• Confederate Victory At Battle Of Richmond Leaves Many Dead, Wounded; Union Colonel Orders Retreat

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    The Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, fought August 29-30, 1862, was one of the most complete Confederate victories of the war. In the fall of 1862, two Confederate armies moved on separate paths into Kentucky, hoping to put the shadow Confederate government of Kentucky into power, threaten Union cities along the Ohio River and recruit men to join the Confederate Army.


    4 pp, 4 3/4 x 7 ½, Camp Buell, September 7, 1862, David Corbin Jr. writes to his Father.  In pencil, very readable. Color eagle imprinted sketch with the words E Pluribus Unum, a statement of the American determination.  Some bleed through from the red in the cartouche.


    He writes, “We are now encamped about 6 miles east of Louisville in a beech grove through which runs a small creek...which supplies our camp with water. We have experienced the hardships of a full campaign since we left Piqua. We left Covington, KY, on the 29th of last month and proceeded to Lexington on the cars, arriving at the latter place about dusk. After lying on the ground while we were conducted to a camp within the city. It was midnight when I lay down to sleep and being roused up early in the morning. We received by little rest.  The next morning (Sunday) we started on our march toward Richmond at which place a disastrous battle had just culminated. The road...almost shoe mouth deep in dust and its vicinity was almost destitute of water. When we arrived at Tate’s Landing, 18 miles south of Lexington at dark...we were fired upon by the advance guard of the Rebel army. It being dark and we being unable to ascertain the exact number and position of the enemy, we were thrown into considerable excitement, which almost caused a ‘Skedaddle.’  Our company (B) being in the rear, checked the retreat of another company (Walton’s). The regiment then filed into a field on the left for the night, Company B being detailed as pickets. I laid along the road all night in a clump of cedars with two others.


    “The next morning about 10 o’clock, the Rebels opened fire on us with shells from the opposite side of the river; and, although one passed within 5 feet of the prostrated forms of Co. B, none were hurt. The shells exploded all around us. The colonel, finding the strength of the Rebels, whose forces amounted to from 10 to 15 thousand, at once ordered a retreat, and back we went to Lexington, closely...several times fired upon by the Rebel cavalry.  We returned the fire with some effect. The Pennsylvania Cavalry, which the day before had retreated, now came to our relief, and the enemy were repulsed with considerable loss. It is the general supposition of the boys that the Cavalry saved the ‘bacon’ of the whole regiment. We then retreated all night and reached Versailles [KY] early in the morning...We then continued our retreat to Frankfort and from Frankfort to our present position. We had now made a forced march of 120 miles without scarcely anything to eat, little or no sleep and run down with exhaustion. The result of this is that our company has missing 29 men, and the regiment about 250, of the latter of which I do not believe that 10 are killed but they lay down exhausted and were taken prisoner.  Among the latter, are P.C. Whitmen, Samuel Nisley, Jake Nett and Ben Keper...It is supposed that there are 40,000 men on and around the city...D.L. Corbin”


    DAVID L. CORBIN enlisted as a private on August 7, 1862, and was mustered into B Co. Ohio 94th Infantry. He was mustered out on May 24, 1865, at Camp Dennison, Ohio.  A few months after his enlistment, Corbin was taken prisoner at Nolensville, TN (December 30, 1862). David would later become a physician.


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