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Near East Bernstadt in Laurel County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Battle of Wildcat

 
 
The Battle of Wildcat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2015
1. The Battle of Wildcat Marker
Inscription. On the morning of October 21, 1861, Confederate troops attacked the Union army here at Camp Wildcat. Brigadier General Felix Zollicoffer, leading 7,500 Confederate soldiers, was intent on driving the Union forces from their hilltop position here along the Wilderness Road.

“... the country is mountainous, the road rough and difficult, muddy and rocky, running over immense ridges, and winding along the edges of frightful precipices ...”

The Unionís camp was aptly named. The rugged terrain of the Rockcastle Hills made travel hard. Zollicoffer later described Wildcat as “almost inaccessible.”

“... They advanced with wild cheers and loud oaths, but were met with volley after volley ...”

By the time the Confederates reached Camp Wildcat, reinforcements under General Albin Schoepf had joined the single Union regiment encamped here. This raised the number of the Unionís forces to 5,000. The Confederates attacked repeatedly. According to Zollicoffer, after being “... under heavy fire for several hours from heights on the right, left, and in front, I became satisfied that it could not be carried otherwise than by immense exposure, if at all.” By nightfall, they ceased their attack and retreated back down the mountain.

“About
Sketch of Battle from Hoosier Knob image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2015
2. Sketch of Battle from Hoosier Knob
Close-up of graphic on marker
midnight unusual noises were heard from the deep valley ... the beating of drums, the cries of drivers, the rumbling of (wagon) trains ... General Zollicoffer had begun his retreat.”


After spending a restless night digging new entrenchments and sleeping on their guns, the Union soldiers discovered the next morning that they had successfully held their ground. The Confederates had gone in the night, and were on their way back toward the Cumberland Gap.

Quotations from the regimental history of the 33rd Indiana Infantry, written by David Stevenson, 1864.
 
Erected by Daniel Boone National Forest and Laurel County Historical Society.
 
Location. 37° 15.921′ N, 84° 12.085′ W. Marker is near East Bernstadt, Kentucky, in Laurel County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Wilderness Road and Camp Wildcat Road (Sheltowee Trace), on the right when traveling north on Old Wilderness Road. Click for map. Marker is located near the Camp Wildcat Battlefield. Directions to the battlefield are clearly marked from both Interstate 75 (Exit 49) and US Route 25. Marker is in this post office area: East Bernstadt KY 40729, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Wildcat (here, next to this marker);
Positions of Troops on Morning of Battle image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2015
3. Positions of Troops on Morning of Battle
Close-up of map on marker
Infantry Ridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battle of Camp Wildcat (about 500 feet away); Hoosier Knob (about 500 feet away); Camp Wildcat and the Wilderness Road (approx. 0.4 miles away); Skaggs Trace (approx. 1.9 miles away); a different marker also named Camp Wildcat (approx. 2.2 miles away); Livingston Trail Head (approx. 2.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in East Bernstadt.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Camp Wildcat - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on June 13, 2015.)
2. Camp Wildcat Preservation Foundation. Official website of the organization preserving the battlefield and making visitor improvements to the site. (Submitted on June 13, 2015.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Battle of Wildcat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2015
4. The Battle of Wildcat Marker
Marker Near Camp Wildcat Battle Monument image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 23, 2015
5. Marker Near Camp Wildcat Battle Monument
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 215 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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