Welcome to The Perryville Civil War Battlefield Website

pvillebutton

No. 2.

Report of Capt. Ebenezer Gay, Sixteenth United States Infantry, Inspector and Chief of Cavalry, including operations October 7.

OR. Vol. 16 Pt. 1, p. 1037 - 1038

LEBANON, KY., October 21, 1862.

 

     SIR: Being in the advance on October 7, with 500 of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel James; 500 of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Boyle, and 350 of the Second Michigan Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, I drove the enemy a distance of 9 miles, skirmishing from daylight until dark, to a point on the northwest of the Chaplin Hills, within 3 miles of Perryville, on the road from Springfield. In this action the rebel General Cleburne was mortally wounded. I occupied the point held by the enemy's battery this day with a portion of my command during the night, and removed the main body to a place of rest in the rear.

     At 3 a.m. on the 8th instant my advance was joined by a brigade under Colonel McCook. At daylight, hearing firing in front, I moved my command to that position, still held by Colonel McCook, where I found slight skirmishing going on between him and the enemy. I moved on to take the advance, and had hardly passed our skirmishers when I was received by a volley of musketry from a wooded hill on the left side of the road. I formed the Ninth Pennsylvania to the left and perpendicular to the road (its right resting near it) and fronting the woods, supporting the Second Michigan, which was dismounted and sent forward as skirmishers. The Ninth Kentucky was held in reserve. My skirmishers had not advanced far when a heavy musketry fire from the enemy showed that he held the position in force. Four men of the Second Michigan were killed here and 2 commissioned officers and 11 privates wounded.

     The Ninth Pennsylvania was now ordered to take position to the left and front, in open ground, in order to ascertain the situation of the enemy's batteries. They had proceeded about a quarter of a mile when the enemy opened upon them from two batteries and his position became known. I placed two pieces of artillery, under Captain Hotchkiss, in position opposite these batteries, and opened fire upon them. In twenty minutes they were silenced and the enemy was driven from the wooded hill. Observing that the enemy were showing themselves farther to my left and front, I moved forward to a more advanced position, near a fork of Chaplin Creek, placing my battery in position on a knoll near it, and throwing out portions of the Ninth Pennsylvania and Second Michigan as skirmishers in advance. The enemy's batteries were again silenced here, and his cavalry, broken and disordered, were driven toward Harrodsburg.

     The advance of General McCook's army was now seen on the Mackville road, to the rear and left. At my request, General Rousseau sent forward two Parrott guns, from which a few shells were thrown into the woods far in advance without meeting with any response. My command was then dismounted and rested for about an hour and a half. At the end of this time clouds of dust were seen rising in the direction of Harrodsburg, and it became evident that the enemy was being strongly re-enforced. In a few minutes fire opened from a heavy battery in front, to which my howitzers replied without effect, the distance being too great.  The two Parrott guns before mentioned, belonging to Loomis' battery, opened with apparent effect, and were soon joined by the rest of the battery.  Another battery of the enemy now opened farther to the left and soon another to the right and his infantry was seen advancing in line, and it became evident that the engagement would become general. An infantry regiment coming to the support of the battery, I withdrew my command to a position to the left of the one first occupied, holding the interval between the Springfield and Perryville and the Mackville and Perryville roads. In an hour the engagement had become general, the enemy attacking the extreme left of General McCook and General Gilbert's left (on my right). I sent a regiment to operate on the extreme left of General McCook and opened fire with my howitzer on the advancing line of the enemy. These howitzers were in position on the right of General McCook and remained there until nearly dark, effectively checking the enemy. Observing that our lines to the left were gradually giving way, I moved my command to the left. Arriving on the ground, I found that a portion of General Schoepf's division, of General Gilbert's army, had come up and checked the enemy's advance.  Night came on and the battle ended.

 

     The Second Michigan in this action well sustained the good reputation it had previously earned. The Ninth Pennsylvania sustained afire from three batteries for forty-five minutes without any disorder in its ranks. The Ninth Kentucky, although a Dew regiment, which had not been in action before, behaved admirably.

 

     Too much praise cannot be awarded Captain Hotchkiss and his men for their brave and effective services. To Mr. E. McKinney, chaplain of the Ninth Pennsylvania, volunteer aide, and to the members of my staff, Captain Newlin, Seventh Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Farrell, Ninth Pennsylvania, and Lieut. J. M. Bacon, Fourth Kentucky, I am much indebted for their gallant action and valuable services.

 

     I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. GAY, Inspector and Chief of Cavalry.

Col. J. B. FRY, Chief of Staff, Army of the Ohio.

Report of Ebenezer Gay’s Cavalry (OR. Vol. 16, Pt. 2, p. 552-553)

 

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY FORCES,

September 28, 1862.

 

Major BUFORD, Assistant Adjutant-General:

     I have the honor to transmit the following list of regiments of cavalry under my command:
     Ninth Pennsylvania, Colonel [Edward C.] Williams, about 600 effective men.
     Ninth Kentucky, Colonel [Richard T] Jacob, 800 effective men.

parks2
Brand2

free hit counters
 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
All Material in this Site is   © 2007-2017 Perryville Historic Battlefield
Website Designed and Maintained by GRAPHIC ENTERPRISES