The battle which climaxed the major Confederate invasion of Kentucky was fought on these hills west of Perryville.
A sharp clash occurred on October 7 in order to gain possession of the only water supply in the vicinity.
The opposing armies took their positions along a north-south battle line three miles in length. This part is located at the northern end of the battle line and it was here, at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of October 8, 1862, that a fierce charge from the Confederate's right wing by General John A. Wharton's cavalry marked the beginning of the battle. This initial charge is depicted in the painting before you.
After the gray cavalrymen had opened the way, the entire Confederate right wing charged up this very hill against the union extreme left wing. Confederate casualties were heavy as they crossed a rail fence into the open field and into the heavy firing from Lieutenant Charles C. Parson's battery of eight guns on the hill. Even so, the impetuous Confederate charge was too much for the Union troops and they were forced to retreat.
During the time the fighting had become general along the entire line. By nightfall when the fighting ceased, the advantage seemed to be in favor of the Confederates. Of the 16,000 Confederates engaged, 1,822 casualties were sustained. The Federals, who had only used 22,000 of their 61,000 men had sustained a loss of 4,241.
General Buell had expected the battle to resume the following morning. However,General Bragg realizing that he was greatly outnumbered began a midnight retreat to Harrodsburg. After waiting four days to reorganize, the Union army pursued General Bragg but allowed the Confederate Army to escape and finally withdraw into Tennessee from Kentucky through Cumberland Gap.
Thus, the Battle of Perryville ended the major Confederate invasion of Kentucky.