Tag Archives: Battle of Perryville

General Bragg’s Official Report of The Battle of Perryville

The Battle of Perryville was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, and the largest fought in Kentucky.  There were so many dead that there was not enough wood to make enough coffins, and many bodies were not buried for a number of days.  Wounded were sent to surrounding cities – Harrodsburg, Springfield and Danville.  Many of the wounded died and were buried in these cities.  Confederate casualties were 3,401; Union, 4,276 – killed, wounded, captured or missing.

The Maysville Weekly Bulletin, Mason County, Kentucky

Thursday, November 6, 1862

The Battle of Perryville – General Bragg’s Official Report

Headquarters Department No. 2, Bryantsville, Kentucky, October 12, 1862

Sir:  Finding the enemy pressing heavily in his rear, near Perryville, Major General Hardee, of Polk’s command, was obliged to hold and check him at that point.  Having arrived at Harrodsburg from Frankfort, I determined to give him battle there, and accordingly concentrated three divisions of my command – the Army of the Mississippi, now under Major General Polk, Cheatham’s, Buckner’s and Anderson’s – and directed General Polk to take command on the 7th, and attack the enemy next morning.  Wither’s division had gone the day before to support Smith.  Hearing, on the night of the 7th, that the force in front of Smith had rapidly retreated, I moved early next morning, to be present at the operations of Polk’s forces.

The two armies were formed confronting each other on opposite sides of the town of Perryville.  After consulting the General, and reconnoitering the ground and examining his disposition, I declined to assume the command, but suggested some changes and modifications of his arrangements, which he promptly adopted.  The action opened at half-past twelve p.m., between the skirmishers and artillery on both sides.  Finding the enemy indisposed to advance upon us, and knowing he was receiving heavy reinforcements, I deemed it best to assail him vigorously, and so directed.

The engagement became general soon thereafter, and was continued furiously from that time to dark, our troops never faltering and never failing in their efforts.

For the time engaged it was the severest and most desperately contested engagement within my knowledge.  Fearfully outnumbered, our troops did not hesitate to engage at any odds, and, though checked at times, they eventually carried every position, and drove the enemy about two miles.  But for the intervention of night we should have completed the work.  We had captured fifteen pieces of artillery by the most daring charges, killed one and wounded two Brigadier Generals, and a very large number of inferior officers and men estimated at no less than four thousand, and captured four hundred prisoners, including three staff officers with servants, carriage and baggage of Major General McCook.

The ground was literally covered with the dead and wounded.  In such a contest our own loss was necessarily severe – probably not less than 2,500 killed, wounded and missing.  Included in the wounded are Brigadier Generals Wood, Cleburn and Brown – gallant and noble soldiers – whose loss will be severely felt by their commands.  To Major General Polk, commanding the forces; Major General Hardee, commanding the left wing, two divisions, and Major Generals Cheatham, Buckner and Anderson, commanding divisions, of this memorable field.  Nobler troops were never more gallantly led.  The country owes them a debt of gratitude which I am sure will be acknowledged.

Ascertaining that the enemy was heavily reinforced during the night, I withdrew my force early the next morning to Harrodsburg, and thence to this point.  Major General Smith arrived at Harrodsburg with most of his force and Wither’s division the next day, the 10th, and yesterday I withdrew the whole to this point, the enemy following slowly, but not pressing us.

I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

Braxton Bragg, General Commanding

Graham Springs – Famous Waters Bring Many To Mercer County

Who knew Harrodsburg had the reputation of one of the best mineral springs anywhere around?  Graham Springs and its hotel saw many of important and famous people visit both before the Civil War and after the turn of the 20th century.  It is said its guest registers hold the names of everyone who visited; and one was used in a murder trial in the 1850’s to locate the whereabouts of certain witnesses at the time of the murder.  You guessed it – they were at the Graham Springs Hotel.

Begun in 1820, a large hotel was built in 1843.  In 1853 the property was sold to the US government, and burned in 1865.  In 1911 the idea of the Graham Springs Hotel was reborn with another building, and continued through 1932 when the property was purchased by Glave Goddard.  In 1946 it was decided to build the James B. Haggin Hospital on the site of the Grahm Springs Hotel.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sunday, November 17, 1929

Autumn At Graham Springs

To the Editor of The Courier-Journal

Graham Springs Hotel stands upon a beautiful wooded hilltop overlooking the historic town of Harrodsburg, itself one of the oldest and most famous resort hotels in the South.

Twenty-five acres of almost virgin forestry surround it, in unusual beauty of location, its site superb, and its outlook majestic.  As the changing seasons come and go in Kentucky, they write a progressive record of the sylvan beauty upon these woods that thrill an observer with the sheer loveliness of it.  The bluegrass has a marvelous power of resurrection which no amount of scorching in summer drouths can destroy, and late rains of the fall season have laid an aftermath of tender green upon the sunlit slopes in Graham Springs woods.  Upon walnut trees of unusual size and symmetry dark clumps of mistletoe hang in profusion, their waxen berries turning to pearl in a setting of shimmering dark green leaves.  It is no wonder that the Druids worshipped the mistletoe, with its suggestion of everlasting life!  From oak and elm and walnut trees, brilliant autumn colors are flaunted in the face of on-coming winter, with a brave abandon.  As one by one, scarlet, gold and russet-brown leaves float softly to earth, in the still sunlight, a sense of peace and restfulness falls like soothing balm upon the spirit of anyone who may walk there.

In 1820, Dr. C. C. Graham erected a classic building resembling an old world castle upon these grounds, close to the famous Graham0 Springs, whose marvelous curative waters still attract people in search of health and pleasure.  It does not need a page from the United States Dispensary, which states that, ‘Graham Springs and Saratoga are the only saline waters of true worth to be found in America,’ to convince one who has tasted it.  Many have declared it equal to the waters at Baden-Baden.  Kentucky has an asset in this mineral water which she cannot afford to overlook, and progress will surely present it to the world in the fullest measure.  In 1865, that year of the War Between the States anguish, the old hotel was burned.  Its romantic memories, its charm and prestige, however, which are things of spiritual permanence, still cling about the place.

It was in Harrodsburg that George Rogers Clark planned his famous army for the conquest of the Northwest, in commemoration of which event, Old Fort Harrod has been made a State park.  It was within the hotel grounds that a beautiful pageant, representing the early history of Kentucky, was given in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the founding of Harrodsburg, several years ago.  A priceless old record book of Graham Springs Hotel shows names of men famous in the making of America.  Henry Clay was a frequent guest and left his name upon its register.  Pages might be printed of other famous signatures found there.

Old Dr. Graham himself, with his snow-white beard and princely bearing, was a conspicuous figure in the annals of Kentucky, not only leaving a record of his fame at Graham Springs, but at old Transylvania University at Lexington, where he received his education.  Dr. Ephraim McDowell at Danville, and Dr. C. C. Graham at Harrodsburg were men who measured up to the highest standards in the world’s medical records.  The wise old doctor saw to it that his guests had a full measure of exercise and pleasure as well as curative waters to tone up the human system.  A series of dances were inaugurated at Graham Springs before the War Between the States, which became famous for their brilliancy and aristocratic patronage.  The musicians were colored slaves of Dr. Graham, highly trained and gaily liveried.  The singing of ‘spirituals’ before an audience began, in the old South, upon these occasions.

The grave of the unknown girl who died of a heart attack at one of the balls given at Graham Springs.  Her grave is well-tended today.

To this day the weekly dances at Graham Springs are social events of importance in Kentucky, during the season.  Perhaps a mention of the ante-bellum balls may not be complete without reference to the beautiful ‘Unknown’ who danced so gaily and so long at one of them, that she died of a heart attack on the same summer night.  Her grave, marked first by Dr. Graham, and afterward by the City of Harrodsburg, is shown to tourists who never fail to respond to the pathetic appeal of her story.

Mrs. James Harrod, widow of the hardy old pioneer who founded Harrodsburg, lived to a very old age, and was an honored guest at Graham Springs on the first anniversary celebration held there.

Nancy Lewis Greene, Harrodsburg, Kentucky

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, January 1, 1942

Where Southern Gentry Met to Freshen, Fatten and Flirt

This article of 1942 talks about the many ‘watering places’ or mineral springs located in Kentucky, and used before the advent of the Civil War.  It is said physicians strongly recommended taking the waters and were advertised as being ‘especially beneficial to persons suffering from diseases of the stomach, live and kidneys, as well as from asthma, gout, dyspepsia, rheumatism, bilious disorders, neuralgia, autumnal fevers and general debility.’  I believe that takes in almost anyone!

In 1803 John Kennedy’s stagecoach lines helped bring patrons from the city to the country where they might take the waters.

At Olympian Springs, in Bath County it was said ‘there was much flirting, sometimes by ‘married charmers, thirsting for universal dominion.’  Disputes between the ladies often involved ‘pillows, bolsters, fingernails and the poignant sarcasm of the tongue,’ and, at time, the dueling pistols of sensitive gentlemen could be heard in a nearby woodland settling ‘affairs of honor.’

‘Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, veteran of the War of 1812 and “for many years the champion off-hand rifle shot of the world,” purchased the Greenville Springs in 1827, and the following year bought the “Harrodsburg or Sutton Springs” from his father-in-law, Captain David Sutton, for $10,000.  Dr. Graham then combined these two watering places under the name of Harrodsburg or Graham’s Springs.

‘A guest, viewing the Springs in retrospect, said of them: “The walk to the spring before breakfast was very fashionable, a long board-walk covered with tan-bark and shaded with locust trees, their branches meeting and arching overhead the whole distance.  The belles and beaux walked up and down the long portico of the hotel in what seemed to me a fair procession.  The ladies with their beautiful elaborately dressed hair in the New Orleans fashion, as from there we got the styles, and their organdy muslins, which were not then to be bought outside of New Orleans.  The envy of all were the exquisite wide embroidered collars and cuffs worn by the Southern belles.  A score of Creole beauties, prim and particular in their lovely, fleecy, muslin dresses were always present.  The ballroom at night was a scene of enchantment; old Dr. Graham, the proprietor, was the master of ceremonies and the life of the party.”’

It was said that during the summer months of 1833, when the Asiatic cholera was rampant in Kentucky, many came to the springs for healing.  ‘Dr. Graham, at Harrodsburg, announced: “These Springs are perfectly free from the cholera and they never have been otherwise,” and “the many who visited the Springs, from the various cholera districts, with the disease upon them, have all quickly recovered.”’

‘By the middle ‘40’s the watering places of the state were in their heyday.  To keep abreast of the times, Dr. Christopher Graham of Harrodsburg Springs erected an elegant and commodious hotel during the late fall of 1842 and winter of 1843.  This splendid building, costing $30,000, was acclaimed by many to the “the finest edifice in the West.”’

And this July 19, 1851, note in The Courier-Journal gives a rousing description of the dance in the Graham Springs Hotel ball room.  ‘Returning from the ball room, brilliantly illuminated by the sparkling eyes, rivaling the stars in their dazzling brilliancy, methought, if in the cool evening zephyrs that continually fanned my brown, (such were a possibility) to collect, my thoughts scattered in the whirling waltz, to the northern extremity of my brain.  Truly the poet says there’s a “magical influence in the wafted breeze;” but I am afraid (like the charming coquette) she has her favorites, for in spite of all my efforts, my thoughts continue to revert to the ball room!  What a potent charm there is in the dance, and how delightfully sounds the music!’

This popularity of ‘taking the waters’ continued into the early 1850’s.  in 1853 Dr. Graham sold the Springs to the United States Government and it was turned into a military asylum for old and disabled soldiers.

In 1856 the main building burned.  And during the Civil War the buildings that remained were used as a hospital.  After the Battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862, in Boyle County, the ballroom was used as an operating room.

But the Springs did revive in the early days of the 20th century.

The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Friday, April 21, 1911

It will be pleasant news to the people of Central Kentucky to learn that the far-famed historical old Graham Springs will be opened as a select summer resort the coming season.  The Cassell mansion, one of the most elegant brick buildings in the Blue Grass has been converted into a choice hotel.  Old fashioned cooking will be provided and food in abundance will be supplied.  The water that pours from Old Graham Springs is the finest in the world and it is a wonder that somebody has not long ago erected a hotel there sufficient to accommodate five hundred guests.  The property is now owned by Mr. Ben C. Allin and Editor T. Sanders Orr has charge of the publicity department.  The water from these springs should be bottled and shipped throughout the country.  Reasonable rates will be made.  Many Danville people will doubtless take advantage of the fine accommodations and benefit themselves by drinking the pure water that made Harrodsburg famous sixty years ago.

This 1923 advertisement for the Graham Springs Hotel touts its ‘tennis, croquet and shady grounds, is located on a high eminence with splendid views and amid beautiful scenery.’  Perhaps this was the first of what today is known as farm-to-table – ‘its table is supplied with the best of foods, old-fashioned cooking, chicken dinners, including pure Jersey milk from our own herd, fresh vegetables and fruit from our own gardens.’

It is also a tourist manual, giving ideas for outings in the surrounding country – ‘beautiful and full of historic interest.  The roads are ideal for riding, driving and motoring and short excursions may be made to the site of the old fort, to Daniel Boone’s Cave, High Bridge, Shakertown, Perryville Battlefield and other points of interest.’

This photo was taken during those early days of the 20th century.

This is what the area looks like today.

Dr. Alex A. Farris Obituary

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Thursday, May 18, 1905

Was At Perryville

The death of Dr. Alex A. Farris at Hickman, Kentucky, Monday, was received here with much regret.  When quite a young man he entered the Confederate service and was severely wounded at the Battle of Perryville.  He was brought to Harrodsburg and then taken to the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Coleman on the Lexington Pike, where his arm was amputated and where he hovered between life and death for many weeks.  He finally recovered, went to Missouri, graduated in medicine and became one of the foremost physicians of that commonwealth.  About six years ago he wrote here asking about his former friends who had cared for him in his hour of need.  Learning that both were then alive he paid them a pleasant visit of several days.  In the terrible yellow fever epidemic that visited Hickman in 1878 the courage and devotion to duty, which made so good a soldier, prompted him to remain with and serve his people.  Of the six home physicians all died except Dr. Farris, who seemed to bear a charmed life through the scourge.

Confederate Civil War Veterans From Washington County

How I would love to have met this Mr. Baylor!  He and I think alike when it comes to history and preserving it and saving family histories!  I personally know of the Revolutionary War applications of which he speaks – I looked through those several years ago and copied a few.  So in that respect Mr. Orval was incorrect – it wasn’t 125 years – it was just about 75 years since he last touched the packet, before I came along and showed the same interest!

from Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky, by Orval W. Baylor

November 29, 1934

Veterans of 1861-1865

After placing the old declaration of Thomas Fitzgerald among the other papers that had kept it company for about a century and a quarter, and where it will probably remain for another hundred years or more, I next turned my attention to a bundle marked “Confederate Pension Applications”.

No pensions have been provided by the Federal Government for the men who fought under the Stars and Bars of the Southern Confederacy, but the State of Kentucky did provide for her sons who saw service in the army of the Lost Cause.

There was quite a bit of Southern sentiment in Washington County before and during the War Between the States and the number of men who joined the confederate Army from Washington County was fairly representative of the county’s population.  Some men, like Patrick Simms and Oscar Walker, went into the Confederate Army early in the year 1861.  They joined General John H. Morgan’s command.  Some others got into the service when Bragg’s Army passed through the county in 1862, and still others made their way at various times, to join the Southern troops in Tennessee and Virginia.

From the Pension Applications spread out before me, I select a few names and jot down parts of the declarations of the several veterans.

Patrick Simms

Patrick Simms, born in Washington County November 22, 1835; married Nannie Craycroft; enlisted at Bowling Green, Kentucky, October 6, 1861, and was assigned to Co. A, 6th Ky. Infty.  Commissioned Captain by General John H. Morgan, September 1862, and ordered to raise a company of mounted men, which he did.  Among the men who served under him was his old boyhood chum and schoolmate, Oscar Walker.  Simms was captured and imprisoned for eight months at Johnson’s Island.  After his release he joined his command and served until the time of the general surrender in April, 1865.

John T. Craycroft

John T. Craycroft, born in Washington County October 26, 1840; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 29, 1913; married Maria Bullock, at Fairfield, Kentucky, October 26, 1865; enlisted in Co. A, 6th Ky. Vol. Infty., familiarly known as the Orphan Brigade.  Served to the close of the war.  Participates in the battles of Chicamauga and Dallas, Georgia, and was wounded in the latter engagement.  Shelton Jeffries, a companion-in-arms, said he saw Craycroft lying on the battlefield at Dallas, “desperately wounded and placed him under the protection of branches of a cedar tree from rays of the sun, being unable to assist himself.”  When the Confederate forces were surrendered by Gen. Joseph E. Johnson, in April, 1865, he was paroled but immediately thereafter he was arrested at Dalton, Georgia, his parole was taken from him, and he was taken to Chattanooga, where he was imprisoned for two days.  He was then taken to Nashville where the oath of allegiance was administered to him and he was released.

W. B. Spears

W. B. Spears, born in Washington County, April 5, 1825; enlisted in Co. A, 6th Ky. Vol. Infty., October, 1862, served during the period of the war.  Paroled at Washington, Georgia, April 1865; arrested and imprisoned at Chattanooga; taken to Nashville where he took the oath and was released.

S. A. Mudd

S. A. Mudd, born Washington County, 1843; enlisted October, 1862, and was assigned to the “Buckner Guard”.  Served for the period of the war and was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1865.  John T. Craycroft said he saw Mudd at Chicamauga and Dallas, and that “he saw me desperately wounded and insisted on making me as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.”

John W. Burnett

John W. Burnett, born in Washington County, April 16, 1840; joined Bragg’s Army near Springfield, in 1862, and was sworn in at College Grove, Tennessee, after the Battle of Perryville.  Served as a member of the Buckner Guards and surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina, April, 1865.

John H. Canter

John H. Canter, born Washington County, November 15, 1839; enlisted in Morgan’s Command, Co. C, 3rd Ky. Reg., in 1862.  Was captured and imprisoned at Camp Douglass and released in March, 1865.  Made his way South and rejoined the army.  Surrendered in West Virginia and took the oath of allegiance when “we were forced to” at Cumberland Gap, June, 1865.

James Cokendolpher

James Cokendolpher, born Chaplin, Kentucky, 1845; enlisted at Munfordsville, October, 1862, in the Old Squadron, Co. B, 2nd Ky. Cavalry, C.S.A., and served under General John H. Morgan.  Was captured at the time Morgan made his famous raid across the Ohio into Indiana and Ohio and was imprisoned for nearly two years at Camp Douglass.  Exchanged early in 1865 and rejoined the army in the South.  Surrendered at Christianbury, Virginia.  John H. Purdy said he was with Cokendolpher all the time.

The History of Marion County, Kentucky

This history of Marion County, Kentucky, I know very well.  In the summer between my senior year of high school and first semester at college I worked at our local public library – in Marion County.  Having spent many, many hours there in the previous several years, going through census records – micro fiche – no books at that time! – and pouring over the county histories and family histories for records of my family – I was very familiar with the library, and excited when I was hired!  One of my tasks, other than shelving books, checking out customers, etc., was to type an extra copy of this history by W. T. Knott!  There are perhaps 100 pages.  We did not have copy machines (1975) so if you wanted an extra copy it was typed!  I was fascinated with the book – so loved every moment of my typing assignment!

In previous posts the history of the author, W. T. Knott, was the subject at hand, and early settlers were discussed.  This post is about the Civil War in Marion County.  John Hunt Morgan came through and made the town his own.  Just a few days after the Confederates moved out of Lebanon they met Federal troops at the little town of Perryville, Kentucky.  And just so you know, General Morgan was not  finished with the town of Lebanon – he comes around again in part two of the civil war days of Marion County.

from The History of Marion County by W. T. Knott

Occasion for recording “war history” of our county did not exist again until the year 1850.  In that year forebodings of an impending civil war in the United States were afloat everywhere over our country.  Little did the citizens realize the horrors that a civil war would bring upon the country.  Little did they appreciate what utter desolation, ruin and misery were so soon to overtake and overwhelm a great portion of our territory, and that so many hundreds of thousands of the then happy, prosperous citizens were so soon destined to reap the most dire consequences of a long and bloody war.  Nothing like a true conception at that time of coming events existed in any mind.  Older men felt grave apprehensions, it is true, but took their places fearlessly on the one side or the other, determined boldly to face whatever might be the consequences.  Younger men seemed joyous and merry as if they were anticipating a mere picnic where there might be “some hardship, but abundance of fun,” and that the dark clouds would soon go away.

On the 20th day of December, 1860, South Carolina passed the ordinance of secession, and in a short time many of the Southern states followed her example.  On the 4th day of February, 1861, Jefferson Davis was chosen President of the new government.  On the 12th day of April, 1861, Edmund Ruffin, under orders from P. C. T. Beauregard, fired the first gun of the civil war, its shot crashing against the granite walls of Fort Sumpter, whilst its report sounded and resounded, echoed and re-echoed, announcing the beginning of the civil war to every citizen of our country and of the whole world as well.

Marion County, until that shot, was comparatively quiet, but very soon the community gave unmistakable evidence of political disintegration.  Old men and young men elected their positions; many on each side hurried off to join the armies of their choice.  Some families divided, one son would enlist in one army, his brother in the army opposed.  Even our women were partisans; some support the stars and stripes while others held up the stars and bars.  The county was not all excitement, many of our prominent citizens were for the Union, as it was, and opposed to the Southern act of secession; others were in favor of succession and were ready to fight for the cause and left the county for the purpose of casting their lots with the Southern army; other good citizens were in favor of Kentucky neutrality – that is, they wished our state to arm her citizens and to whip both armies or either of them if they dared to cross our borders.  The Union party in the county, being largely in the majority, at once organized two companies of “Home Guards” in Lebanon, with many men from the county as members, for the purpose of protection or to meet any emergency that might arise.  The first company organized elected T. C. Woods as captain; the other company was commanded by Captain Richard Knott.  Shortly after the organization of the “Home Guard Companies” two camps were established for the purpose of recruiting and drilling volunteers for the service of the United States army.  C. S. Hill was commissioned Colonel and had charge of the camp “B. Spalding”.  For the purpose of recruiting a regiment of state troops, Colonel Hill resigned his commission as Colonel of U.S. Volunteers and Colonel John M. Harlan, now one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, took his place as commander of his camp, and filled the regiment.  Their recruiting camp was called “E. A. Graves” and commanded by W. Anderson, from Louisville.  The General George H. Thompson estate was headquarters at Lebanon in the later part of November, 1861, and from that day until the close of the war Lebanon served as a post.

On the 10th day of July, 1862, while the post at Lebanon was guarded by only fifty or sixty soldiers under the command of Colonel Johnson – who was, I think,
Colonel of the 28th Kentucky Infantry – Colonel John H. Morgan commanding a battalion of Confederate Cavalry, raided the county and town and after a slight skirmish with the small body of U. S. soldiers under Colonel Johnson and a company of Home Guards, just out of the limits of the town on the Campbellsville road, put to flight and captured the whole force, killing two of the Home Guards, Moses Rickets and M. Deig, a German and recent citizen.  After Morgan’s force had burned Camp Crittenden, and all the quartermaster and commissary and ordinance stores and paroled his prisoners, he moved in the direction of Springfield.  In a few days after Morgan’s raid our town was again occupied by Federal soldiers, Colonel Owens, commanding the 60th Indiana Regiment and a battalion of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry under him as scouts, took possession of what was left of the military post, and at once proceeded to barricade the town, and issue orders that no person should leave the town without a pass from the military.  In the course of three or four weeks the post was re-enforced with forces under General Dumont, who superseded Colonel Owens and immediately began to add to the fortifications of the town, and throw up earthworks on some of the elevated surrounding of the town.  Common sense was a very scarce article with General Dumont, as it would appear when he bent every energy to perfect a complete “death pen” for his own men by digging trenches and planting fence rails and stakes across the street to “keep the enemy out and to keep his soldiers in,” while the town is so situated in a valley surrounded by high hills and knobs, and the occupancy by the enemy of any two or three, with a few pieces of artillery could have knocked the town into atoms, without the least danger to themselves.

On September 7, 1862, General Bragg having entered the state, General Dumont withdrew his forces from Lebanon, leaving a large amount of military and commissionary stores.  The day following Colonel Scott, entered and took possession of the place and left Dr. W. W. Cleaver, a citizen of our town and a surgeon in the Confederate army, in command of the post, who at once had the ditch filled and the barricades removed, for which the citizens were very thankful indeed.  Dr. Cleaver in the meantime recruited a company for the Confederate service.  During the time that the Confederate forces held this military post, and while Cleaver and others were recruiting in this and adjoining counties, the proclamation of President Lincoln abolishing slavery in the southern states “unless they returned to the Union before January 1, 1863,” was received at Lebanon.  Proclamation was dated September 22, 1862.  The Confederate forces evacuated Lebanon on the 5th day of October, 1862, and on the third day thereafter (October 8) the battle of Perryville was fought, from which bloody field of battle, many wounded Federals, as well as Confederate prisoners, were brought to Lebanon and cared for by the medical department of the Federals.  Our citizen women, true to all the traits of pure, noble womanhood, came forward, laying aside, for the time being, all partisan feeling, and prejudice, administering to the wants of the wounded and dying, closing the eyes, with motherly and sisterly tenderness, of those whom they had never seen before, dropping here and there a tear of sympathy beside the cold dead face of some woman’s son or brother or husband (they knew not who), and offering up a silent prayer that their loved ones, if ever on the battlefield should meet with like misfortunes, might have the like of kindness shown to them by strangers.  In this mission of love our women administered to the wants and necessities of expiring.  Federal and Confederate soldiers alike.  The “Stars and Stripes” and the “Stars and Bars” were on such occasions of death and suffering, for the time being, furled, hidden and forgotten.

Emily Huff Obituary

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, January 8, 1915

Angel of Mercy on Perryville Battlefield Passes Away

Mrs. Emily Huff, aged 91, died Saturday at the home of her son, Mr. Tilford Huff, in the west end of the county.  The funeral services were held at Bruner’s Chapel Sunday, Rev. W. D. Moore officiating, and the interment was in Spring Hill Cemetery in this city.  Mrs. Huff was noted for her hospitality and goodness of heart and was loved by all her neighbors.  When the Battle of Perryville took place around her home she was an angel of mercy to the wounded soldiers and many in pain were eased into eternal rest by her, and many owed heir lives to her ministering.  The morning after the great battle she was out on the field of carnage and felt someone pull at her dress skirt as she passed by.  Looking down she saw a Confederate soldier whom she had thought dead, who could just barely speak.  He was wounded in the chest and he pleaded with her between moans to put a clean shirt on him as his garment was matted and stiff with blood.  She did so, and saw that he was carried into a house near by.  He finally recovered and returned to his home in Georgia.  Several years afterward he wrote to her, thanking her for her care, and saying that he always felt that he owed his life to her.  Mrs. Huff carried her kindly Christianity all through her long life and leaves a record of many good deeds.  Besides her son, Mr. Tilford Huff, she is survived by one daughter, Mrs. J. T. Watts, of Boyle County.

Alexander Robertson McKee, Biography

from Kentucky Genealogy and Biography Volume V

Boyle County, Kentucky

Alexander Robertson McKee, M.D., was born on the 4th of February, 1816, near Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky.  He was the third son of Hon. Samuel McKee, who was a prominent and successful lawyer and politician during the early history of the state.  Dr. McKee received a collegiate education at Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, and subsequently took his degree in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania with the class of 1839.  Soon thereafter he located at Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky, and formed a partnership for the practice of his profession with his cousin, the late Dr. William R. Letcher.  He at once acquired a large and lucrative practice and commanded the universal respect and confidence of the community.  During the time he resided in Madison County he was elected and served for many years as a director of the Northern Bank of Kentucky, as a member of the board of trustees of the town of Richmond, and as an elder in the Presbyterian Church.  In 1857 Dr. McKee removed to Clay County, Missouri, where he remained only two years.  Returning to Kentucky in the spring of 1859 he located at Danville, where he resumed the practice of his profession, and resided at that place until his death on the 13th of February, 1886.  Dr. McKee was engaged as an active and honorable practitioner of medicine for forty-seven years, commencing in 1839, and ending a few days before his death in 1886.  He was a diligent student of medicine, thoroughly devoted to his profession, and was recognized by the medical profession and the community at large as a thoroughly qualified and conscientious practitioner.  He acquired wide reputation as a safe and successful physician.  Few men in any profession have, for so many years, retained their practice as Dr. McKee.  Until four days before his death in the seventy-first year of his age, he was engaged in the successful practice of his profession.  He was remarkably successful as a general practitioner, but was known as especially successful as an accoucheur.  It is know that out of over 1,600 obstetrical cases that he attended during his professional career, only one case resulted in the death of the mother.  Dr. McKee was one of the organizers of the Boyle County Medical Society, also of the district society, and was frequently elected president of each.  He was also a member of the Kentucky State Medical Society.  He was a man of great physical as well as moral courage.  He never failed, or even hesitated, in the discharge of what he considered to be his duty.  No danger or personal inconvenience ever deterred him, or caused him to falter.  This feature of his character was well illustrated by his conduct during the winter of 1862, after the Battle of Perryville, where he had under his professional care as many as 1,200 sick and wounded Union and Confederate soldiers, many of whom had contagious and infectious diseases.  To these he gave as careful and as faithful attention as he did to his nearest friends and patients suffering from ordinary diseases.  He was a man of great firmness and determination.  When once he had made up his mind, or come to a conclusion about any matter, no amount of threats or persuasion could induce him to abandon his position.  No consideration of personal gain or popularity seemed to have the slightest influence with him; justice and right seemed to be the main considerations with him, let the consequences be what they would.  He was a true and steadfast friend, a wise counselor, a public-spirited citizen, a skillful physician, and an upright and honest man, beloved and respected by the entire community.  Dr. McKee’s father, Hon. Samuel McKee, was a noted man in his day.  Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, October 13, 1774, he removed with his father, Colonel William McKee, to Garrard County, Kentucky, about the year 1800.  He was a member of Congress from 1806 to 1816, succeeding Judge John Boyle in that office.  He was a circuit judge for a number of years, and an officer in the War of 1812.  As a lawyer he commanded a very large practice, and as an orator he had few equals.  He seldom ever had any opposition for any office to which he aspired.  He was so popular in his own county that the largest number of votes ever cast against him in that county was six.  He was repeatedly elected a member of the Kentucky Legislature, was a member of the first board of trustees of Centre College, and at the time of his death in 1826 was serving by appointment of President Monroe as president of the first commission to clear the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers of obstructions.  Dr. McKee had only two brothers, Colonel William R. McKee, who graduated at the military academy at West Point in 1829 and was subsequently colonel of the Second Kentucky Regiment in the war with Mexico, and lost his life at the head of his regiment at the same time with Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Clay, Jr., at Buena Vista.  His other brother, Judge George R. McKee, one of the most distinguished and successful lawyers of the state, still resides in Covington.  Dr. McKee’s only sister, Jane Logan McKee, was married to Dr. Benjamin F. Duncan, of Garrard County.  She died at the old “McKee” homestead near Lancaster in 1873.  Dr. McKee’s grandfather, Colonel William McKee of Scotch-Irish descent, was a captain in the Revolutionary War for six years; a member of the convention that drafted the first constitution of the State of Virginia; a member of the Virginia Convention that adopted the Constitution of the United States; was high sheriff of Rockbridge County, Virginia; removed to Kentucky about the year 1800, and settled upon Gilbert’s Creek near Lancaster.  Colonel McKee’s first wife was his cousin, Mariam McKee, and his second wife was also his cousin, being at the time of their marriage the widow of Colonel Joseph Daviess, and was the mother by her first husband of Colonel Joseph Hamilton Daviess, who was killed at the battle of Tippecanoe.  Dr. McKee’s mother was Martha Robertson, daughter of Alexander Robertson, the first sheriff of Mercer County, member of the first county court for Lincoln County; delegate to the Virginia Convention called to ratify the Federal constitution; member of the Virginia Legislature until 1789; voted with all the Kentucky delegates, except Humphrey Marshall, against the adoption of the Federal constitution.  Dr. McKee’s mother was a sister of the late Chief Justice George Robertson and also of Mrs. Ex-Governor Robert P. Letcher.  Dr. McKee was married in September, 1842, to Mary Ashby, daughter of Dr. M. Q. Ashby, of Richmond, Kentucky.  They were blessed with six children:  Samuel, Ashby, George, Logan, Alexander and Margaret Logan McKee.  George R. died in infancy, and Ashby, a young man of rare promise, died in the twenty-eighth year of his age in Louisville, Kentucky.  Mrs. McKee’s family, the Ashbys, was also very prominent and bore a conspicuous part in the early history of Virginia and Kentucky.  Mrs. McKee’s father, Dr. M. Q. Ashby of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, was a prominent physician for many years at Richmond and Lexington, Kentucky, and was one of the wealthiest and most influential men of central Kentucky.  Her grandfather, Captain Nathaniel Ashby, was a captain in the Revolutionary War; also in the War of 1812; served under General Morgan throughout the war of the revolution and was at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.  Her great-grandfather, Captain John Ashby, was an aid on George Washington’s staff at Braddock’s defeat in 1754; was also an officer in the Revolutionary War with his son Nathaniel Ashby.  Ashby’s Gap, in Virginia, is named for Captain John Ashby; and General Turner Ashby, of “Black Horse” cavalry fame, is of the same family, being a second cousin of Mrs. McKee.