CSA Starts Retreat

Historical Marker #704 is installed on US 27 at Bryantsville. The plaque both marks the location of a Confederate supply depot that was moved from Lexington in September 1862 and to note the retreat of Confederate soldiers under the command of General Braxton Bragg the very next month.

Although a tactical win for General Bragg and the Confederates, the Battle of Perryville marked the retreat out of Kentucky for the Confederate army. They began their withdrawal from Perryville on October 9, the day after the battle. Bragg moved to Harrodsburg in order to regroup and try to establish a strong position against General Buell, although the attack would not come. Withdrawing to the supply depot, Camp Dick Robinson, in Bryantsville, Buell still decided to wait on attacking, although he moved closer to the Confederate position. With little food or supply left at the depot, discouraged by the lack of help from General Lee, and the unenthusiastic support from Kentuckians, Bragg decided to leave Kentucky without another fight.

Bragg and his army retreated south to Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap to rejoin General Smith. Buell did not pursue the Confederate army and was replaced by General Rosecrans as commander of the Army of the Ohio. After a year and a half in career limbo and under investigation, he failed to receive new orders and was essentially forced out the service on May 23, 1864. After the retreat, the Confederates abandoned Kentucky and it stayed in the Union for the rest of the war.

Even after the retreat of the Confederates, however, Kentucky’s war did not end. Confederate raiders and supporters would still operate in some areas until the end of the war. Suspicious of Kentucky’s loyalties, as well as those Confederate supporters, the Federal government controlled the state in a number of ways throughout the rest of the conflict and even after. It is said that Kentucky is the only Union state to join the Confederacy after the war, and a large part of that rested with the lack of trust held between the state and federal government from both sides.