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10 Series I Volume XVI-I Serial 22 - Morgan's First Kentucky Raid, Perryville Campaign Part I

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Page 10 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII

seemes to have had no certain information upon which to base his expectation; at the time the order was given he only knew that both Bragg and General Buell were advancing toward it. Nor was there any under taking on General Buell's part to relieve the garrison or any preconcert of action whatever respecting it. we are of opinion therefore that the orders given the commander of the post should have left him discretion to fight or retire according to circumstances. As it was, the order was to hold it to the last. Had not Bragg moved so quickly on Munfordville he would have been attacked at Glasgow by General Buell, who was moving to the attack when the surrender took place. Defeat of the rebels at Glasgow would of course have saved Munfordville. While General Buell was on the march to Munfordville he heard of its surrender. Relief was then too late.

It is our opinion, therefore, that General Buell is not responsible for the capture of the town Cumberland River made him responsible for the consequences of that failure.

4.-BATTLE OF PERRYVILLE AND CONDUCT THERE.

General Buel left Louisville about the 1st of October with a force superior, in our judgment, not only to Bragg's army, but to the armies of Bragg and Kirby Smith united. His routes were well chosen and the advance of his columns admirably regulated. His immediate object was to attack the rebels and destroy them; failing in that, he was to drive them out of Kentucky.

Engagement was expected at Bardstown, but Bragg sullenly retired toward Perryville, at which place it would seem from his orders and instructions to corps commanders General Buell next intended to attack him on the 9th September [October]. Positions for the formation of the line of battle were defined in those orders.

Accordingly, on the morning of the 8th, Gilbert, with his corps, was in position in the center; McCook, with his corps (less Sill's division), arrived on the left about 9 o'clock, and Thomas, in command of the right wing (Crittenden's corps), reached his position and reported his arrival to General buell about noon.

About 2 o'clock in the afternoon the enemy poured a heavy column of attack upon McCook, effecting, in our opinion, a partial surprise. The contest, however, was obstinate and bloody and ended by night-fall, at which time McCook's right had been turned and driven back with serious loss. The duration of the battle was about five hours.

There can be no question about its being the duty of somebody to assist McCook. As his right had been posted not exceeding 300 yards from Gilbert's left and as the severest fighting was on McCook's right we cannot see why Gilbert did not re-enforce him when so requested. He should have done it, if for no other reason than because McCook's discomfiture exposed his own flank. Nothing but positive orders fixing and holding him in his position can justify his failure. If such there were, they have not been heard of in the testimony. Moreover, it is clear that all General Buell's orders were in preparation for attacking the next morning, not in anticipation of being attacked that day. In this latter even therefore the exercise of discretion could not have been improper if the action taken had been reported to headquarters, particularly as General Buell was not on the field for instant consultation. As it was, assistance did not reach McCook until about dark.

General Ruell established his headquarters about 2 1/2 miles from the


Page 10 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII

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