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In 1862 Perryville was a town of just a few hundred residents. The rolling hills to the west and northwest were dotted with woods, farms, and a number of creeks, which fed the Chaplin River. However, because of a two-month drought, the creeks were nearly dry. Buell didn't intend to bring on a general engagement until all his corps had arrived, but McCook and Gilbert sought to secure a water supply and had moved forward to high ground to protect some pools along Doctors Fork. The first shots of the battle took place in the early morning of October 8, when pickets from both sides went forward to get water.
Bragg's battle plan was to envelope the Union left with Cheatham's division, but the Union left was farther north than expected and instead of turning the flank, Cheatham slammed into McCook's corps. As Buckner's Confederates advanced over the creek, McCook's forward line fell back and the Union reformed along the Russell house ridge. Although Buell's headquarters was only a few miles away, he did not know until 4 p.m. that McCook was under heavy attack. Buell ordered reinforcements sent from Gilbert's corps to shore up the Union left. With daylight fading, the Confederate advance was repulsed. Although they had gained ground and mauled McCook's brigades, the arrival of Union reinforcements stayed the Confederate tide.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
October 8, 1862
Battle of Perryville
The Battle of Perryville, also known as the Battle of Chaplin Hills, was fought on October 8, 1862, in the Chaplin Hills west of Perryville, Kentucky, as the culmination of the Confederate Heartland Offensive during the American Civil War. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi initially won a tactical victory against primarily a single corps of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Union Army of the Ohio. The battle is considered a strategic Union victory, sometimes called the Battle for Kentucky, since Bragg withdrew to Tennessee soon thereafter. The Union retained control of the critical border state of Kentucky for the remainder of the war.
Introduction to Wikipedia Article
Wikipedia: Battle of Perryville