previous next


[451] I must, however, mention W. A. Bullitt, Adjutant Third Kentucky, who conveyed orders for me through the hottest of the fire with as much coolness as if on review; and Capt. Frank White, Fifteenth Indiana, who superintended the earthworks, and, whenever a point was exposed to a raking fire from the enemy's batteries, immediately threw up traverses to protect the men.

Our entire loss was thirty-seven killed and wounded. The enemy admit a loss of seven hundred and fourteen killed and wounded on Sunday alone. I cannot give as complete a report as I could wish, not having yet received a report from the different commands engaged.

On Tuesday evening, at seven P. M., I was again placed in command. By this time General Polk had crossed the river ten miles above, with the right wing of Bragg's army, and coming down on the north side, took up a position on the river hills commanding our works; the left wing under Hardee, having taken position on the hills on the south side. Bragg had sent a summons to surrender, and a consultation had been held late Tuesday evening with commanders of regiments, in which it was the unanimous expression, that unless enabled by reinforcements to hold the north side of the river, we could make no successful resistance. All, however, decided to resist, unless full evidence should be given of the overwhelming force of the enemy; and having been informed that Gen. Buell's army had not left Bowling Green at two P. M., the day before, and having been notified by you that we could get no help from ~Louisville, our ammunition for small arms being very limited, and our men worn out by constant work and fighting for four days and nights, and being satisfied that further resistance was no less than wilful murder of the brave men who had so long contested with over-whelming numbers, I determined, after counting forty-five cannon in positions commanding our open field-works, and surrounded by over twenty-five thousand men, with no possible chance of assistance from any quarter, although promised such by you from Bowling Green, to surrender the entire force; which I did on Wednesday morning, at two A. M., marching out of the works at six A. M., with all the honors of war, drums beating and colors flying, we being allowed, by the terms of surrender, our side-arms and all private property, and four days rations. Officers and men were immediately paroled, and are about to start for the Ohio River.

I have the honor to be, your ob't servant,

J. T. Wilder, Colonel Commanding U. S. Forces at Green River.


Colonel Dunham's report.

Louisville, Ky., September 30, 1862.
To the A. A. General and Chief of Staff of the Army of Kentucky:
sir: I have the honor to report that in obedience to an order of Major-General Gilbert, on the thirteenth instant, at eleven o'clock P. M. left the depot of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad with six companies of the Fiftieth regiment Indiana volunteers, and one company (K) of the Seventy-eighth Indiana, attached to the Fiftieth for duty — in all four hundred and forty-six strong, rank and file — for Green River, near Munfordville, to reenforce Col. Wilder in defence of that point. The train ran very slowly until some distance below Elizabethtown, when I went forward and earnestly urged the engineer to greater speed, assuring him that it was all-important for us to reach Green River before daylight. He did increase the speed as far as safety would permit. Just below Bacon Creek, and about seven miles from Green River, the train stopped for wood. I immediately passed along the cars, aroused the men, and bid them stand by their arms in readiness for any emergency, as we were approaching dangerous ground. I then took position on the engine, and the train moved cautiously forward. We had proceeded about a mile when we ran upon a portion of the track which had been undermined by the enemy, and slid to one side in such a manner as to make the injury apparent to the engineer and myself. The train was thrown off and several of the cars completely wrecked, yet strange to say, not a man or horse were seriously injured. The men seemed inspired with even greater confidence, as if feeling themselves under the especial protection of an overruling Providence.

They were immediately formed in line of battle, an instantaneous attack being expected. The woods which skirted both sides of the road were promptly reconnoitred. No enemy appearing, the regiment was put in rapid march for Munfordville, presuming that the road had been destroyed to prevent reinforcements from reaching that place. We had not proceeded far before cannonading in that direction was heard. It had now become daylight, and the men deposited their knapsacks and blankets in the thicket on the roadside and moved rapidly on. We soon met crowds of frightened and fleeing citizens, from whom no satisfactory information could be got of the situation of affairs at, or of the forces investing our works. When within between three or four miles of the place we were met by an intelligent citizen, of my acquaintance, who informed me that a cavalry force of the enemy, at least two thousand strong, and a battery of artillery were posted some distance this side of the river, and covering the road approaching our works which were upon the south bank, that guns were also so planted upon both banks of the river as to cover the bridges, and that he deemed it impossible for us to pass them and get in. But nothing daunted, our little force made a detour to the right, and, by keeping under the cover of the woods, and corn-fields, and down ravines, eluded the enemy and reached the river just below the railroad bridge and opposite our works. Here a momentary halt was made under the cover of the woods to close up the column and give the men a little rest. They then plunged into and forded the river at double-quick, between the two bridges, the first notice the enemy having of our approach being the hearty cheers of our



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. T. Wilder (4)
Braxton Bragg (4)
Frank White (2)
Polk (2)
Hardee (2)
C. C. Gilbert (2)
C. L. Dunham (2)
W. A. Bullitt (2)
J. T. Buell (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 30th, 1862 AD (2)
13th (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: