Anderson, assumed command of the camp.

This disposition of troops caused Buckner to retire with his entire command to Bowling Green, where he strongly fortified his position.

The Kentucky State troops were under orders for ten days' service only, and their place was then filled by several regiments from the States immediately north of Kentucky. These troops were placed in camp, and there received instruction in drill, discipline, and camp regulations, waiting for orders for the advance.

General Johnston, under his general plan of creating a defensive line from Columbus on the west, running through Bowling Green east to some point to be determined on, early in September sent General Zollicoffer with a force numbering several thousand men to make an advance into Eastern Kentucky by way of Knoxville, East Tennessee, through Cumberland Gap to Cumberland Ford, threatening Camp Dick Robinson. On the 19th of that month the advance of Zollicoffer's command had a spirited skirmish with the "Home Guards" at Barboursville Bridge. These troops were compelled to retire, which they did, to Rock Castle Hills, where they were re-enforced by two Kentucky regiments under Colonel T. T. Garrard, of the Seventh Kentucky Infantry, who had received instructions from General Thomas to obstruct the roads and to hold the rebels in check. Garrard established his force at Camp Wildcat, behind temporary breastworks, where, on October 21st, he was attacked by Zollicoffer with 7,000 troops. Shortly after the attack General Schoepff [NOTE from Brett Fishburne the correct spelling is "Schoepf" as I know because this is my great-great-grandfather, but I have kept the spelling as in the original book for subsequent references], with five regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, re-enforced Garrard, and after a severe fight the enemy was repulsed.

After Buckner's retreat to Bowling Green, Zollicoffer fell back to Mill Springs, on the southern bank of the Cumberland River, and soon afterward crossed the river to the opposite bank at Beech Grove,

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