Sunday, October 24, 2010

Perryville, Kentucky Battlefield. Part Two: The Battlefield

After the museum we walked the battlefield for about 2-3 hours. The battle was fought on October 8th, so we were just a few weeks off. And it was also fought during a drought, which we are currently enjoying in Kentucky. With those two factors it was easy to imagine that what we were looking at was close to how the battlefield appeared in 1862 when the battle was fought. Click the pictures for full size images.

It is covered by worm fences. They may be a little short, but they were cool to look at. One thing that stuck out is how the wood weathered into a gray color. I guess I need to repaint some of mine that are brown...

The biggest terrain feature for the battlefield is that it is just a huge series of hills and slopes. It must have been mentally exhausting for the Confederates to push the Union soldiers back in the early part of the battle, just to see them fall back and reform on the next hill! This happened several times and just walking the path of the assault was a little tiring.

One of my favorite parts of the battlefield the Open Knob, now called Parson's Ridge, named for the Lieutent who defended it with an 8 gun Battery before being overrun by men from Cheatham's Division.

Here is the view of the ridge from behind the marker.

Here is the view of the ridge from behind the fence line that the Confederates stopped briefly behind, before their assault up the hill.

Jaret wanting to "charge" up the hill. It was actually a very educational experiment. He struggled with 12 year old energy and tennis shoes! It made us appreciate the Confederates who made the charge in wool uniforms with heavy equipment.

This is the view from the crest of the ridge. It is terrifying to imagine what it must have been like to charge up that ridge into the fire from all 8 guns, plus the crossfire from the Brigade of Infantry that was supporting it.

The retreating Union soldiers moved through what was at the time a cornfield.

The attack continued West to the position of Starkweather's Brigade, supported by 12 guns. It's interesting that every time the Confederates were able to push the Union off of a position, they went down the back side, and then up the next hill and reformed on the new high ground.

We found this halfway up what is now known as Starkweather's Hill. Battlefield relic or discarded garbage?

Another view from Starkweather's position.

This picture and the next few are just a few random pictures showing the general landscape and feel of the battlefield. I didn't keep really good notes and to be honest a lot of the pictures are always mixing together in my mind. I'm planning on another trip in the next few months and I'll try to get some good pictures of another part of the battlefield. We really only covered a small portion of it, and there is a lot left to explore.

The path of attack for the Confederate center...

That's all for now, thanks for looking!

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