Army of Kentucky (CSA) – Facts2019-05-07T17:50:54+00:00
Portrait of Edmund Kirby Smith.

Edmund Kirby Smith [Wikimedia Commons]

Army of Kentucky (CSA) (1862), Facts

August 26, 1862—November 20, 1862

Key facts about the Confederate Army of Kentucky.

Formation Date:

  • August 26, 1862

Dissolution Date:

  • November 20, 1862


  • Major General Kirby Smith

Notable engagements:

  • Battle of Richmond


  • On February 25, 1862, the Confederate War Department issued Special Orders, Number 45 placing Major General Kirby Smith in charge of the “troops in East Tennessee.”
  • On March 8, 1862, Major General Kirby Smith reported that he had “assumed command of the District of East Tennessee.”
  • On July 31, 1862, Smith traveled to Chattanooga and met with newly-named commander of the Army of the Mississippi, General Braxton Bragg. There, the two generals developed plans to end the string of Federal successes in the West by launching a two-pronged invasion of Kentucky.
  • In August 1862, the troops under Major General Kirby Smith’s command in East Tennessee were composed of four divisions and one cavalry brigade: 1st Division – Brigadier General Carter Stevenson, 2nd Division – Brigadier General Henry Heth, 3rd Division – Brigadier General Thomas Churchill, 4th Division – Brigadier General Patrick R. Cleburne, Cavalry Brigade – Colonel John S. Scott.
  • The Confederate Heartland Offensive began on August 14, 1862, when Major General Kirby Smith headed north out of Knoxville with a force of roughly 15,000 soldiers.
  • On August 18, 1862, Major General Kirby Smith’s forces occupied Barbourville, Kentucky.
  • On August 21, 1862, in a letter to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Major General Kirby Smith referred to his command as the Army of East Tennessee.
  • On August 26, 1862, Major General Kirby Smith began referring to his forces as the Army of Kentucky.
  • The Confederate Army of Kentucky defeated the Union Army of Kentucky at the Battle of Richmond (August 29-30, 1862).
  • On September 2, 1862, the Army of Kentucky occupied Lexington, Kentucky.
  • On September 3, 1862, the Army of Kentucky occupied Frankfort, Kentucky, and hoisted the Confederate flag over the state capitol building.
  • The Army of Kentucky’s occupation of Frankfort marked the only Confederate occupation of a Union capital during the Civil War.
  • Throughout September 1862, the Army of Kentucky engaged in several skirmishes while maintaining control of central Kentucky.
  • On October 4, 1862, General Braxton Bragg traveled to Frankfort, Kentucky, and joined Major General Kirby Smith for the inauguration of Richard Hawes as the provisional Confederate governor of Kentucky.
  • On October 9, 1862, Confederate General Braxton Bragg retreated to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and joined forces with the Army of Kentucky.
  • On October 11, 1862, General Braxton Bragg’s forces, including the Army of Kentucky, began retreating from Kentucky.
  • By October 23, 1862, General Braxton Bragg’s forces, including the Army of Kentucky, had passed through the Cumberland Gap back into Tennessee, leaving the state in Union control for the remainder of the war.
  • On October 20, 1862, Smith formally resumed his duties as commander of the Department of East Tennessee.
  • On November 20, 1862, General Braxton Bragg issued General Orders, No. 151 (Department No. 2) announcing the formation of the Army of Tennessee. Most of the soldiers of the Army of Kentucky incorporated into the Army of Tennessee as Smith’s Corps. The remainder reverted to the Army of East Tennessee.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Army of Kentucky (CSA) (1862), Facts
  • Coverage August 26, 1862—November 20, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords Confederate Army of Kentucky
  • Website Name American History Central
  • URL
  • Access Date September 19, 2019
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 7, 2019

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