Marion County

History of The 10th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry

Contributed By: Mark Fields


The 10th Kentucky Volunteer infantry was organized at Lebanon, Marion Co., KY under Col. John M. Harlan.  In November 1861, it was assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division of the Army of  the Ohio. Commander of the brigade was Col. M. D. Manson.  Commander of the Division was Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas.  On December 31, 1861, the 10th KY commenced a march from Lebanon, KY to Mill Springs.  Although it did not participate in the battle of Mill Springs, being on detached duty, it joined the division in  time to be the first to enter the Rebel fortifications.  From Mill Springs, the 10th marched via Somerset, Danville and Bardstown to Louisville, KY where it left by steamboat for Nashville, TN.  From Nashville, it went to Pittsburg Landing and took part in the siege of Corinth. 

A few days after the Battle of Shiloh, the brigade was sent by Gen. Grant up the Tennessee River on transports guarded by gunboat, all under the immediate command of Gen. W. T. Sherman.  The forces landed at Chickasaw, the object of the expedition being to penetrate the country from Chickasaw and destroy the large railroad bridge east of Corinth and near Iuka.  The expedition was successful. 

In June 1862, the 10th marched to Tuscumbia, AL, and then garrisoned at Eastport, MS during July 1862.  It then marched through Tennessee and rejoined the division at Winchester and garrisoned there. 

In July 1862, Co. A and Co. H of the 10th was on duty in Courtland, AL where they were surrounded by an overwhelming force of enemy and captured. 

The 10th composed part of Buell's army in his pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky, after which it returned to Gallatin, TN. 

On December 25, 1862, the 2nd Brigade started from Gallatin under the command of Col. John M. Harlan in pursuit of rebel Gen. John H. Morgan, and to protect the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.  Morgan was overtaken on December 29th at Rolling Fork and driven from the line of the railroad.  Gen. Duke of Morgan's command was dangerously wounded there. 

The regiment returned to Nashville, TN and was immediately sent by Gen. Rosecrans, with other troops, in pursuit of Forrest and Wheeler on the Harpeth River when it suffered terribly from cold and rain.  It was then stationed at Lavergne, TN, where on March 7, 1863, Col. Harlan resigned due to the death of his father, the Honorable James Harlan. 

After Harlan's resignation, William H. Hays was promoted to Colonel and remained in command until the 10th mustered out of service on December 6, 1864 at Louisville, KY.

The 10th also was with Rosecrans in the summer campaign from Murfreesboro to Chickamauga, participated in action at Hoover's gap, Fairfield, Tullahoma, Compton's Creek and Chickamauga, returning with the army to Chattanooga.

CREDIT:  Taken from Adjutant General's Report, Federal Kentucky Volunteers - War 1861-1866, Vol. 1, Page 823




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