In honor of Pvt. Nathan R. Oakes, CSA

150 years ago, my great grandfather, Nathan Richardson Oakes, served as a private in Company D of the distinguished 32nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment in the Army of Tennessee. He participated in the great Civil War campaigns, including the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and Bentonville. I am writing about his engagements as well as some details about fighting for the Lost Cause. I hope to honor him and commemorate the events and individuals that contributed to making this a renowned unit in the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bragg and Smith Meet

Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith
On this date, Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg travels to Lexington with his staff for a few days to confer with Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, and then on to install a Confederate government in the capital at Frankfort. Gen. Leonidas Polk was left in charge of the army at Bardstown.

Later, Confederate Cavalry Gen. Wheeler will write about that period: “So worn and wearied was the condition of our army that [Bragg, Polk, and Hardee] did not feel justified in attempting an aggressive movement [against Buell].” Soon, Polk will feel compelled to withdraw. His decision will move the army toward a climatic battle at Perryville in a few days.

Bragg and Smith could agree about taking Louisville. Instead, a clever ruse by Union Gen. Buell will compel them to move their forces out of the region toward Harrodsburg.

Sources: Battles and Leaders, Vol. III; The Third Battalion Mississippi Infantry and the 45th Mississippi Regiment: A Civil War History, David Williamson

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