After action report from Perryville Kentucky for the actions of Oct 3rd thru the 5th Ultimo.
Ordered to congregate our forces here by Col Robinson, various companies began arriving as early as Thursday the 2nd. I due to some difficulty in skirting the enemy to the north did not arrive until nearly 6:00 PM on the 3rd. I found the camp well situated on very nice ground, once again kudos to our engineer Lt. West. Fuel for the fires and fodder for the horses plentiful and well situated.
Shortly after my arrival an officers call was sounded whereby we learned from Gen Houston that we would be required to screen his infantry in the early AM. Preparations were made, the men leaping to their duties like the veterans they have become. Around two AM the cook began preparing two large turkeys acquired from a local farmhouse. Other local ladies began preparing breakfast for us as well. They prepared a dish called a cannon ball, which to me resembled a fried hedge apple. But upon biting into one I discovered it to be a wonderful treat.
Reveille was sounded at 5:30 AM on the 4th. Boots and Saddles sounded at 6:00. As the infantry assembled we moved forward with the 1st KY and the Posse, as skirmishers advanced at 50 yards. The 9th KY acted as a reserve and escorted a Howitzer from the Blue Grass Artillery. As we approached a small swale we collided with a small force of Union Cavalry. Backed by a platoon of Infantry deployed as skirmishers. I then asked Major Karcher to deploy the gun while the 1st and the 9th forced them back. Another contingent of Union Cavalry was spotted along our right flank and was promptly dealt with by Captain Irwin and the 9th, while Lt. Hall and the 1st pushed the skirmishers.
As the gun deployed and began shelling a Union gun was brought forward, it was immediately fired upon by our ever-alert gunners, destroying it before it ever was loaded. Just ensure its destruction I detailed Lt Erwin to charge it, which he and the Gallant 9th did without hesitation, they killed what was left of the crew.
As the 1st pushed the skirmishers in their front back, a larger body of Federal troops, consisting of infantry, was discovered in a wood line. As the terrain did not favor a mounted charge and a dismounted attack against entrenched infantry out numbering us greatly seemed fool hardy, Col Robinson sent a messenger to Gen Huston to please send forward our infantry.
As the infantry advanced against the foe, I spotted a gap in the defenses they were using and ask Lt Hall to take the 1st into the enemies rear, which he did in fine style cutting off their escape and taking many prisoners. The enemys front collapsed and they were routed. Those fleeing to the rear were rounded up by Lt Halls contingent.
We returned to our camp of the previous evening to rest , refit and drill for about an hour, but all to soon the call to Arms was heard again. Once again placed in the van of the army we pushed forward up a narrow valley with a graveled road running down its left side until it crossed a small stream and ascended a large hill. After a short march we discovered a line of cavalry skirmishers deployed across the valley. Major Karcher advanced two guns and began shelling them. Our cavalry charged mounted as ordered by Col Robinson. Attacking in well coordinated waves we began pushing them back up the valley, but their resistance was furious, worthy of a better cause. Determined to gain an advantage, as commanded by Col Robinson I ordered the 9th to seize the bridge over the stream where the road ascended the large hill on our flank. Capt. Erwins company did so in fine style and the limbered guns were across unmolested. This unmasked our infantry and its attending artillery, which advanced rapidly. The Brigades guns were now situated so as to be firing enfilade down the Union ranks and wrought terrible carnage. They fired until their limber boxes were empty. The 9th was deployed further up the hill to thwart attacks by the union cavalry that had found a crossing point further up the valley. Captain Wells company guarded the bridge until our infantry covered it in their advance.
As a bluff major Karcher advanced his guns further up the hill, drawing the union Cavalry up to attack. The 9th intercepted them while the posse and the 1st went after four guns left unmasked by the rash attack. They killed the crews and spiked the guns. Unfortunately we also took some casualties in our gun crews, but the Union Cavalry, held at bay by the 9th after a furious charge up the hill, did not get near enough to spike or haul away the guns. At this point our cartridge boxes an revolvers were empty. We were regulated to desultory firing upon the enemys flank with rounds scavenged from the dead and wounded. Our infantry rapidly advanced, and in a final rush cleared the valley of Lincolns hirelings, but at great cost. The valley floor contained by my count, nearly 200 dead and wounded Confederate comrades.
Once again we retired to the camp of the previous evening to rest and recruit or strength. A local woman had prepared a feast for us, turkey, dressing and pies awaited our return. Shortly we gathered around a roaring fire and spirits were revived in fine style. The élan of the southern fighting man is beyond compare.
As Sunday morning dawned the local ladies again provided us a wonderful breakfast. After this wonder repast the men of the 1st and the 9th drilled and then prepared themselves for the upcoming fight that was all to obviously at hand. As noon approached we were advised we would be once again in the van of the army as it advanced.
As the army moved out we formed the lead, screening the infantry and most of the artillery. At Col. Robinson behest I sent Captain Wells forward as skirmishers, proudly flying the colors of the Posse while holding the 9th and Major Karchers section of guns in reserve. We soon came to a rail fence at the bottom of a large hill where the enemy had posted a strong line of videttes re enforced by mounted cavalry. There were also some dismounted cavalry on our right.
We deployed our guns on a hill to our left, approximately 100 yards in our rear, where they began shelling the fence line. As their mounted cavalry tried to force the gaps in the fence, Captain Wells company charged them and drove them back repeatedly. Our Col and his staff taking an active hand in plugging another gap themselves.
I had the 9th dismount and attack the union left, which is where their dismounted cavalry was posted. As we were making some progress in breaking their line, they brought up several companies of infantry to reinforce the barricade. Seeing it was impossible for us to take I sent word to Col Robinson, who immediately sent a courier to Col Huser to bring up the infantry. In the mean time I had the guns moved to the right flank to blast out the dismounted Cavalry there. They began to flee just as our infantry came up, so I remounted the 9th and sent them through a gap in the fence to attack the enemys flank. There they became heavily engaged with a company of mounted cavalry, probably the 1st Ohio, noted as stubborn fighters.
We began forcing them back on both flanks as the Posse and the 1st worked on their right against yet another company of union cavalry. Our artillery limbered up and sought high ground to encourage the retreat now beginning. As our infantry swarmed over their barricades it rapidly broke down into a series of fights with cut off union units, some surrendering, some fighting to the last. After both companies finished off their opponents they began to round up the stragglers.
The last union unit with any semblance of cohesion was soon forced from the field, leaving it in our hands.
In closing, let me commend a few of our Brigade, no make that our whole brigade, starting with our Beloved Col Robinson. The skill in which Major Karcher handled his section of guns brought much glory to our unit. Captains Wells and Irwin lead their respective companies very well, eliciting compliments from many corners including our defeated foe. The NCOs and enlisted men fought as well as any body of men in history. Their bravery under fire was remarkable. They moved with skill and daring whenever asked, their spits were always high, their demeanor cheerful.
Respectfully Submitted by
Major T. A. Lane
As requested by
Col. R Roy Robinson
After Action Report from the field near Georgetown Kentucky
June20th through 21st Ultimo
As our troops had for the most part reached the designated assembly point near the town of Georgetown Ky. by late Friday as ordered by Col Robinson, we began preparations to engage the enemy we knew to be in the area.
Our capable engineering officer, Lt Dean West, once again, gave us an excellent area in which to encamp, but at least this time there were no streams running through the camp, as the weather was excellent. Fodder and water was ple ntifull and well distributed, the sinks were well placed.
The Brigade officers gathered that evening to discuss plans for the upcoming battle and campaigns in the future. Fine Kentucky Bourbon was served, as were good Kentucky cigars.
The capable Sergeant Baiocchi posted a guard for the night as the men bedded down
At 9 am Captain Karcher, Captain Allan, and myself accompanied Col R. Roy Robinson to a meeting with General Morgan. There we learned the Brigade would be placed under Col Glaza, and much to our mortification we were to be utilized piecemeal, an unfortunate occurrence as it was proven later.
One of my platoons under Captain Wells was assigned to escort artillery which its self was detached from the brigade. Our strength was further sapped in the remaining platoon by detaching several troopers. Thus greatly reduced in number we were to try and drive the Enemy to his works and capture him if possible.
After the officers call, the Ninth was presented a new banner by General Morgan. These colors were designed and purchased by our own Joseph Cannello. It bears a cross in a blue field emblazoned on the National Banner and is a thing of pride to our unit. It must never be disgraced.
As the strategy was being prepared the Ninth Kentucky was assembled by Sergeant Baiocci for drill under the direction of Lt Irwin They drilled for approximately two hours.
Shortly after noon we were informed the enemy was nearby and at one oclock boots and saddles was blown. At one forty five assembly was sounded. We were brigaded with the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, a unit we have worked with before with good results, so with our own reduced numbers we moved out down a shady sunken road that belied the violence to come. As we came to the end of the road we exited into an open meadow of good Kentucky Blue Grass, we immediately came under fire. Our opponent was the 1st Ohio Cavalry. A veteran and hard fighting unit we have encountered before. The battle raged back and forth for nearly three quarters of an hour. Charge met by counter charge, pistols at close range, carbines booming, sabers slashing. Gradually our superior numbers and the spirit and determination of our troops began to swing the tide of battle in our favor. We were able to push them back for several hundred yards when their lines finally broke. Many prisoners were taken after a parley convinced them of the futility of further bloodshed.
Later that evening we had a wonderful meal prepared by Ms Mary the brigade cook, who had also feed us breakfast.
Camp chores were shared and soon it was time to relax and enjoy the dry weather for a change. Music was provided by several talented singers and guitar players through out the brigade.
We saddled our horses early Sunday in preparation of a busy day as we learned the enemy was still lurking about nearby. At the Generals Headquarters that morning we learned, to our great joy, the Brigade would be re united and used as a complete unit for the first time. When the officers and men learned of this it seemed to add some ounce to their step to say the least. At last, the opportunity to utilize what we had been planning and training for!
During the day the local community kept our troopers busy with the request our presence at various functions. Unfortunately it did interfere with our plans to drill that day. But the request by the local population was just too strong to ignore. They seemed truly happy to have us amongst them. Several of the Brigade availed themselves of the opportunity to have tintypes made of them. A musician of some note asked for some to be taken with us as well.
Again around One PM boots and saddles was sounded, followed shortly by assembly. Our boys stepped even more lively than usual this day, as they knew we were to fight as the Kentucky Cavalry Brigade!
Our first assignment was to screen the guns as they deployed forward of the infantry and artillery not belong to the Brigade. The mounted Platoon under Captain Wells lead the way deploying his troopers as skirmishers on the right flank. The guns were to deploy in the center but do to a change of orders after we began our movement they deployed on the left flank. The dismounted under Capt. Moore deployed to their immediate right while Lt. Irwin s platoon then covered the hole in the center left by the guns deploying to the left flank.
The enemy was spotted coming out of the same sunken road we had used the day before and our battery immediately began firing on them, it seemed to catch them off guard that our guns were that far forward and temporarily stopped their advance.
In the mean time our infantry support came up and fell in line, giving us a very strong front anchored by two impassible woods on either flank. They enemy cavalry threw it self at us in repeated charges but was unable to dislodge us. Captains Wells and Irwins platoons doing Yeomans work in keeping an enemy cavalry force half again as big as theirs in total check. Capt Moores dismounted contingent was the recipient of a suicidal charge by the enemies Sixth Kentucky Cavalry. A charge where they took fire in their flank from our infantry, our artillery, fire from our dismounted and then Captain Wells platoon finished off any survivors.
As the unsuccessful suicide charge was being made on our right center, we had begun a retrograde movement of the battery from the left flank. A mis fire delayed us for a moment but as soon as it was cleared two guns limbered up and pulled back, the third, Cobbs Battery, remained loaded and covered the withdraw. The Ninth Ky Cav launched a furious charge on the First Ohio to keep them occupied as the guns were with drawn. As soon as they were clear the Ninth rallied behind the remaining gun, which then fired double canister into the Union ranks at close range. The Ninth then reformed a line in front of the gun and covered its with draw which was made with out interference.
This left the mounted troops to anchor the left of the line The battle had raged for over a half an hour when the order to begin a general withdraw came down from Head Quarters. As the infantry apparently did not receive the notice to fall back, their left flank was left exposed and our foe seized upon the opportunity to roll them up, precipitating a general retreat. . Our cavalry covered the route as well as possible but in the end there were simply too many. Having been engaged constantly for nearly 45 minutes my men were simply out of ammunition having resorted to sabers for several charges.
I wish to commend the following officers for outstanding efforts this day, both of my platoon leaders fought aggressively but with great discipline. This allowed my squadron to equal or even best a force fifty percent larger than our own.
Captain Wells was everywhere he was needed, leading his platoon from one side of the field to the other at one point cutting off a particularly dangerous charge by the enemy.
Lt Irwin led his platoon consisting of fifty percent new recruits against a proven, veteran counter part and kept them away from our guns in fine style.
Captain Karcher handled the Artillery very well.
Captain Moore fought his dismounted like the veteran he is.
I will leave the commedation of specific enlisted men to their platoon leaders but I will make a general observation. No body of troops that I have served with has become such an effective unit in such a short time, and few have ever reached the level we have already achieved.
And I would be remiss were I to not mention Col. Robinson and his fine staff. , with out whose tireless efforts we would have been lost. Captain Allens organizational skills were sorely tested this weekend !
In closing let me state again, I have never been associated with a finer body of troops.
Captain T. A. Lane
Commanding the 1st Squadron of Cavalry
Kentucky Cavalry Brigade
After Action Report from the field near Sacramento Kentucky May 17th and 18th Ultimo
As our troops had for the most part reached the designated assembly point near the town of Sacramento Ky. by late Friday as ordered by Col Robinson, we began preparations to drive the enemy from Kentucky soil.
Our capable engineering officer ,Lt Dean West, gave us an excellent area in which to encamp under very trying condition. Fodder and water was ple ntifull and well distributed ,the sinks were well placed.
Troopers from the Ninth Kentucky stood watch all night through driving thunderstorms to keep intruders out and our horses in line. You would have had to see the conditions under which they stood guard to appreciate their sacrifice.
Saturday morning promptly at 8;00 AM I had the honor of escorting Col Robinson to officers call where we learned the days plan of advance . After officers call, the regimental commander came by our camp to express how impressed his was with our new brigade. High honor indeed coming from Col Fulwood.
The first order of business was to march through the Hamlet of 500 souls as a show of strength. We posted a company in front of our mountain howitzers and supply wagon and another in the rear so as to assure its security. We were very well received by the local populace as evidenced by the spirited waving of our banners by the local ladies .They also gave us useful information in regards to enemys dispositions.
It was later learned we would lose the second Company (the Posse) on detached service. A serious blow to our strength but unfortunately needed for the good of the Army.. Our Col. bolstered our resolve with some brave words and we were ready.
Word was sent just past noon that the enemy had been sighted. We escorted our battery onto the field following the first Battalion and were hotly engaged as we screened the guns. It was our lot to secure the left flank of our army along several Batteries of Artillery from flank attacks by the Lincoln hirelings, some of which looked very much like my missing platoon. After nearly an hour of hot engagement it became apparent the other flank was collapsing .At the direction of our Col, we opened a door for the remains of our army to escape. This was our new Col first engagement and his cool demeanor under fire and pressure was a source of inspiration to us under very trying times. We accomplished our task and left the field. The conduct of our Brigade in this affair in no way resulted in our armies defeat this day.
Saturday evening was spent recruiting our strength . A very fine meal was served by the local population greatly reviving our spirits. Soon the men were their usual cavalier selves, singing and merriment broke out all over camp. Our lost platoon rejoined us and our spirits were further raised. The weather even changed for the better. Private Mertz noted to me the old saying red at night sailors delight and it held true for the most part.
The next morning Sergeant Baiocchi lead our first platoon in drill as the Col and I again attended officers call. Lts Rob Irwin and Anthony Bell were laid low by a stomach ailment but soon recovered their strength .We obtained powder issue to re supply our troops after the long engagement of the previous day.
Our Pastor Ron Meadows lead a wonderful sermon on overcoming obstacles ,words very relevant to our Confederacys situation in these trying times.
Again shortly afternoon word was sent the mercenaries in blue were approaching, no doubt emboldened by their victory the day before. Well there was to be no such event this day ! All our men from the Col on down resolved that a repeat of the previous days result simply could not be allowed to happen. And events showed that faith in our men was justified.
This day it was advancing upon the enemy position when their pickets were caught watering their horses in a small pond. The 7th Ten. Overwhelmed these videttes quickly and we pushed to their main positions. It was our lot to roll up their right flank.
The Col instructed me to launch a series of charges to dis organize their cavalry in our front while our guns got up. After we pushed them back our boys rallied out and left them to the tender mercy of our cannoneers.
At this time a courier from headquarters requested we send a company to push one troublesome pack of yanks from their front. A mission assigned to Captain Wells who carried it out with alacrity belying his age !
The new company commander of the Ninth Ky., Rob Irwin was giving the task of holding the flank with only his troops on hand, a task he not only performed, but he actually drove a larger body of federal cavalry back onto its infantry causing much consternation in their ranks
Captain Karcher moved his artillery with great speed and skill, pushing and sweeping the field in front of him. Again much commendation to the officers and men manning our guns.
They could hardly stand under such attacks and were soon pushed towards the town. The ground was covered in their dead.
The towns people again turned out in droves to cheer us on.
Again there are many in the brigade deserving of recognition beginning with our Colonel who is a shining example to those of us serving under him. Our Company and Battery commanders, Captains Karher, Wells ,and Erwin handled their assigned task with great skill. The men under them were all worthy of great praise as well. I will leave it to the Company commanders to list all the accolades for their commands as there are too many for me to list and I fear missing a deserving trooper or NCO for praise.
Humbly Submitted this 19th day of May for your consideration
Captain Tod Lane