Last modified on June 27, 2016, at 04:12

Battle of Barbourville

Battle of Barbourville
Began:

September 19, 1861

Ended:

Same day

Location:

Knox County, Kentucky

Theater:

Western Theater

Campaign:

Operations in Eastern Kentucky

Outcome:

Confederate victory

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Combatants
Conf Navy Jack.png

Kentucky Home Guard

Detachment from
Zollicoffer's main body

Commanders

Isaac J. Black
Captain, USA

Joel A. Battle
Colonel, CSA

Strength

300

800

Casualties

15
Killed: 1
Wounded: 1
Captured: 13

5

  

Kentucky Union sympathizers had trained recruits at Camp Andrew Johnson, in Barbourville, throughout the summer of 1861. Confederate Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer entered Kentucky in mid-September intending to relieve pressure on Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and his troops by conducting raids and generally constituting a threat to Union forces and sympathizers in the area. On September 18, 1861, he dispatched a force of about 800 men under command of Col. Joel A. Battle to disrupt the training activities at Camp Andrew Johnson. At daylight on the 19th, the force entered Barbourville and found the recruits gone; they had been sent to Camp Dick Robinson. A small home guard force commanded by Capt. Isaac J. Black met the Rebels, and a sharp skirmish ensued. After dispersing the home guard, the Confederates destroyed the training camp and seized arms found there. This was, for all practical purposes, the first encounter of the war in Kentucky. The Confederates were making their might known in the state, countering the early Union presence. (NPS summary)