Bullitt County History

Official Reports on Civil War Activity

This page contains transcriptions of various official reports make concerning Civil War activity in Bullitt County. As we collect additional reports they will be added here.

Sherman at Muldraugh's Hill

The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Volume IV; Chapter XII - Operations in Kentucky and Tennessee. Jul 1-Nov. 19, 1861; pages 278-9.

Headquarters, Muldraugh’s Hill, Kentucky,
September 27, 1861.
Capt. Oliver D. Greene, Asst Adjt. Gen., Louisville, Ky.:

Sir : When I left Louisville in the cars, in charge of the Home Guard, followed by Rousseau’s brigade, I understood my orders to be to station parties along the road to guard the bridges, secure the road, and to occupy the Muldraugh’s Hill. On reaching the Rolling Fork of Salt River we found it a deep stream, with railroad bridge burned down and still burning. This, of course, stopped our progress, and we disembarked the men. Various rumors of the force of the enemy which had done this wanton mischief and stolen various cars and locomotives reached me, but estimating the force not to exceed 200, I sent forward a strong picket of 400 men, under Colonel Rousseau, and afterwards strengthened it by another 400, but receiving a telegraphic order from you on the 21st, I recalled Rousseau. Finding the effect of this to be very bad, and that great importance was attached to Muldraugh’s Hill, and having notice of re-enforcements, I concluded we should reoccupy the hill; and accordingly, on Sunday morning, the 22d instant, I put in motion Rousseau’s brigade, and followed up with the Thirty-eighth Indiana, Colonel Scribner, and the Forty-ninth Ohio, Colonel Gibson, and a detachment of regulars, under Captain Swaine. We ascended Clear Creek Valley, near the railroad, to the top of Muldraugh’s Hill. We examined the ground near the tunnel, and then proceeded to Elizabethtown, and encamped near the town. The next day we moved on the Lebanon road to this camp, where we have been ever since.

Since our arrival the command has been re-enforced by the Thirty-ninth Indiana, Colonel Harrison. On our way up I left Colonel Crittenden’s regiment to guard the road to Colesburg, but have since called him forward, and he is now posted beyond Elizabethtown, the guarding of the road being intrusted to Colonel Hughes’ [Hecker’s?] Illinois Regiment.

This is not an isolated hill, but a range separating the waters of the Rolling Fork of Salt Creek and Green River, the ascent from the north being very abrupt and the descent to the south being very gradual. Our position is far from being a strong one when held against a superior force. Roads will enable an enemy with cavalry to pass around us and cut off our communications and starve us out. We have no safe line of retreat, and must stand our ground let what will happen. Our opponents, led by General Buckner, who is familiar with the ground, are now supposed to be along the railroad from Green River to Bowling Green. Their forces are variously estimated from 7,000 to 20,000 men, and I doubt not they have 15,000, some well and some poorly armed, but all actuated by a common purpose to destroy us.

I am fully alive to the danger of our position and to all its disadvantages, especially that of supplies. Our provisions have been hauled up the rugged valley of Clear Creek by hired wagons and by some which were brought along by the Thirty-ninth Indiana. We can barely supply our wants, and are liable at any moment to have those wagons seized. The reason I came to Muldraugh’s Hill was for effect. Had it fallen into the hands of our enemies, the cause would have been lost, and even with it in our possession a week nobody has rallied to our support. I expected, as we had reason to, that the people of Kentucky would rally to our support, but, on the contrary, none have joined us; while hundreds, we are told, are going to Bowling Green. The railroad from Bowling Green towards us is broken at Nolin, 10 miles off, and at another trestle beyond some 7 miles. I doubt if this was done by Buckner’s orders, but rather by the small parties of guards left to protect them, and who were scared at our approach. I have from time to time given you telegraphic notice of these events, and must now await the development. We should have here at least 20,000 men; but that has been an impossibility.
Truly, yours,

Surrender of Outpost at Shepherdsville

From The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XXI in two parts; Part 1 - Reports; Washington: Government Printing Office, 1886, pages 956-7

SEPTEMBER 7, 1862.—Surrender of outpost at Shepherdsville, Ky.

Report of Capt. Stephen B. Tinker, Fifty-fourth Indiana Infantry.

Louisville, September 8, 1862.

Dear Sir: I would respectfully make the following report, viz: On yesterday, 7th instant, my command, stationed at Shepherdsville, Ky., to guard the bridge at Salt River, had to surrender to a superior force, under the command of Colonel Hutcheson, of the so-called Confederate Army. Said forces consisted of cavalry and at least three pieces of artillery. The first that we saw of them one of the captains came through our guards with a flag of truce, demanding an immediate and unconditional surrender, saying at the same time that we would all be paroled, which conditions I at once rejected. He (the captain) then told us that they had plenty of artillery, and unless we surrendered that he should commence firing, and that soon. I did not believe they had any cannon, but kept up a parley until my first lieutenant sent his son—a youth, who was visiting his father in camp, and dressed in citizen's clothes—to spy out whether or not they had any cannon. On his return he reported three field pieces and a number of my men made the same assertion, and that there must have been not less than 500 of the enemy. At this moment, the flag of truce being delayed so long, which was near three-quarters of an hour, the rebels opened fire by throwing a shell, which exploded near our stockade and wounded 1 of my men. They fired a number of rounds, when I thought, after consultation, it best to surrender on the following terms: That the commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers should retain all their private property and side-arms, the privates all their clothing, blankets, &c. All the balance they either destroyed or carried away, and accomplished their design in partially destroying the bridge over Salt River.

I am satisfied had the enemy no artillery we could have held the position until we could have been re-enforced, although they outnumbered us more than three to one, we having the advantage of our stockade.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

S. R. TINKER, Captain Company C, Fifty-fourth, Regiment Indiana Vols.

Captain McDowell.

Skirmish at Cedar Church Near Shepherdsville

From The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XXI in two parts; Part 1 - Reports; Washington: Government Printing Office, 1886, pages 1018-1019.

OCTOBER 3, 1862.—Skirmish at Cedar Church, near Shepherdsville, Ky.

Report of Col. Minor Millken, First Ohio Cavalry.

Headquarters First Ohio Cavalry, Camp at Shepherdsville, Ky., October 3, 1862.

Captain: Agreeably to instructions received from the general commanding the division I crossed the river this morning, and proceeded on the road to Bardstown until I came to Cedar Church, 5 miles from this point. A body of the enemy had encamped there last evening. I here turned to the right, proceeded a mile and returned, and took the road to Woodbridge, proceeding on it 2 1/2 miles, and returned. When I had proceeded a mile a lad met me, who lived on the Bardstown road, who told me a squad of cavalry had followed us back toward the church. I immediately sent a company across the country to intercept their return and pushed on to the church. I had been there but a moment and was endeavoring to find which road they had gone on when my intercepting party opened fire. I hurried to them and found them driving the enemy toward us. I formed one company in the road and, letting down the fence, placed a company on their left flank. When they came up resistance was impossible. They threw down their arms and surrendered.

We took 2 captains (Gray and Conner), 1 second lieutenant (Young), 19 privates and non-commissioned officers, 22 horses, some of them good; 23 stand of arms, shot-guns, sabers, and carbines, and 22 sets of horse equipments, good. We lost nothing and fired but a few shots. The troops were of Colonel Lay's (Tennessee) regiment.

The prisoners have already given you the only information my reconnaissance revealed.

The officers' horses I have returned to them. The horses and horse equipments I have taken up on my return as captured property. The arms are at your disposal.

I am, very truly, your obedient servant,

MINOR MILLIKEN, Colonel First Ohio Cavalry.

Capt. William Kesley, Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Div., Third Corps, Army of the Ohio.

P.S.—My force was Companies B, D, and G, First Battalion, numbering about 100 men.

Report of Major Stiles on Skirmish at Shepherdsville

From The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XXIII in two parts; Part 1 - Reports; Washington: Government Printing Office, 1889, page 654.

No. 6. Report of Maj. Israel N. Stiles, Sixty-third Indiana Infantry, of skirmish at Shepherdsville, Ky.

Stockade At Salt River Bridge,
Shepherdsville, Ky., July 20, 1863.

Sir: I deem it proper to submit the following report:

On the 6th instant the enemy in force, under John [H.] Morgan, appeared at Bardstown, moving in the direction of this place. Having no doubt of his intention to attempt the destruction of the bridge over Salt River at this place, and desiring to make every arrangement possible for a successful defense of the same, and having no means of communicating within the necessary time with the lieutenant-colonel commanding the regiment, who was at New Haven, I applied by telegraph directly to General Boyle for artillerists enough to work the 12 pounder gun here, and also for leave to order Captain [D.] Morris, with his company, which was at the stockade above, to join me at once. General Boyle responded to my request by sending Lieutenant [W. H.] Brown, Sixth Michigan Battery, with 10 men, to work the artillery, and by ordering Captain Morris by telegraph to join me immediately, which he did with one half his company, the other half, under command of Lieutenant [W. F.] Henderson, being at another stockade, some 3 miles above. Captain Morris was closely followed by the enemy, and kept up a running fight with him for nearly 1 1/2 miles, with what results to the enemy is not known. He reached me about dark, with a loss of 2 men taken prisoners. This force, added to that already with me, gave me about 115 men and 4 commissioned officers. With this force, and the advantage of my position, I felt confident of my ability to at least occupy the attention of the enemy sufficiently long for our forces, which I felt sure must be close upon his rear, to engage him. During the night he was near enough for us to hear the shouts of his men. Morning found General Hobson's force so close upon his rear that he left precipitately in the direction of Brandenburg without making an attack upon us.

In the mean time Lieutenant Henderson placed his men on the train on his way to join me near Bardstown Junction. The train was surrounded and stopped by the enemy, and a general system of plundering and pillage commenced. Lieutenant Henderson formed his little band (about 30 men) in line of battle, and boldly charged through the enemy's ranks, killing 2 (whose bodies have since been found), wounding several, and reached me the next morning, with a loss of only 3 men prisoners Several officers, passengers on the train, failed to make their escape, and were taken prisoners.

I deem the conduct of Lieutenant Henderson and his men on this occasion as very praiseworthy, and that of the lieutenant especially as worthy of special mention, as a brave boy and good officer.

The conduct of Lieutenant Brown, and the other officers and men under my command, was such as gave me confidence in my ability to do what you expected me to do, to defend the bridge "though attacked by Morgan's whole force."

Very respectfully,
Major Sixty-third Indiana, Commanding Salt River Bridge.

Capt. A. C. Semple,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 12 Sep 2020 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/stiles.html