The Civil War History of the 57th Indiana
(#12 of 52)
Braxton Bragg’s Army at Perryville.“Army of the Ohio commenced the second movement southward, from Louisville, on the 1st of October, 1862. Long columns of troops could be seen marching out on the various roads leading south. Having but recently drawn a complete outfit of clothing, each soldier was carrying a heavy load. Knapsacks were crowded full, with blankets on top.
“On Saturday the 4th, several miles north of Bardstown, it was evident that the rebels had no intention of making a stand at the town. They had, however, withdrawn to a place where the roads intersected, and then, as usual, showed fight with a small force of cavalry. The 3rd Ohio Cavalry immediately charged upon them. The enemy succeeded in drawing them into an ambush, and quite a number were captured. Our division was speedily formed in line of battle and hurried forward; but from the woods the rebels could see our advancing lines, and immediately withdrew. The enemy was now moving in the direction of Harrodsburg, with the intent of forming a junction with Gen. Kirby Smith. Instead of seeing the “oppressed people” of Kentucky springing to arms in aid of the cause of rebellion, a large army of northern boys, fresh from the fields, work-shops, schools, and pulpits, confronted them at every point.
“Since leaving Louisville, we had received full rations of crackers, coffee, sugar, and meat. In making a three days’ issue, we would usually receive two days’ ration of bacon and one of fresh beef. Cattle were driven along in the rear of the troops, and butchered at our camping places.
“At every halt of any length, the weary men would throw themselves down at the roadside or in fence corners and in a moment were wrapped in slumber. But when the bugle sounds “forward,” and with no small amount of waking, rousing, and clamor, the “machine” is once more in motion.
(Kentucky, October, 1862)
Excerpts taken from “Annals of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry: Marches, Battles, and Incidents of Army Life” written by Asbury L. Kerwood immediately after the war.