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 14, 2012

Confederate Attack on Munfordville

Munfordville is 20 miles directly north of Glasgow, Kentucky. The vital Louisville & Nashville Railroad crossed the Green River at Munfordville on one of the most important bridges on the entire line, and a relay station on the Louisville-Nashville turnpike.

Knowing that a Confederate attack was imminent, Federal reinforcements were arriving to the Fort Craig garrison at Munfordville on the 13th and 14th. In the meantime, Confederate Gen. Polk’s Corps cut off the Federal supply line at Cave City.

Without consulting the commanding general, Braxton Bragg, who was at Glasgow, Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers brigade, with reinforcements from Gen. Edmond Kirby Smith that had been sent south to locate Bragg, attacked the Federal garrison. Chalmers was deceived by the strength of the Federals and their ability to repel his assault.

The Battle of Munfordville, Kentucky, from Harper's Weekly
Source: Wikipedia

The attack was a failure, resulting in 285 Rebel casualties to only 37 on the Union side. Bragg believed that Chalmers’s action had destroyed his option to bypass Munfordville. Nevertheless, Bragg will decide to bring all of the army’s strength to attack the Federals at the bridge on the 16th.

Sources: War In Kentucky, James Lee McDonough; Official Records, Vol. 16

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