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

Baptism of Fire

Perryville

 

—The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —

 
Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
1. Baptism of Fire Marker
Inscription.
The 500 soldiers of the 42nd Indiana were suffering from an intense thirst. Their canteens dry from a recent drought, the commanders allowed these troops to find pools of water in Doctor's Creek, located just in front of you.

The men stacked their rifles and filled their canteens with muddy water. Many of them moved down the creek to your left where they searched for water near some rock bluffs that rise 20-40 feet above the creek.

Suddenly, the Confederates attacked and the 42nd Indiana was caught by surprise. The high bluffs trapped many inside the creek bed, ending any hope of escape. Casualties mounted as survivors dashed out of the banks and up the hill behind you.

Regrouping, these troops joined the main Union battle line. Like many Northern soldiers who fought here, Perryville was their first fight. At Perryville the 42nd Indiana suffered 20 killed, 133 wounded, and 21 missing. It was a brutal baptism of fire.

"The first intimation we had of the immediate presence of the rebels was a shot from their cannon, which passed directly over the heads of the field and staff officers, cutting limbs and branches away...The next one was aimed lower, which knocked away a stack of guns."
Union soldier S.F. Horrall
Co. G 42nd Indiana

(captions)
(upper right)
Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
2. Baptism of Fire Marker
When the 42 Indiana was forced out of the creek bed, Union Captain Charles Olmstead of Company A rallied his men on the hill behind you. "This is as good a place to die as any other," Olmstead shouted. Moments later he was shot in the forehead and killed.
 
Location. 37° 39.945′ N, 84° 58.212′ W. Marker is in Perryville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker is on Hays Mays Road 0.7 miles east of Whites Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Perryville KY 40468, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The H. P. Bottom House (a few steps from this marker); Bottom House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The 15th Kentucky Infantry (US) (about 300 feet away); Assault from the Bottom House (about 400 feet away); Michigan at Perryville (about 500 feet away); Artillery Duel at Loomis Heights (about 600 feet away); Simonson’s Battery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Defense of Loomis’ Heights (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perryville.
 
Also see . . .  Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Kentucky Department of Parks (Submitted on September 11, 2015.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
3. Baptism of Fire Marker
Marker on left (yellow arrow). Doctor's Creek in distance.
Baptism of Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
4. Baptism of Fire Marker
Confederate view of Marker (yellow arrow) Rocks bluff located at right.
Doctor's Creek image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
5. Doctor's Creek
Union Captain Charles Olmstead image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, March 31, 2012
6. Union Captain Charles Olmstead
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 242 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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