Banners to the Breeze: The Kentucky Campaign, Corinth, and Stones River

By Earl J. Hess | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE Banners to the Breeze

The first half of 1862 was disastrous for the Confederate army in the West. Beginning with Forts Henry and Donelson in February, the South suffered one defeat after another. An entire field army of some fifteen thousand men surrendered at Fort Donelson, leading to the collapse of Confederate defenses in southern Kentucky and western and central Tennessee. That vast area, with its rich storehouse of goods and agricultural products, was laid open to the Yankee invaders. The Federal offensive temporarily came to a halt at Shiloh when the Army of the Mississippi under Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston surprised the Army of the Tennessee under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in its camps on a peaceful spring morning. The fighting that day, April 6, 1862, was fierce and bloody, but Grant's troops blunted the Confederate attacks and held their forward base of supplies at Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. Grant was joined that night by the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell. Together, the two Federal armies drove the outnumbered Rebels away. Johnston was killed, shot accidentally by his own men, on April 6. Now led by Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard, the Army of the Mississippi retreated safely back to Corinth. The Rebels failed to crush Grant or prevent his juncture with Buell and had suffered nearly twelve thousand casualties, but they put almost thirteen thousand Federal troops out of action in the two-day battle.

Reinforcements from the Trans-Mississippi and new regiments from the North enabled Grant and Buell to hold the strategic advantage. But they would not be given the opportunity to continue the advance toward Corinth on their own. Their superior, Maj. Gen. Henry Wager Halleck, hastened to take personal charge of their combined armies, which numbered over one hundred thousand men. Not until the Atlanta campaign of 1864 would the

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Banners to the Breeze: The Kentucky Campaign, Corinth, and Stones River
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Maps ix
  • Series Editors' Introduction xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Chapter One - Banners to the Breeze 1
  • Chapter Two - Bold Strike into the Bluegrass 30
  • Chapter Three - Bragg, Buell, and Kentucky 56
  • Chapter Four - Give Him Battle 77
  • Chapter Five - Perryville 92
  • Chapter Six - Good-Bye, Kentucky 106
  • Chapter Seven - the Road to Iuka 121
  • Chapter Eight Corinth 141
  • Chapter Nine Bloody October 154
  • Chapter Ten on to Murfreesboro 177
  • Chapter Eleven Stones River 197
  • Chapter Twelve Fight or Die 216
  • Notes 235
  • Bibliographical Essay 243
  • Index 245
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