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Perryville in Boyle County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

“For Godís Sake, Save That Battery” The 38th Indiana at Perryville

Perryville

 

óThe Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 ó

 
“For Godís sake, save that battery”<br>The 38th Indiana at Perryville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 18, 2011
1. “For Godís sake, save that battery”
The 38th Indiana at Perryville Marker
Inscription. The 436 members of the 38th Indiana Infantry Regiment deployed here, in a cut cornfield, next to the 10th Wisconsin Infantry. These men supported Captain Peter Simonsonís six cannon, which were located to your right. It was a crucial position; along with Simonsonís guns, these infantrymen anchored the center of the Union battleline.

Simonsonís guns roared as an artillery duel opened the Battle of Perryville. The ground shook with the booming cannon, and the Northerners on this ridge readied themselves as Confederate infantry advanced. Union Major General Alexander McCook, the Hoosiersí corps commander, implored the men to save Simonsonís artillery. “For Godís sake,” he begged, “save that battery.” They paid a heavy price for obeying this order.

Soon, Confederate troops appeared on the ridge in front of you and attacked the Union center. The 38th Indiana fought here for more than two hours. When their ammunition was expended, they prepared to defend the position with their bayonets. “Our ammunition gave out,” John Sipe of the 38th Indiana wrote, “and we had to stand some time and let the Rebels shoot at us without being able to return the fire.” Dozens of casualties were incurred here, and the regimental flag was, an officer wrote, “literally riddled with balls
“For Godís sake, save that battery”<br>The 38th Indiana at Perryville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 18, 2011
2. “For Godís sake, save that battery”
The 38th Indiana at Perryville Marker
and the staff shot off.”

Union troops to the right broke under the weight of the rebel assault, and Simonsonís battery fell back three hundred yards toward the Russell House. When that flank peeled away, the 38th Indiana was left alone—without ammunition—to face the attacking Confederates. Nearly cut off, they fell back toward the Russell House, where they continued to fight.

The 38th Indiana lost 38 killed and 132 wounded, representing nearly forty percent of their strength. After the battle, they buried their dead in the cornfield, where most of the men had fallen. These remains were later moved to Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Jessamine County, Kentucky.

The aftermath was traumatic. Sipe wrote that, “Of all the horrible suffering, I [hope] I may never witness the like again. Union and rebel lying side by side with their limbs blown off or shattered to pieces. One Rebel with [both] his arms blown off told me if he were in his grave he would not suffer so.” Henry Fales Perry of the 38th concurred. He wrote that, “The spectacle presented by the battlefield was enough to make angels weep.”

“Our loss is very heavyÖ The wonder is that any of us were saved, for we were under a murderous cross fire for hours.”
—Colonel Benjamin F. Scribner, 38th Indiana Infantry Regiment
 
Erected by The Kentucky Historical Society and the Indianapolis Civil War Round Table.
 
Location. 37° 40.139′ N, 84° 58.358′ W. Marker is in Perryville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker can be reached from Park Road west of Battlefield Road (Kentucky Route 1920). Click for map. Located in Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1825 Battlefield Road, Perryville KY 40468, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Defense of Loomisí Heights (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Simonsonís Battery (about 400 feet away); Artillery Duel at Loomis Heights (about 700 feet away); Donelson Persists (approx. 0.2 miles away); Widow Gibson Cabin (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cleburne's Advance (approx. 0.2 miles away); Michigan at Perryville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Assault from the Bottom House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Perryville.
 
More about this marker. On the left are portraits of "Members of the 38th Indiana Infantry Regiment".

On the upper right is a portrait of "Capt. John Glover of Company B" and on the lower right is a portrait of "Colonel Benjamin F. Scribner".
 
Also see . . .
1. Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Kentucky State Parks (Submitted on August 25, 2011.) 

2. Perryville. Civil War Trust (Submitted on August 25, 2011.) 

3. Perryville. CWSAC Battle Summary (Submitted on August 25, 2011.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 849 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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