On Wednesday, October 8, 1862, the most significant battle fought in Kentucky occurred west of Perryville, when Union troops under General Don Carlos Buell attacked General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate forces. Both armies struggled for supremacy, with Buell unaware until late in the day that a major conflict was actually being fought.
General Philip Sheridan and other Union officers exercised field command during the battle. However, a significant part of Bragg’s Confederate forces remaining encamped at nearby Frankfort, Kentucky. When Union reinforcements threatened his left flank, Bragg, critically short of men and supplies, withdrew during the night, retreating to East Tennessee by way of the Cumberland Gap. At Perryville, commonly known as the Battle for Kentucky, Union casualties were over 4200 and Confederate losses at 3400.