A Reckless And Useless Charge

A Reckless And Useless Charge (HM1MA5)

Location: Richmond, KY 40475 Madison County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 39.986', W 84° 15.127'

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Just as the Confederate line began to push Gen. Mahlon Manson's army, Gen. Charles Cruft brought a portion of his brigade, two regiments of infantry and a partial artillery battery, onto the field. The 95th Ohio and 18th Kentucky were in the lead and they were quickly thrown into the fray. The Confederates had emerged from the draw and had moved Capt. John T. Humphrey's battery of Arkansas artillery forward, where they were punishing Manson's infantry. Manson put the Kentuckians in the middle of his line and ordered the 95th Ohio to the right, to shore up that end of his line.

Manson, in a very rash move, ordered the 95th Ohio to take the Confederate artillery that had unlimbered 400 yards to the south. Col. William L. McMillen ordered his men to fix bayonets and charge the battery. The result was an unmitigated disaster. Col. McMillen ordered his men forward. As they came within range of the battery, they were caught in a crossfire between the artillery and the Confederate infantry near the Palmer House. Suddenly, the 95th Ohio was "...met by a murderous cross-fire, which cut them up badly, and caused considerable confusion in their ranks..."

"We heard no order! I only know there must have been an order of some kind; for, in proof of it three fourths of the regiment, being brave men and good officers too, would not have fallen back in disorderly retreat...."
Lt. Col. J.B. Armstrong, 95th Ohio

Reports vary - Col. McMillen claims he gave the order to fall back. Acting Lt. Col. J.B. Armstrong heard no order to retire. some accounts claim that McMillen yelled "every man save yourself" and fled. Whatever orders McMillen gave did not give, in short order the withdrawal became a rout. About 200 of the 95th were quickly captured by Churchill's Confederates. The retreating Ohioans took what was left of the 69th Indiana with them and the Union right collapsed. Manson later blamed the 95th Ohio for the disaster at Kingston.

After being exchanged, the 95th Ohio was sent west, where it participated in the Vicksburg Campaign. The regiment fought at Brice's Crossroads and other operations in northern Mississippi. It was then dent to Missouri and later brought back to Tennessee, where it fought at the Battle of Nashville. The men spent the last months of the war on the Gulf Coast in the operations in and around Mobile, Alabama.
HM NumberHM1MA5
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 10:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 742369 N 4172359
Decimal Degrees37.66643333, -84.25211667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 39.986', W 84° 15.127'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 39' 59.16" N, 84° 15' 7.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)859
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4200-4278 US-421, Richmond KY 40475, US
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