The History > Union Occupation of Munfordville



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Union Forces Occupying Munfordville, 1861-1865

December 1861
Brig. Gen. Alexander M. McCook, cmdg
2nd Division, Army of the Ohio
at Camp Wood
4th Brigade, Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau
6th Indiana Inf.
5th Ky Inf.
6th Ky Inf.
2nd Ky Cav.
Battery H, 5th U.S. Arty.
Battery A, 1st Ky Light Arty.
5th Brigade, Gen. Thomas J. Wood
29th Indiana Inf.
30th Indiana Inf.
38th Indiana Inf.
39th Indiana Inf.
6th Brigade, Gen. Richard W. Johnson
34th Illinois Inf.
32nd Indiana Inf.
15th Ohio Inf.
49th Ohio Inf.
7th Brigade, Gen. James S. Negley
77th Pennsylvania Inf.
78th Pennsylvania Inf.
79th Pennsylvania Inf.
6th Battery, Indiana Light Arty.
1st Wisconsin Light Arty,
Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Arty.
(Total: Approx. 40,000 men)

February-September 1862
2nd Division, Army of the Ohio
(Small detachment)

September 1862
John T. Wilder, cmdg
Indiana Lt. Artillery, 13th Battery
17th Indiana Infantry (detachment)
60th Indiana Infantry
67th Indiana Infantry
68th Indiana Infantry
74th Indiana Infantry, Cos. C,K
89th Indiana Infantry
28th Kentucky, Co. I
33rd Kentucky (detachment)
34th Kentucky Infantry, Co. G
18th U.S. Infantry, Co. H
Under Col Cyrus L. Dunham
50th Indiana Infantry, Cos. A,B,D,F,G,H
78th Indiana Infantry, Co. K
Under Capt. A.J. Konkle
1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery D
(Total: 4,148 men)

October 1862
3rd Ky Cav.
6th Ky Cav.

November-December 1862
80th Illinois Inf.
123rd Illinois Inf.
18th Ky Inf.
27th Ky Inf.
105th Ohio Inf.
101st Indiana Inf.

December 1862
Col. Edward H. Hobson, cmdg.
13th Ky Inf.
25th Michigan Inf.
27th Kentucky Inf.
107th Illinois Inf.
4th Indiana Cav. (2 companies)
5th Indiana Cav. (2 companies)
Andrews Michigan Battery
33rd Kentucky Inf. (detachment)
12th Ky Cav.
(Total: 3,857 men)

May 1863
Three regiments and two companies
(Total: 1,264 men)

June 1863
Col. Charles D. Pennebaker, cmdg.
27th Ky Inf.
33rd Ky Inf.
6th Michigan Battery
(Total: 932 men)

September 1863
Lt. Col. James F. Laucks, cmdg.
27th Ky Inf.
33rd Ky Inf.
6th Michigan Battery
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty. (Co. M)
(Total: 607 men)

October-December 1863
Col. Horation G. Gibson, cmdg.
33rd Ky Inf.
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty. (3 companies)
1st Wisconsin Heavy Arty.
6th Michigan Battery
(Total: 924 men)

Feburary 1864
Maj. Lafayette Hammond, cmdg
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty.
(Total: 458 men)

April 1864
Col. Horation G. Gibson, cmdg.
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty. (3 companies)
48th Ky Infantry
(Total: 909 men)

May 1864
Col. James Galvin, cmdg.
48th Ky Inf.
134th Ky Inf.
35th Ky Inf.
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty.
(Total: 841 men)

June 1864
Col. Henry T. Burge, cmdg.
48th Ky Inf.
35th Ky Inf.
139th Indiana Inf.
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty.
(Total: 768 men)

August 1864
Lt. Col. John S. Bishop, cmdg.
108th U.S. Colored Inf. (5 companies)
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (2 cos.)
48th Ky Inf.
35th Ky Inf.
139th Indiana Inf.
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty.
(Total: 819 men)

September 1864
Capt. LeRoy Weston, cmdg.
108th U.S. Colored Inf. (5 companies)
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (3 cos.)
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty. (detachment)
(Total: 740 men)

October-November 1864
Lt. Col. Walter Babcock, cmdg.
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (4 cos.)
2nd Ohio Heavy Arty. (detachment)
(Total: 605 men)

December 1864
Lt. Col. James H. Ward, cmdg.
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (4 cos.)
27th Ky Inf.
(Total: 924 men)

January 1865
Maj. Charles E. Behle, cmdg.
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (4 cos.)
27th Ky Inf.
(Total: 926 men)

February-April 1865
Maj. Charles E. Behle, cmdg.
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (4 cos.)
(Total: 556 men)

May 1865
Col. Norman S. Andrews, cmdg.
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (4 cos.)
(Total: 566 men)

June 1865
Capt. J.P. Waldorf, cmdg.
12th U.S. Colored Heavy Arty. (3 cos.)
(Total: 423 men)


The railroad bridge over the Green River at Munfordville made the security of the town absolutely crucial to the Union war effort, as control of the bridge meant control of the Union supply line into middle Tennessee. As a consequence, Munfordville found itself under the weight of a continuous Union military presence from late 1861 until late 1865, with the exception of only a few days in September 1862 when Bragg's army captured the garrison.

The Union commander of the Department of the Cumberland, Brig. Gen. Robert Anderson (of Fort Sumter fame) and his successor, Gen. William T. Sherman, countered Confederate movements by sending troops first to Muldraugh Hill (near Elizabethtown) and then to Camp Nevin near the Nolin River bridge in southern Hardin County. The latter camp was established on October 9 by the brigade of Brig. Gen. Lovell Rousseau. Soon an entire division under Brig. Gen. Alexander M. McCook was encamped at Camp Nevin, and held this post for two months until ordered by the new commander of the Army of the Ohio, Gen. Don Carlos Buell, to defend the Green River Bridge 23 miles to the south.

By this time McCook's division was designated the 2nd Division, Army of the Ohio, and consisted of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Brigades, commanded respectively by Lovell H. Rousseau, Thomas J. Wood, Richard W. Johnson, and James S. Negley.

In early December 1861 McCook was ordered to move his division to Munfordville to protect the bridge. Some regiments of the 2nd Division left Camp Nevin and encamped at Bacon Creek (now Bonnieville), moving on to Munfordville the next day, where they established Camp Wood on the north and west sides of town. These first regiments included all of Johnson's 6th Brigade, two regiments of Rousseau's 4th Brigade, and Battery A 1st Ohio Light Arty., which became part of Negley's 7th Brigade.

Camp Wood was named in honor of the Hon. George Wood, a member of the Kentucky Military Board, a resident of Munfordville and father to Gen. Thomas J. Wood of the 5th Brigade. Private Lyman Widney (34th Illinois Inf.) wrote in his diary that: "Our entire brigade pitched its camp on the farm owned by the father of our beloved commander, Gen. T.J. Wood, where the former still resided. The General set up his spacious tend in the orchards under the same boughs that sheltered him in infancy and boyhood."

These forces would see little action in the Munfordville area, with the exception of the Battle of Rowletts Station on December 17, 1861. For the most part, the soldiers were set to work repairing the railroad bridge, which the Confederates had destroyed at the approach of the Union forces) and constructing earthworks on the south side of the river. Most troops spent time drilling.

McCook's 2nd Division remained at Munfordville until February 17, 1862, when they began marching out. They were joined by Ormsby Mitchel's division from Bacon Creek and William "Bull" Nelson's division from Elizabethtown, which came through Munfordville. All moved toward Nashville, hastened by news of Ulysses S. Grant's victories at Forts Henry and Donelson. A small detachment from the 2nd Division was left to guard the Green River railroad bridge until reenforced in September.

In September, 1862, alarmed by Gen. Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky, Union command in Louisville ordered Col. John T. Wilder of the 17th Indiana Inf. to reinforce and take command of the Munfordville post. These forces and some reinforcements were encountered by Bragg in the Battle of Munfordville. Their capture resulted in the only hiatus of Union occupation here during the war.

After the Battle of Green River Crossing immediately following, the 3rd Ky Cavalry and the 6th Ky Cavalry of Buell's forces reoccupied the town until after the Battle of Perryville in October, when the post was more fully garrisoned. By December 1862, a permanent garrison and supply depot were established, and remained operational until after the end of the war. A new set of earthwork defenses, including Fort Terrill, Fort Willich, and Batteries Simons and McConnell, were erected at this time, along with many structures to expand storage, administration, and living facilities. The troops were not idle, but rather kept on continual alert over the depredations of Confederate guerrillas.

The post was abandoned in late October 1865.

It should be noted that military occupation of the Munfordville/Woodsonville area began early in 1861 with a Confederate training camp. This camp, established by Brig. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner (a Munfordville native), was the training ground for John Hunt Morgan and several companies of cavalry. But this camp was in Woodsonville, and subsequent encampments were situated north of the river.

Troops at Camp Wood, in Munfordville, 1861

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