Phase One - Kingston
"The rebels had succeeded in out flanking us, and we were now under a terrible cross-fire from three sides...while their batteries still played upon us with their deadly meteors." Lt. Col. James R. S. Cox, 16th Indiana
In the early morning hours of August 30, 1862, Gen. Patrick Cleburne moved his soldiers up the Old State Road to Kingston. Union artillery near Mt. Zion Church opened fire. Cleburne unlimbered his guns and returned fire while deploying his men along the Irvine-Lancaster Pike (now the Crooksville Road). Around 7:30 AM
, Confederate commander Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith arrived on the field with Gen. James Churchill's division. Kirby Smith ordered Cleburne to delay a general assault until Churchill moved one of his brigades up a ravine west of the Old State Road.
Union Gen. Mahlon Manson weakened his position by moving men to the east. Cleburne matched Manson's movements and the two lines fought in the woods east of here. The Confederates repulsed that Union assault just as Col. Thomas McCray's First brigade prepared to attack the western end of the Union line south of Mt. Zion Church.
A portion of Union Gen. Charles Croft's brigade arrived from Richmond as McCray's brigade appeared near the church. One of Cruft's regiments attacked McCray's artillery with disastrous results. McCray's Confederates outflanked Manson's brigade and the whole Confederate line east of the road came forward. The Union right crumbled and retreated north. The rest of the Federal line soon followed.
"...[T]he enemy pressed forward with a heavy force and drove all of our troops on our right before them. At the same time we were entirely outflanked on the left, and the enemy, having gained cover of a large cornfield and woods, made a descent upon the left wing, which gave way and retreated in great disorder." Gen. Mahlon D. Manson