Friday, September 12, 2014

Following a Confederate Soldier Through the Civil War: Battle #3 Battle of Richmond

William Porter Dickson enlisted in September of 1861 to fight as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. In the supplement to his 1911 Civil War Questionnaire he listed eight battles in which his company, Company D of the 12th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, took place. I am going to learn more about his company's role in the Civil War by researching these eight battles.

from William Porter Dickson's 1911 Questionnaire
William Porter Dickson's third battle was the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, which took place on August 29th & 30th, 1862. This was a battle over the state of Kentucky. Kentucky, a border state, started the war officially neutral. The Confederates wanted to gain control of the state and get more men to fight for the cause of the South.

About 6,000 Confederate soldiers met approximately 6,500 Union soldiers near Richmond, Kentucky. Fortunately for the South, most of the soldiers for the North were new recruits. The South won this battle and captured more then 4,000 men.

Fifty-one Years Ago, The Richmond Climax, Richmond, Kentucky, 02 Sep 1913, 
page 3, column 6; digital image 
accessed 12 Sep 2014)

Fifty-One Years Ago
The Bloody Battle of Richmond Fought, Aug. 30, '62

Saturday was the 51st anniversary of the Battle of Richmond, one of the bloodiest in the Civil War. [I think this is an exaggeration - I checked a few "top 10 bloodiest" lists and it isn't on there.] It was also Saturday and a beautiful summer day. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, with 6,000 Confederates was en route from Kirksville to Lexington. He reached Kingston late in the afternoon of the 29th. Gen. William Nelson was in command of the Union forces, with headquarters at Lexington and had 9,000 men. with Gens. Manson and Craft in charge of brigades. Gen. Manson moved out the Big Hill pike and found the trouble he was looking for, being repulsed and forced to retreat, with heavy loss. Gen. Nelson had arrived by this time and rallying his disheartened men, made a stand at Rogersville, when the federals were again routed, falling back to Richmond in wild disorder. Gen. Nelson again rallied the thoroughly dispirited men, and they took position in the Cemetery. They only fired three volleys before flying in panic rout. Gen. Nelson was wounded, but continued to try to stem the tide of retreat, and is said to have killed several of his men with his sword in his efforts. The rout was complete, however, and the terror-stricken army rushed pell-mell along the Lexington pike and other routes eager to seek safety. The Confederate loss in the battle was 78 killed and 272 wounded, the Union loss 206 killed and 844 wounded, with 4,650 taken prisoners. In addition, the Confederates captured nine pieces of artillery, 10,000 stands of arms, 378 supply wagons, the teams and many supplies.

Gen. Nelson and a remnant of his men finally reached Louisville, where a few days afterwards the General was killed in the Galt House by Gen. Jeff C. Davis whom he mortally insulted. He was a brave man, but had and ungovernable temper, which was finally his undoing.

The number of citizens who remember the famous battle are very few, showing the ravages of time. The generation that has been born since know very little of the battle, which was one of the bloodiest and most decisive of the Civil War.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

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