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

Page 48 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII.

dered. Those persons reported first to the commanding officer at Bowling Green, and he and no better recollection of the special object and importance of their mission than myself. Nor could it at any rate have altered the case. I must of necessity have opened against the rebel army which was already virtually between me and Munfordville. There was no communication between me and the commander in Kentucky, and, knowing that the rebel army was between me and Munfordville, he had no reasonable assurance that I could succor that place. It was not under my command, I really knew nothing of its condition, and I could not suppose that it would be needlessly exposed to so large a force. All the information I had led to the supposition that Bragg's army was probably yet at Glasgow, and on Tuesday afternoon, the 16th, I marched with six divisions (one being still in the rear), in three columns, to attack the enemy if the should be at that place. The facts shown in evidence that the last of those six divisions had only arrived after a march of 15 miles the day before, with very rapid and fatiguing ones on previous days; that some time was necessarily required to make arrangements with reference to the garrison and trans that were to remain; that supplies had to be distributed, and that the supply of provisions was imperfect, making it necessary to collect breadstuffs from the country to supply the troops, will amply justify this short delay. The troops in three columns had to start upon the main turnpike road from Bowling Green to Munfordville, but successively turned upon roads which converge on Glasgow. The cavalry thrown in advance reported on Tuesday night that the enemy halt left Glasgow, and the following day my army marched to Cave City and Horse Well, within 10 miles of Munfordville. During that day I heard of the surrender of Munfordville, and on the night of that day the commanding officer of the post reported to me at Prewitt's Knob with his troops on parole.

The position at Munfordville is one of great natural strength for a large force. I understand that it was the subject of dissatisfaction that the rebel army was not attacked in that position; but I have never heard the feeling was concurred in by the officers in by the officers in by the officers of higher rank, several of whom, distinguished before and since for gallant conduct, have testified that such an attack would not have been judicious under the circumstances. The advantage of position in favor of the enemy must have made the result at least doubtful; and even a very serious check, in the exhausted condition of our supplies, would have been disastrous. I could have avoided the enemy by passing to either side of him, but I deemed it all-important

to force him farther him farther into the State, instead of allowing him to fall back upon Bowling Green and Nashville, and I matured a plan and determined to attack there rather than allow him that course. I believed that the condition of his supplies would compel him to abandon his position; and I was very well satisfied when that proved to be the case. He commenced to withdraw on the night of the 20th, and my advance drove out his rear guard, after some skirmishing, on the 21st. The march was continued, and skirmishing was kept up with his rear guard until he turned off toward Bardstown.

Many considerations rendered it proper to direct my march on Louisville instead of following his route. The want of supplies made it necessary, many of the troops being out by the time they reached the mouth of Salt River. This reason would have been insuperable if, as was not improbable, the enemy should concentrate his force and throw


Page 48 KY., M. AND E. TENN., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXVIII.

 

Major Battles of the Civil War

 

Banner