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At Hawkins Historical Publications we have spent years researching the battle of Richmond, KY. Read the Battle overview below and for the complete story check out the book Of Savage Fury!

The Battle 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.

    Colonel John 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.

    Churchill's 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.

    Major General 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.

    General Edmund 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.

 

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