— The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —
When General Maney's Confederates attacked the Union left flank, located on the ridge in front of you, a Confederate artillery battery commanded by Lieutenant William Turner took position here. To support Maney's advance, Tuner's four cannon rained fire upon the Union position.
The Southerners drove the Union troops off of the ridge, and Turner moved his guns to that position to support the continued Confederate advance. More Confederate artillery commanded by Captain William Carnes then deployed on the hills far to your right, where they also shelled the Union lines.
Confederate artillery played a crucial role at Perryville by successfully supporting advancing infantry brigades.
Lieutenant Colonel John Patterson was a respected officer in Maney's 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment. During the Battle of Perryville, Patterson temporarily commanded this unit. Patterson's men were held in reserve as the Confederates attacked, passed the split rail fence, and captured seven Union cannon on the hill in front of you. Continuing the advance against another ridge 400 yards west of here, one soldier wrote, "Our Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson halloed to charge and take [the Union] guns, and we were soon in a hand-to-hand fight?"
Patterson was killed while leading the attack against this second ridge. According to Private Sam Watkins of the 1st Tennessee, Patterson "was killed standing right by my side. He was first shot though the hand, and was wrapping his handkerchief around it, when another ball struck and killed him." Private Marcus Toney noted that "Colonel Patterson was slightly wounded in the wrist, but he tied a handkerchief around it and continued to give orders until a grapeshot hit his mustache, going through his head, killing him instantly."
After the fight, two of the Union cannon captured from the hill in front of you were given to Turner's Battery. They were engraved with the names of soldiers who had acted bravely in the battle. The first was inscribed with the name of A. T. Mitchell, a color-bearer slain at Perryville. The second was engraved with the name of Lieutenant Colonel Patterson.
Later in the war, at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Tennessee, the Union army recaptured these two guns.
"I immediately opened an enfilading fire on them, at the distance of 250 or 300 yards, with canister, and continued it with shell and spherical case as the enemy retired."
Lieutenant William B. Turner