The 15th Kentucky Infantry (US)

The 15th Kentucky Infantry (US) (HMVAP)

Location: Perryville, KY 40468 Boyle County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 39.978', W 84° 58.272'

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— The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —

On the ridge to your right front and across the paved road fought the 15th Kentucky Infantry (US). The 15th was recruited in the fall of 1861 from northern Kentucky and the Louisville area. At Perryville the regiment (part of Colonel William Lytle's brigade of General Lovell Rousseau's division) numbered 517 men and was commanded by Colonel Curran Pope, a graduate of West Point and a prominent Louisville politician. The 15th also contained several representatives of well-known Kentucky families: Pope's second-in command was Lieutenant Colonel George Jouett, son of a famous artist and former mayor of Lexington, and one of the captains was James Brown Forman, whose family made their fortune in distilleries. Despite being in the army for a year, Perryville was the regiment's first major battle.

During the battle the 15th supported the 3rd Ohio south of the Mackville Road (to your right front, today Hays-May Road) against massed attacks by Confederate General Bushrod Johnson's brigade. Johnson's men pushed across Doctor's Creek and into the yard of the Bottom House (in front of you) and were pinned down by the fire of the 3rd and 15th atop the hill to your right. When the 3rd ran out of ammunition the 15th took its place in the front. Despite heavy Confederate artillery and rifle fire, the Kentuckians held firm until about 4:15 PM when their right flank was turned by Brigadier General Daniel Adams' Louisiana brigade. Colonel Pope, still in command despite being wounded early in the action, turned his men to face this new attack. As the regiment faced south, General Patrick Cleburne's brigade attacked from the Bottom House, forcing the 15th Kentucky and 3rd Ohio to withdraw west toward the Dixville Crossroads. After a brief stand near the intersection, the 15th withdrew out of the fight.

Colonel Pope remained on duty despite his wounds, and gradually grew weaker in the weeks after the battle. He died of typhoid in Danville on November 5, 1862. The unit's losses at Perryville numbered 203 killed, wounded, and missing, a 39% casualty rate. Among the dead was Lieutenant Colonel Jouett. Captain Forman became the regiment's next commander, and was killed on New Year's Eve 1862 in the Battle of Stones River. The 15th continued to serve in all the major battles of the Army of the Cumberland until mustering out in 1865.

[The 3rd Ohio and 15th Kentucky] had, without support, struggled hard to hold their line of battle for several hours, and were only forced to retire after immense loss and the movements of the enemy."
—Brigadier General Lovell H. Rousseau

This regiment was never out of line or out of order or in confusion during any time of the day.
—Colonel Curran Pope
Placed ByPerryville Enhancement Project and the Civil War Roundtable of Chicago
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 5:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 678936 N 4170727
Decimal Degrees37.66630000, -84.97120000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 39.978', W 84° 58.272'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 39' 58.68" N, 84° 58' 16.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)859
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1495-1625 Hays Mays Rd, Perryville KY 40468, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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