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

By Earl J. Hess | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX Good-bye, Kentucky

Most Federal soldiers went to sleep on the night of October 8 believing the battle would continue the next day. Farmhouses and churches all over the area were pressed into use as hospitals, creating horrible scenes that shocked many of the young men who had experienced their first engagement. A man in the Eighty-first Indiana saw a "yard full of wounded men lying in rows covered with blankets, shrieking with pain, some lying dead. Doctors were busy at work at tables amputating limbs. Close to the fence were piles of arms and legs. It was a ghastly sight. A short distance to the left was another house used for the same purpose. The yard was filled with dead laid in rows. Most of the dead were black in the face."

Michael Fitch, whose regiment halted at the Wilkerson house for a few minutes early in the night, saw "a sad spectacle and one never to be forgotten. There lay the sons of doting mothers, the brothers of orphaned sisters, the husbands of wives who would be left alone to buffet the world's cold neglect and fathers whose age had not prevented their responding to the call of country. A few hours before they were as strong and full of hope as those who marched by them. Now they lay hopeless and dying, far away from the loving eyes or soothing hands: Could those who looked upon them fail to think how narrowly they escaped from the same fate?"

Both commanders reassessed their plans that night. Buell still was not fully aware of the beating McCook had received. Several people had told him about it in detail, but he refused to take it in. Instead, his mind was focused on attacking first thing in the morning. Thus orders went out to Crittenden and Gilbert to prepare a dawn advance. McCook arrived at the Dorsey house later that night and finally convinced Buell that the I Corps had

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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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