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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day of Thanksgiving, 1862

Elated at the bloodless Confederate victory over Fort Craig in Munfordville, Kentucky, on this date in 1862, Gen. Braxton Bragg called for a day of thanksgiving and prayer. Unfortunately for the Confederacy, the delay at Munfordville would allow 30,000 Federal troops to dig in at Louisville.

By the afternoon of the 19th, Bragg had made up his mind to join his force with Gen. Kirby Smith near Louisville. In an attempt to uncover Buell's position, Bragg sent Buckner's division, in which my great grandfather was serving, to the front to feel out the enemy. Buckner will report nothing of importance on his front, so Bragg will continue with his plans to meet up with Kirby Smith's army and face Buell another day.

Bragg sent his supply trains on to Bardstown. On the morning of the 20th, he began moving his Army of Mississippi north to Nolin, then moved off the Louisville pike onto the Bardstown road. His hesitation at Munfordville cost him 3 days, enough time for the enemy at Louisville to prepare.

Sources: The Third Battalion Mississippi Infantry and the 45th Mississippi Regiment: A Civil War History, David Williamson; Army of the Heartland: The Army of Tennessee, 1861-1862, Thomas Lawrence Connelly

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