Scott's Raid

Historic marker #513 in Whitley County notes the skirmish that occurred in Williamsburg, Kentucky during the Civil War.

On July 25, 1863, Confederate Colonel John S. Scott and his men were met by a group from the Union’s 44th Ohio Infantry in a skirmish in Whitley County. Scott’s men of about one thousand six hundred came into Kentucky from east Tennessee in an attempt to destroy the federal communication lines and refill their provisions. In Scott’s official report on his raid into southeastern Kentucky, he mentions the poor condition of his horses and their need for more supplies. He states, “My own horse stock were completely exhausted – fed with little but green food before starting, and the corn furnished for the trip so rotten as to be worse than useless; my horses were broken down.”

At the beginning of this raid into the Bluegrass state, Confederate forces encountered 100 men of the 44th Ohio lined up as pickets in Williamsburg. Within a day, Scott’s troops easily pushed the federal troop toward London. The 44th Ohio Infantry then retreated to the interior of the state, taking Mount Vernon road. Scott and his men left London the same night. Their journey was met with more picket fighting. Colonel John Scott reported, “In these encounters we lost 3 men killed and 10 wounded. The loss of the enemy was about 15 killed and 30 or 40 wounded, among the latter Colonel [William P.] Sanders. We paroled about 120 prisoners, besides capturing horses, commissary and quartermaster’s store, etc.” Scott’s Confederate forces went onto Winchester, but eventually retreated back to Tennessee.