Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Skirmish at Wartrace, May 11, 1862

            11, Skirmish at Wartrace

APRIL 11, 1862.-Skirmish at Wartrace, Tenn.

Report of Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, C. S. Army.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF EAST TENNESSEE, Knoxville, Tenn., April 28, 1862.

GEN.: I have the honor to report that on the 10th instant a detachment of the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. Starnes, was sent out from Hillsborough, in this State, by order of Brig.-Gen. Maxey, for the purpose of scouring the country lying near the western slope of the Cumberland Mountains.

This force, consisting of about 200 men, came upon a body of the enemy, 600 strong, at Wartrace, in Bedford County, and immediately attacked them in their camp.

After a short engagement our men were withdrawn, with a loss of 3 killed and 8 wounded. The killed are Lieut. Wilson, Dr. Drahe, and Private Austin Stanley. The names of the wounded are not given. Lieut.-Col. Starnes reports killing a considerable number of the enemy, but owing to the fact that they fought from their tents, their exact loss could not be ascertained. A good effect was, however, produced, as it was a surprise to the enemy, and so alarmed him as to stop for some time the running of trains on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

The officer commanding the expedition reports that the officers and men of his command behaved themselves with great gallantry.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. KIRBY SMITH, Maj.-Gen., Cmdg.

OR, Ser. I, Vol. 10, pt. I, p. 644.


The Wartrace Skirmish.—A gentleman from Shelbyville has given us some particulars of the skirmish at Wartrace, eight miles from Shelbyville, which we noticed the other day. A company of Col. Starn's cavalry, belonging to Floyd's brigade, came at daybreak upon a part of the Forty-second Indiana, of less than half their own numbers under Maj. Shanklin of Evansville. A desperate fight ensued in which four Federal soldiers were killed and twenty-five slightly wounded. Four rebels were killed on the spot, and twenty of them wounded, two or three mortally. Among the rebels killed were Capt. Wilson, of Chapel Hill, and Dr. Duke, surgeon of the battalion. One of the rebels who had been in Shelbyville a few days previous, passing himself off as a Union man, was shot through the forehead with a minnie ball. Our informant says that our troops behaved with wonderful gallantry.

Nashville Daily Union, April 17, 1862.


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Editor, The Courier

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214


(615)-532-1549  FAX



Unknown said...

Does anyone know the location of this skirmish?

Dixie Em said...

Yes, near what is now Wartrace town park, there is a historical marker in the park