Perryville Battle

Perryville

Battle of Chaplin Hills

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In the summer of 1862, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg launched an invasion of the key border state of Kentucky, hoping to divert Union attention from the Southern strongholds at Vicksburg and Chattanooga, as well as to encourage volunteers to join the Rebel army. Though unsuccessful in recruitment, Bragg's Army of Kentucky did draw Federal forces out of northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee. The movement north also coincided with Robert E. Lee's Maryland Campaign in the east. On October 7th, Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, in pursuit of Bragg, converged on the crossroads town of Perryville. Union forces skirmished with Confederate cavalry on the Springfield Pike before the fighting began on Peters Hill, when the Confederate infantry arrived. The next day, fighting continued around Peters Hill as a Union division advanced up the pike. After noon, a Confederate division struck the Union left flank and forced it to fall back. When more Confederate divisions joined the fray, the Union line made a stubborn stand, counterattacked, but finally fell back with some units routed. Union troops on the left, reinforced by two brigades, stabilized their line, and the Confederate attack sputtered to a halt. Later, three Confederate regiments assaulted a Union division on the Springfield Pike but were repulsed and fell back into Perryville. Union troops pursued, and skirmishing occurred in the streets until dark. By that time, Union reinforcements were threatening the Confederate left. Bragg, short of men and supplies, withdrew during the night toward the Cumberland Gap. The battle was a Confederate tactical victory, though the heavy bloodshed forced Bragg to retreat into Tennessee, his army would never return to Kentucky.

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
71,000

Union

55,000

Confederate

16,000
Total Estimated Casualties
7,612

Union

4,211
845
killed
2,635
wounded
515
missing & captured

Confederate

3,401
510
killed
2,641
wounded
251
missing & captured