8 October 1862: Holding Kentucky
Union and Confederate forces converged on one another at the small town of Perryville, Kentucky. Kentucky was one of the Border States that President Lincoln feared the forfeiture of would cause the loss of the war. Confederate armies entered Kentucky in August and pushed north toward the Ohio River hoping to muster an uprising of support for the Confederate States. When Kentuckians failed to rally in any real numbers under the Stars and Bars General Braxton Bragg’s Army of the Mississippi withdrew south. The Federal’s Army of the Ohio commanded by Major General Don Carlos Buell also advanced into Kentucky and both armies encountered each other near Chaplin Hills on the outskirts of Perryville. Today total casualties for the battle are estimated at 7,607. The South would never again invade Kentucky in force and Lincoln’s armies had ensured that Kentucky was held for the Union.