August 29-30, 1862
In the summer of 1862 the Confederacy took the offensive
Robert E. Lee's army advanced into Maryland. Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn's armies marched toward Corinth, Mississippi. Braxton Bragg and Kirby Smith moved out of Tennessee and into Kentucky. It was Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith's battle-hardened army that engaged the untried Union soldiers at the four engagements that comprised the Battle of Richmond.
The first engagement took place at Big Hill on August 23, 1862. A skirmish on the afternoon of August 29 was followed by three major engagements the next day. The first took place near Kingston. You now stand in the center of that battlefield. The second engagement was at Rogersville (the area adjacent to the present day intersection of US 25 and US 421). The third took place in Richmond at the City Cemetery.
The battle of Richmond was an overwhelming Confederate victory
Over 5,353 of the 6,500 Union soldiers sent to stop the 9,000 Confederates were killed, wounded, or captured, most of them captured, making the Battle of Richmond one of the most decisive Confederate victories of the entire Civil War.
The Confederate success was short-lived. On October 8, three weeks after his victory at Munfordville, Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederate army fought Gen. Don Carlos Buell's army at Perryville. After six bloody hour the Confederates pulled back to Harrodsburg. Gen. Kirby Smith reached Harrodsburg two days after Bragg's defeat and their armies began the long march back to Tennessee.
The other Confederate armies met with similar fates. Price and Van Dorn were defeated at Corinth. Neither side could claim victory after the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history, but at its conclusion Robert E. Lee retreated. This "victory" gave Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which would forever change the nation.