Maj.-Gen. E. Kirby Smith
was assigned to the district of East Tennessee.
In August, reinforced by McCown
's division, sent early in July, General Smith
moved into Kentucky
through Big Creek gap
, and meeting with no serious resistance moved across to Cumberland ford, where he gave his barefooted soldiers a rest of two or three days, feeding them with roasting ears and beef without salt, but promising to regale them better when they reached the bluegrass country.
Brig.-Gen. T. J. Churchill
commanded the Third division (McCown
's) of Smith
's army, with one brigade under Col. T. H. McCray
—Thirty-first Arkansas (sharpshooters), and several Texas
's brigade, under Col. Evander McNair
's gap the army was joined by a division under Colonel Cleburne
, including the brigades of Preston Smith
and B. J. Hill
, the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Arkansas in the latter (Cleburne
Moving through Barboursville
proceeded directly against Richmond, Ky.
From Big Hill, on August 30, 1862, General Cleburne
moved forward at daylight and found the enemy drawn up to meet him in a commanding position at Mount Zion church, six miles from Richmond
Cleburne at once commenced the action, and Churchill
was sent around to attack the enemy on the right flank.
During the engagement with Cleburne
, the enemy, while making an attempt to turn Cleburne
's right, was repulsed with severe slaughter by Col. Preston Smith
's brigade, and at the same time General Churchill
, by a determined and unexpected charge against the enemy's flank with McCray
's brigade, completed a victory already partially gained.
Gen. Kirby Smith
ordered the cavalry to make a detour rapidly so as to intercept the retreat of the fugitives, and also ceased the firing of his artillery.
The enemy, rallying in a second line, supposed that the Confederates
were preparing to retreat, and as McCray
a second time approached their flank, they attacked his brigade before the other troops came up. To the astonishment