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.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Hasty Inauguration

Confederate Ben. Braxton Bragg's hopes to recruit Kentuckians to the Confederate army were waning. Frustrated that he hadn't been able to recruit much needed volunteers to his army, Bragg decided that conscription of the reluctant Kentuckians was his only option for getting the soldiers he needed. Obsessed with the idea that an installation of a provisional Confederate government would permit a conscription act to be rushed through the state's legislature, Bragg decided to install Richard Hawes as governor. Bragg's generals, Kirby Smith and Simon B. Buckner, argued against the scheme in view of the large Union forces known to be nearby.

Kentucky Capital Building Cir. 1862
The capital of Frankfort had been occupied by the Confederates since its capture only a month ago. Bragg arranged for Hawes's installation on this date in 1862. But the inauguration ceremony was brought to a hasty conclusion when Federal artillery from Union Gen. Sill’s division opened up on the town. The attack deceived Bragg into thinking that the main Federal threat was at or near Frankfort. Gen. Kirby Smith rushed his troops 12 miles southeast to Versailles, where he and Bragg believed the Federal attack would be centered.

On this date in 1862, Union Gen. Don Carlos Buell took back the state capital and drove the provisional government that afternoon in exile to TennesseeFrankfort, along with the rest of Kentucky, will remain sympathetic toward the Union for the remainder of the war

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