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 7, 2012

32nd Mississippi Infantry arrives at Munfordville, 1862

Union Gen. Don Carlos Buell learns that Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s army is bypassing Nashville. Both armies are now heading for the Federal railroad supply line running through Cave City, Kentucky, about 28 miles northeast of Bowling Green, and the junction of the Louisville Pike. If Buell arrives first, his army will be between Bragg’s and Gen. Smith’s armies. However, if Bragg arrives ahead of him, then he can unite with Smith and drive Buell out of Kentucky, and perhaps take the fight all the way to Cincinnati. (In fact, Smith's force was at this time only 7 miles from Cincinnati. His army's proximity caused the citizens to flee in panic.)

For the first few days of September, Bragg's Army of Mississippi has been bivouacked in Sparta, Tennessee. Here Bragg receives word from Gen. Smith of the Confederate victory at Richmond. Smith also recommends that the 2 Southern armies join forces at Lexington. But considering both the drought in Kentucky and the inadequate forage for his troops along the way to Lexington, Bragg decides instead to change course for Glasgow, Kentucky. There he hopes to find adequate water and the fertile ground of the Green and Barren Rivers area.

On today's date in 1862, my great grandfather's regiment, the 32nd Mississippi Infantry, arrived near Munfordville, Kentucky. With Gen. Hardee's left wing, they completed their march to join the rest of Bragg’s army at Glasgow, about 30 miles south of the Union garrison at Munfordville, which guarded the strategic Green River bridge on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.

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