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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bragg's army begins arriving at Bardstown

On this date in 1862, lead elements of Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi begin arriving at Bardstown, Kentucky, to join forces with Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, in order to push on into Louisville, 40 miles to the north.

When the first of Bragg's troops marched into town, people embraced them as deliverers in a tableau reenacted over several days. The streets were lined with people, and Dixie and Bonnie Blue Flag were played. Bragg and his generals gave speeches. However, in spite of the warm reception, Kentuckians continued to fearfully hold back from joining the army and supporting the Confederate cause.

In nearby Louisville, the citizens were in a panic at the prospect of battle between the 2 opposing armies gathering there. Union General Nelson issued an evacuation order on the 22nd, in anticipation of an attack. Southern forces reached to within 2 miles of the city, but did not invade it. Having been beaten 
by Buell in the march to Louisville, and being refused by Gen. Smith to join forces in an attack on that city, Bragg eventually withdrew his army without a fight.

Sources: Perryville:  This Grand Havoc of Battle, Kenneth W. Noe; Official Records, Vol. 16, Pt. 1

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