— The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —
As fighting raged, Union soldiers in Brigadier General William Terrill's brigade were driven from the ridge and the split rail fence in front of you. Most of these troops had never been in combat. This inexperience sometimes led men and officers to try to find sanctuary from the battle in dangerous places.
Union Captain Robert B. Taylor was one of these inexperienced officers. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1831, Taylor raised an infantry company and was quickly thrust into the Battle of Perryville. Here, Taylor and his company fought in Terrill's brigade, and they were also forced from the fields in front of you.
As the troops fell back, Taylor encountered one of his officers, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Hutchinson, whose face was "all bloody." Taylor discovered that Hutchinson "had been struck in the head with a fragment of shell, and the blood flowed from his face in streams." Thinking they would be safe in this gully, Taylor brought the injured soldier to this area. Taylor wrote that Hutchinson "moaned and groaned, and made me very miserable indeed. We were laying close in under the bank to protect ourselves from the shower of iron hail that was raining over us, when a cannon ball struck within a few feet of where we were sitting, and raised an immense cloud of dust about us."
With this close call, the wounded officer rushed to a hospital and Taylor rejoined his company. Taylor however, would never find a safe haven at Perryville. He was later wounded in the battle.
"By this time every man seemed to be looking out for himself as we were all broken up. For my part I could not tell whether we had any regiment or not. After falling back about 15 or 20 rods we came into a kind of a grove so getting behind the first tree I saw the Captn and a few others. I gave [the enemy] a few more rounds. While we were there our Captn got wounded slightly on top of the head making the blood run freely. He laughed and said something I could not tell what but started [off] again. I finished loading my gun and started [off] after him."
Private Josiah Ayre, 105th Ohio Infantry, Terrill's Brigade
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