Paper no. 5.
The army now occupied nearly the arc of a circle described from Perryville
held the centre at Harrodsburg
, with Heth
on his immediate right, reaching to McCown's Ferry on the Kentucky river
on the extreme right, while Hardie
on the left retired slowly upon Perryville
, harassed at every step by the enemy.
had come up from Owingsville
within supporting distance.
Thus the main object of the late movements was accomplished with trifling loss of men or material.
's entire forces were now concentrated and well in hand, in a position of his own selection, and a fair field upon which to operate.
The enemy crossed the Kentucky river
, and were ambuscaded, and severely handled by Colonel Scott
, who, nothwithstanding, was forced to give way before largely superior forces.
concluded that the main attack was coming from this quarter.
It proved to be a great error, and unfortunately led him to violate a first principle of military science by dividing his army in the immediate face of the enemy, undoing in a moment all that the retreat, the sacrifices and the hard work of the last few days had accomplished.
reinforced with Withers
's division, raising his effective strength, exclusive of cavalry, to more than five and twenty thousand muskets, was sent in the direction of Frankfort
to meet this attack, while General Bragg
, with the remainder of his forces, some sixteen thousand men, was left to check the enemy at Perryville
Leaving the banks on the morning of the 8th of October, General Smith
marched to Versailles
, where he learned that only one column of the enemy, 10,000 strong, commanded by General Sill
, had crossed at Frankfort
, and that this column had taken the road for Lawrenceburg
In the hopes of capturing it, Smith
proceeded rapidly to that point, while Withers
, who was on the Salorsa turnpike
, a few miles to our left, was ordered to make a detour still further to the left, which would bring him to Salt river
, directly across Sill
's line of march.
If thus intercepted in front and pressed in rear by superior forces, Sill
's command would inevitably be compelled to surrender.
At ten o'clock at night General Smith
encamped within a mile of Lawrenceburg