The Battle of Perryville
October 8, 1862
Hafendorfer, Kenneth; Perryville: Battle for Kentucky
Blue and Gray Magazine October / November, 1983.
Time-Life Books; The Struggle for Tennessee
This battle chronology provides detail regarding the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, as fought on October 8, 1862. The battle, fought between the Confederate forces of General Braxton Bragg and the Federal forces of Major General Don Carlos Buell, was the culmination of several months of maneuver between the two armies.
|2:30||Maj. Gen. Alex. McCook (at Mackville) receives orders issued at 7:00 p.m. the previous day, to march to Perryville.|
|2:45||Maj. Gen. George Thomas (serving as Buell's second-in-command) receives marching orders issued at 8:00 p.m. the previous day to march on Perryville|
Arkansas (of Liddell's Brigade, Buckner's Division) holds
Col. Dan McCook's Brigade (of Sheridan's division) moves forward along Springfield Pike.
McCook clears Confederates off Peters Hill.
After breakfast, Alex. McCook marches on Perryville, some ten miles away.
|6:00||Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk informs Bragg that battle will be made "vigorously".|
|6:30||Brig. Gen. St. John Liddell's 5th and 7th Arkansas try to dislodge McCook from Peters Hill and fail.|
|7:30||Gay's cavalry fails, and is repulsed just east of Peters Hill.|
|8:30||Sheridan sends Lt. Col. Bernard Laiboldt's Brigade against the 5th and 7th Arkansas. The Confederates are pushed back across Bull Run.|
|9:00||Sheridan engages Liddell on Bottom Hill.|
|9:15||Alex. McCook reaches the Benton Rd / Mackville Pike intersection.|
Gen. Rousseau's division (of McCook's Corps) reaches the
Russell House and sees Sheridan's fight with Liddell.
Bragg arrives from Harrodsburg and sets up headquarters at the Crawford House.
Bragg does not believe Buell's entire army is converging on Perryville, and decides to make a person reconnaissance.
orders his force to back to Perryville main defense line.
Wheeler runs into Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden's infantry corps on the Lebanon Rd. some three miles from Perryville, and falls back.
Bragg returns to the Crawford House from his reconnaissance.
orders Col. William Lytle forward to Doctors Creek to get
water. The 10th Ohio is east of Doctors Creek in a
Alex. McCook reaches Buell at the Dorsey House, and is told the attack is called off for the day.
skirmishers from the 10th Ohio fall back from east of
Doctors Creek as Buckner engages with the brigades of
Brig. Gen. Bushrod Johnson and Brig. Gen. S.A.M. Wood.
Buell concludes to delay his attack until the next day.
Darden's, Lumsden's, Semple's and Carnes's Batteries open on Rousseau.
Loomis returns fire on the Confederate batteries. Simonson is ordered forward on the left of Loomis.
Rousseau places Col. Leonard Harris's Brigade to the left of Lytle, who was in place astride the Mackville Rd. just behind the Squire Bottom House and overlooking Doctors Creek.
|12:45 p.m.||Rousseau orders Col. George Webster's Brigade forward and extends the line to the left and now covers the Widow Gibson Cabin.|
McCook moves forward to the Loomis / Simonson Battery
positions and, unable to see Confederate infantry, orders
them to cease firing. (Recall he has been told by Buell
there will be no battle this day.) McCook becomes aware
of the hill on the far left that overlooks the entire
Federal position in this sector.
Wheeler moves forward against Crittenden (he has no real idea as to the size of the Federal force in his front).
|1:20 p.m.||Bragg reaches Polk, orders Cheatham further to the right to Walker's Bend.|
skirimishers reach the bluffs overlooking Walkers Bend,
encounter Confederate skirmishers, but do not realize the
Confederate strength behind the skirmishers.
Wharton moves out of Walker's Bend to secure the Confederate right.
Buell, at the Dorsey House, is informed of the "arrival" of Crittenden's Corps.
Brigade reaches Open Hill and anchors the Federal left.
Buell and Gilbert, still at the Dorsey House, hear artillery fire. Buell has Gilbert send a message forward "to stop that useless waste of powder." Buell has Gilbert stay for dinner rather than move to the front as Gilbert desired.
moves to the attack, but is not on the Federal flank. He
is opposite Webster's Brigade, with Terrill and Lytle on
Sheridan receives the order from Gilbert, and chooses subsequently to literally obey the order.
16th Tennessee seems to appear out of nowhere to attack
Webster. Col. Thomas Jones's Brigade is forming on the
left of Donelson. Brig. gen. A.P. Stewart's Brigade of
Cheatham arrives on top of the bluff at the Dug Road.
Crittenden has all of his forces up, works to extend his lines north to link up with Gilbert on the Springfield Pike.
is moving forward, up a ravine and cannot be detected by
Lytle. Sheridan, on Peters Hill, can see Adams but
chooses to do nothing.
Polk and Bragg, stationed on the bluffs overlooking Walker's Bend, order A.P. Stewart forward.
Sheridan spots Col. Samuel Powell's Brigade forming just south of the Springfield Pike.
almost out of ammunition, has to withdraw on the left of
Terrill, fearful he cannot hold Open Hill, orders Parson to withdraw.
Cheatham orders Brig. Gen. John C. Brown and Cleburne forward. Cleburne moves to replace Johnson and Brown moves to the areas vacated by Jones.
Thomas Jones's Brigade is repulsed by the left of Lytle's
Stewart aims for a gap between Donelson and Maney.
Maney forces the crest of Open Hill. Parson can only bring off one gun.
attacks Lytle at the Squire Bottom House while Adams
falls on the right flank protected by the 15th Kentucky.
Sheridan, after a request from Alex. McCook, orders a battery to fire on Adams.
Donelson is out of ammunition and falls back.
|3:55 p.m.||While trying to rally his brigade, Terrill is struck by a shell fragment and mortally wounded.|
|4:05 p.m.||Adams and Cleburne collapse Lytle's line.|
has battery support in place, and forces Starkweather to
pull back his guns. Two more field pieces are lost in
Crittenden is still extending towards the Springfield Pike.
Powell's Brigade is about to attack Gilbert's entire corps just south of the Springfield Pike.
Gilbert agrees to reinforce McCook, and orders Schoepf to move up the Benton Road. This also protects Gilbert's left flank.
Buell finally hears of the problems of McCook's Corps. Crittenden is ordered to send a division to the center.
|4:15 p.m.||Powell's single brigade attacks three Federal brigades. Sheridan's forced inactivity has led the Confederates to incorrectly conclude Federal presence is weak here.|
|4:20 p.m.||Adams presses the Russell House position. Cleburne pushes northwest from the Mackville Road towards the rear of Webster's Brigade. The remnants of Lytle's Brigade are frantically trying to replenish ammunition.|
Stewart falls back from Webster's front. Webster sees
Cleburne coming in on his flank and rear and changes
front to face Cleburne.
Maney crosses the Benton Road to attack Starkweather; without the support of A.P. Stewart, he fails.
pushes Sheridan hard enough to cause Sheridan to note he
"was hard pressed."
Webster is killed. His brigade abandons its position and falls back.
Cleburne is stopped by remnants of Lytle's and Webster's brigades.
S.A.M. Wood ordered to cross Doctor's Creek to support Cleburne.
orders his last reserve, the brigade of Liddell, forward.
Powell finally realizes he is greatly out-manned and retreats along the Springfield Pike.
Harris loses four guns to the Confederates.
|5:10 p.m.||Col. William P. Carlin's brigade pursues Powell back into Perryville.|
|5:10 p.m.||The sun begins to set. Donelson, Wood, and parts of Stewart are moving forward towards the Federal center. Adams attacks the Russell House position to the south of the Mackville Road.|
|5:25 p.m.||The brigades of Col. Michael Gooding and Brig. Gen. James Steedman are moving to support McCook.|
pushes forward in the center but cannot make progress.
Adams, Cleburne and Maney have fallen back.
Gooding forms a line in support of McCook.
|5:45 p.m.||Sheridan's artillery on Peters Hill fires on Adams.|
|6:00 p.m.||Powell forms in Perryville on the east bank of the Chaplin River. Carlin realizes he cannot push the issue as darkness closes in.|
|6:10 p.m.||Crittenden (somehow) believes a large Confederate force is still in his front on the Lebanon Road.|
|6:15 p.m.||Wood crashes against Gooding's line and cannot break it.|
|6:30 p.m.||Wheeler pulls in his cavalry to the east side of the Chaplin River.|
attacks Gooding as Steedman is placed behind in a second
line behind the Russell House. Wood is falling back. It
is now almost dark.
Polk is at the front near the Russell House and is nearly captured when he rides up to an Indiana regiment.
clears Gooding off the Russell House / Mackville Pike
line, but cannot move farther.
Gilbert, Sheridan and Buell dine at the Dorsey House. In spite of dinner, Sheridan later claims Buell didn't know what was going on.
|7:30 p.m.||Battle ends.|
|8:00 p.m.||Bragg returns to the Crawford House and begins to have second thoughts about his position. He asks to see his army commanders.|
|9:00 p.m.||Rousseau reports to Buell in person; later reports Buell did not "appreciate the severity of the fighting."|
McCook reviews Rousseau's line and doesn't like what he
sees. He determines to find a better position. The
Federals are fearful of a night attack.
Bragg finally realizes Buell's entire army is in front. Realizing Buell would move to cut him off from Danville, he orders Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall and Maj. Gen. E.K. Smith to concentrate their forces with him. Bragg determines to retreat.
|10:45 p.m.||Alex. McCook reports to Buell. He asks for two brigades to reinforce him because his corps is badly cut up, but is refused. McCook is "vexed" with Buell.|
|10:45 p.m.||Confederate forces fall back behind the Chaplin River. The retreat to Tennessee commences.|