Federal expedition to Eddyville and skirmish at Saratoga, KY,

5fish

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Here it is...


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Union forces under Major Jesse J. Phillips made an early morning attack against roughly 160 men in a Confederate Training Camp at Saratoga Springs in Lyon County, Kentucky. The attack resulted in another Union victory.

“Our skirmishers succeeded in surrounding and capturing the rebel pickets without firing a gun, and the advance of our troops was unsuspected by the rebels until we wheeled in column of platoon in the lane of full view, 600 yards distant from their camp at about 7 A.M. They, to the number of about 160 men, dismounted immediately formed in line, awaiting our attack until we advanced within 22 years of their line. We, when first coming in sight, having charged on them the double quick, they commenced an irregular fire when we were a distance of 300 yards, but at our approach broke for their horses, though many took shelter behind fences, trees or houses. We charged within 50 yards, halted, delivered a volley, and then charged bayonet, driving them from the houses and from their places of cover, and they then fled in every direction, some on foot, others on horseback. An occasional firing was kept up for half an hour or more. Six of their men were left dead and one mortally wounded. Several others were seen to ride off clinging to their horses and were wounded.”
~ Report of Major Jesse J. Phillips


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On Oct 25, 1861, three full companies of infantry consisting of 300 men were dispatched to Saratoga Springs. This group was under the command of Major Jesse J Phillips. At 4:30 p.m. the troops staged a parade for General Smith and were issued two days of rations. The troops boarded the steamer, “Lake Erie” and pulled away from the Paducah wharf, under the escort of the gunboat, “Conestoga.”

The boats steamed up the Ohio River to Smithland and turned into the Cumberland River. They continued upstream to a pre-selected landing at William Kelly’s New Union Forge. This site later became the town of Kuttawa.

Under the cover of darkness, the troops disembarked and marched northward to the area of the old Kuttawa Springs and continued north along Hammond Creek for a distance of about five miles. From this point, the troops traveled in a northeast semi-circle to the Eddyville-Princeton road to a point about a mile east of Saratoga Springs.

The success of the Saratoga raid depended on total surprise and this was accomplished by avoiding established roads and traveling through fields and woods. The Confederates at Saratoga Springs misjudged the plan of the Union Army. The Confederates anticipated that should an attack occur, the enemy would travel north on the Varmint Trace Road and turn east on the Liberty Church Road to Saratoga Springs. A watchman was stationed at Liberty Church, but this point was passed by the Union Soldiers.

The Union forces arrived on the Eddyville-Princeton road at about daybreak on the morning of the 26th, and at approximately 7 A.M. they went into formation to attack the Confederate Camp at Saratoga Springs.

The following is taken from Major Phillip’s official report of the battle: “Our skirmishers succeeded in surrounding and capturing the rebel pickets without firing a gun, and the advance of our troops was unsuspected by the rebels until we wheeled in column of platoon in the lane of full view, 600 yards distant from their camp at about 7 A.M.

They, to the number of about 160 men, dismounted immediately formed in line, awaiting our attack until we advanced within 22 years of their line. We, when first coming in sight, having charged on them the double quick, they commenced an irregular fire when we were a distance of 300 yards, but at our approach broke for their horses, though many took shelter behind fences, trees or houses.

We charged within 50 yards, halted, delivered a volley, and then charged bayonet, driving them from the houses and from their places of cover, and they then fled in every direction, some on foot, others on horseback. An occasional firing was kept up for half an hour or more. Six of their men were left dead and one mortally wounded. Several others were seen to ride off clinging to their horses and were wounded.”
 

5fish

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I found this First Blood at this battle...


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First blood is drawn in the Four Rivers at a skirmish near a Lyon County church. We'll hear how the scars linger still

The victorious Yankees also helped themselves to spoils of war -- 30 horses, several mules, a pair of wagons and other gear, including weapons. The soldiers took their prisoners and captured equipment to Eddyville, where the Lake Erie, escorted by the wooden gunboat Conestoga, waited to return them to Paducah. Their captives included a civilian, C.F. Jenkins, who was described as a "notorious secessionist."
 
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