Munfordville Battle Hero

Munfordville

Battle for the Bridge

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After the Confederate victory at Richmond, Kentucky at the end of August, Gen. Braxton Bragg continued to operate in the strategic border state and moved his army to cover pursuing Union army routes in the area. Munfordville, with its 1,800-foot-long railroad bridge over the Green River, was a key station on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and therefore of great military importance. Approaching the town on September 14th, Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers urged Union Col. John T. Wilder to surrender his 4,000-man garrison.  Wilder instead elected to "try fighting for a while" and repulsed Chalmers' initial attacks, losing just 37 to the Rebels' 283.  After two days of siege operations, the Confederates, realizing that Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Union army was near, again urged surrender. Under a flag of truce, a blindfolded Wilder entered enemy lines late on the 16th.  After viewing the Rebel positions, Wilder concluded that he ought to surrender. The formal ceremony occurred the next day on the 17th. The Federals surrendered more than 4,000 prisoners, 5,000 rifles, a large quantity of ammunition and many horses and mules. The Confederates withdrew before Buell's army arrived and burned the bridge behind them, but would meet Buell in the decisive battle at Perryville three weeks later.

Battle Facts

Result

Confederate Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged

Union

4,148

Confederate

16,000
Total Estimated Casualties
4,862

Union

4,148

Confederate

714