Today in History:

95 Series I Volume XVI-I Serial 22 - Morgan's First Kentucky Raid, Perryville Campaign Part I


under the direction of General Gilbert he undertook to explain why he was not in the front to direct personally.

Question. What reason did he give?

He said I might think it strange his not coming some time to the front. His staff annoyed me from the time I went into the corps till I left it. They would come and order a brigade to do a certain thing as direct from General Gilbert, as they said, and when I talked to General Gilbert he denied authorizing such an order.

After I had engaged the enemy for about three hours in front of the town of Lancaster we advanced slowly and steadily, and he came up to me after he had ordered me to fall back within a mile of Lancaster. He came up, and I told him we had committed a great error by not taking possession of that road; that I had discovered a large number of wagons passing there, and I was satisfied the enemy were getting away in the rear with their transportation trains. Had he permitted me to advance to that road I could have cut off a large number of wagons. He said there was no water and that we could not make an encampment. Our men, I told him, had been without water, and could have stood it for one night. Said he, "You may think it strange that I was not in the front, but I remained in the rear for the purpose of supporting you." I replied that I preferred he would just let me alone and permit me to exercise my own judgment. I had lost all confidence in General Gilbert. I did not know whether he was captain or general. I only knew him from the fact that he wrote two stars. He was commanding an army corps as a major-general.

Question by General TYLER. How was he placed there?

I don't know. I was ordered to report to Major-General Gilbert.

Question by the PRESIDENT. Was he not major-general?

I saw him subsequently at Louisville and he had only one star.

Question. Was he a brigadier-general?

I don't know. I saw in the papers that he was appointed brigadier.

Question by JUDGE-ADVOCATE. How long did the army remain at Perryville after the action there and what course did it take?

Two whole days. I marched the third day.

Question. In what direction did you march?

I started out and struck the Harrodsburg pike, marched on about three miles, and went on the road between the road to Harrodsburg the road to Danville; there is a road between the two.

Question. You were there in pursuit of the rebels; they were marching in the direction of Harrodsburg?

I understood they had marched from Harrodsburg to Danville on the pike. We marched half way in the direction of Perryville to Harrodsburg and then struck in a direct [map produced] route to Danville between the tow roads. After leaving Bowling Green I was ordered to take the Merry Oak road to Glasgow, and was ordered to proceed cautiously, by General Buell himself, to Wright's Store, to encamp that night, which I did. I went in pursuance of General Buell's direction, and met a brigade of cavalry, which came into camp some three hours after I had arrived there. I have a memorandum from you [addressing General Buell] saying unless I met the enemy I was to proceed the next morning to a certain point, Buell's Tavern, a railroad station, where there was a cavalry force said to be.

Question. Did you understand the object of Bragg's army in marching toward Harrodsburg after that action at Perryville?

I know no other reason than that they were cut off in the Danville road by a portion of my command. We covered with parts of two batteries the Danville road, and with the force on my right, had we been supported, we could have held the position against Bragg's whole army. I know another reason: the supposition was they were to make a junction with Kirby Smith, and I subsequently understood they did.

Question. How did it come that that position was not maintained?

It was. I have a diagram which will give you an idea of the country there. (Diagram produced.) The town of Perryville and the Danville road were covered by parts of two of my batteries. The road leading from Perryville to Harrodsburg was 10 miles, on which the enemy retreated, and I am told that from Harrodsburg to Danville