Civil War Timeline
The first troops in the Big Sandy Valley are small squads of 6-10 Confederates who come from Cassville, VA to recruit.
William A. Roberts recruits men for the Confederate service in the Catts Fork area.
5th VA Inf. [US] stationed at Cassville, across the Big Sandy from Louisa.
One company of the 1st WV Cavalry [US] arrives.
Late summer 1861:
At Louisa, William Vinson and Laban T. Moore raise two companies of home guards which will eventually become part of the 14th KY Infantry Regiment [US].
William A. Roberts takes a group of 25-30 recruits to Prestonsburg to join the Confederate Army.
Sept. 26, 1861:
A detachment of 2 companies of the 5th VA CAV [US] leaves Catlettsburg on an expedition up Big Sandy River to Lawrence Co.
Sept. 27, 1861:
Oliver M. Martin, landlord of the Hampton House at Catlettsburg, arrested at Louisa. Within a week, he is supposed to be on his way to the Confederate Army.
Sept. 28, 1861:
The 5th VA CAV [US] leaves their camp ground, 20 miles above the mouth of Big Sandy. After proceeding one mile they are ambushed near Frederick Moore's place. Major Ralph Olmstead of Catlettsburg is shot instantly, Lt. Baysden is wounded and dies after 5 hours.
Mid-to End-September, 1861:
The 14th KY Infantry is organizing at Catlettsburg and Louisa under Col. Laban T. Moore. Associated with him are George W. Gallup, Joseph R. Brown, Rhys M. Thomas, Wm. B. Burke, Drew J. Burchett, John F. Babbitt and E. J. Roberts.
A. J. Marcum, a future member of the 5th KY INF [CS], recruits about 100 men in Lawrence County for the Confederate Service. After his departure, Jerry Riffe takes command of the company. The men stay on the A. J. Auxier farm, at Brammer Gap.
Camp Wallace, recruiting and training camp of the 14th KY Inf. [US] is established at Louisa. The First United Methodist Church is used as hospital. Thomas Wallace rents a house as commissary.
Nov. 25, 1861:
A Union scout surprises Jerry Riffe's men near the Auxier farm at Brammer Gap. After an exchange of fire, Wash Huff, private in Co. H, 14th KY INF.[US] is wounded and left for dead by his comrades who are forced to flee the field. Finding Huff still alive, two or three of Riffe's men stab, shoot and kill him and strip him of his uniform and personal belongings.
Nov. 26, 1861:
A second party of Union soldiers return to Brammer Gap and renew the attack on Riffe's men who are now at Brammer's Farm. They make their escape and join Humphrey Marshall's command [CS] in Floyd County.
Dec. 10, 1861:
The 14th KY Inf. [US] is mustered into the US Service at Camp Wallace, Louisa.
Dec. 16, 1861:
In consequence of rumors that a superior number of Confederates under Gen. Humphrey Marshall are advancing upon Louisa from Prestonsburg, the 14th KY Inf. [US] under Col. Moore retreat from Louisa to Catlettsburg.
After the departure of the 14th KY Inf. [US], Captain Jack Marcum [CS] pays Louisa a visit and rides through town accompanied by but one man, in broad day light, "and no one attempting to take him."
Dec. 21, 1861:
The 14th KY, 42nd OVI, McLaughlin's Squadron, and a battalion of the 1st WV Cavalry [US] arrive at Louisa. Some of the soldiers are housed in the court house and deserted private residences.
Dec. 23, 1861:
Beginning of Colonel James A. Garfield's Eastern Kentucky Campaign:
A Federal wagon-train, guarded by a company of the 42nd OVI, slowly edges its way from Catlettsburg to Louisa. At night, they camp at Harrison's Chapel.
Colonel J. A. Garfield [US], with nine companies of the 42nd OVI, three companies of the 14th KY Inf., and Major McLaughlin's Squadron of Cavalry, moves from Louisa toward Georges Creek. They go into camp on the Garrett Farm.
Seven companies of the 14th KY Inf., still in Louisa, await the arrival of their equipment.
Dec. 24, 1861:
Garfield arrives in the evening at Georges Creek with his force. Tents and subsistance are moved up the river by flat-boat.
The Federal wagon-train arrives at Falls of Blain [Fallsburg] where the soldiers camp in a store.
Dec. 25, 1861:
The Federal wagon-train reaches the town of Louisa about 3 o'clock. They go into camp about 1 1/2 miles south of town at an old schoolhouse, "beside a good stream of water and on a dry piece of ground."
Abt. Dec. 25/26, 1861:
Two men of the 14th KY INF [US] who are at home sick on furlough are dragged from their beds at near midnight and killed "for no other offense than having a love for the Union".
Feb. 4, 1862:
Seven companies of Colonel Lindsey's regiment, 22nd KY Inf. [US] which had been left at Louisa, move up the river to Piketon. Col. J. A. J. Lightburn, 4th VA [US], stationed at Ceredo, sends two companies to Louisa to protect the stores there, allowing the whole of Colonel Lindsey's command to move together.
The 14th KY Inf. [US] leaves the Big Sandy Valley for service at Cumberland Gap.
Aug. 11, 1862:
Record temperatures at Louisa - the mercury climbs to 108 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade at 9 o'clock in the morning.
John A. Rowan's Partisan Rangers [CS] and part of Vincent A. Witcher's 34th Virginia Cavalry Battalion [CS], the McDowell Rangers under command of Captain Elias Harmon, move up the Big Sandy from Gyandotte, VA and loot an abandoned shoe store belonging to a Union man in Louisa. The store owner and his family hastily shut up shop and decamped to the hills and thick timber. The next morning the commands moves up the Sandy to the hills and became engaged with the home guards with negative results. The Confederates lose three men wounded, one mortally, by the name ofTom Petty, who dies the following night, and is buried in the town's cemetery in the morning.
October 19, 1862:
According to Union reports, "the rebels are in possession of the portion of Northeast Kentucky embracing the counties of Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, and others to the southward as far as Pike, and are committing depredations upon the property and outrages upon the persons of loyal citizens which call for prompt repression. The forces alluded to--mostly guerrillas---are not understood to be large, not exceeding 500 or 600 at most. Another force of about the same strength, said to belong to Floyd's command, is reported to be at the salt-works on the Big Sandy River above Louisa."
Recruits for John Dil's 39th KY [US] are on their way to Pikeville and camp at the end of Clayton and John's farms above Louisa. The following day they arrive at Peach Orchard and camp for two days.
Captain William "Rebel Bill" Smith is operating in Lawrence County with his command, Co. D, 2nd Bttn. KY Mtd. Rifles [CS].
Field's Partisan Rangers [CS] recruit near Webbville.
Dec. 15, 1862:
After conducting a raid in Carter County and capturing several Confederates, Hiram Huff, James Ross, James Minten Ball, Wash Shelton, a Boggs and several other men are overtaken by CSA Captain Marcum at Sink Roberts' farm on Cat Fork. Huff, Ball, Ross and Shelton are taken to the head of Wells Branch, by way of Dry Fork to Bruin, and shot to death.
Their bodies are placed in a shallow mass grave and covered with flat rocks.
First week of February 1863:
The 14th KY Inf. [US] returns to Louisa.
Feb. 15, 1863:
Captain William "Rebel Bill" Smith captures 13 men of the 14th KY Inf. [US] on their way from Blaine to Louisa. All but Lt. Chilton Osborn, who is sent to Richmond, VA as POW, are paroled. The 10th KY Cav [US] leaves Louisa in pursuit of Smith but to no avail.
Mar. 12, 1863:
Skirmish at Louisa
Mar. 24, 1863:
Confederate General Humphrey Marshall moves through Flat Gap, Johnson County and via Laurel Fork to Big Blaine Creek. He makes a stop at Claib Swetnam farm and later camps on the farm of Asbury Hawes [14 miles from Louisa]
Mar. 25, 1863:
Before 4 a.m.: General Marshall's advance runs into a Federal detachment - skirmish ca. 8 miles from Louisa; both sides fall back.
Stand at "Smokey Valley": In the early morning hours, Johnson's [2nd KY Mtd. Rifles, CS] skirmish with US Cavalry, composed of a battalion of the 10th KY Cavalry and McLaughlin Troopers. The Confederates are situated on a hill and drive the Federals within 8 miles of Louisa.
Afternoon, 3 p.m.: Marshall appears with his troops at Louisa. Only a few shots are exchanged.
Mar. 26, 1863:
After a council of war, Marshall decides not to attack Louisa and retreats toward Paintsville, from Louisa back to Swetnam's Farm. Marshall's adjutant Edward O. Guerrant eats at Mrs. Smith's [?] house.
Mar. 27, 1863:
From Swetnam's Farm Marshall moves up Hood's Fork and back into Johnson County.
Andrew Young, member of the 2nd Bttn., KY Mtd Rifles [CS], is surprised by a Union patrol while at home in Lawrence Co., and killed during the pursuit that follows.
May 12, 1864:
The 14th KY Inf. [US] is ordered from Louisa to join the Atlanta Campaign.
Jun. 7, 1864:
In pursuit of John Hunt Morgan, US General Hobson arrives at Louisa from Beaver Creek, via Paintsville.
Jul. 6, 1864:
The place of reception for colored recruits in the Ninth District is changed from Louisa to Ashland.
Jul. 10, 1864:
Confederates capture and sink three barges of hay within four miles of Louisa. The crew is sworn to transport no more Government supplies on Sandy River. Captain Sowards, 39th KY Mtd. Infantry [US], is in pursuit with all the force he can spare from Louisa.
Aug. 22, 1864:
Jonathan Cooksey, 67 year old pioneer settler in the Catt Fork area of Lawrence County, is killed at his home on Cooksey Fork by a roving band of guerrillas.
Aug. 25, 1864:
Construction of Fort Bishop: Lt. Col. J. H. Simpson, Corps of Engineers, Dept. of KY, visits Louisa and reviews the existing fortifications. He gives the necessary instructions in relation to the site of the fort to be constructed, and its character.
Fort Bishop is named after after Capt. William Bishop, One hundredth Ohio Infantry, mortally wounded in action in front of Dallas, Ga., May 28, 1864.
Nov. 5, 1864:
The Thirty-fourth Battalion Virginia Cavalry [CS] under Lieut. Col. Vincent A. Witcher capture and destroy a large amount of military stores at Mellonsburg [Peach Orchard], including the cooking utensils of one brigade, "driving the enemy's cavalry under his guns and fortifications at Louisa".
Nov. 8, 1864:
Anderson "Anse" Hatfield and his men take over the polls at the Rockville Precinct during the presidential election. Holding the local officials at gunpoint, Hatfield and his men cast their votes for Abraham Lincoln. Afterwards, they release their hostages and leave without further incident.
John Maren Pennington, a young retarded man who had been hiding in the woods near his home on Dry Fork to dodge the war, is found by some unidentified soldiers. After forcing him to climb a tree and flapping his wings like a rooster, he is shot out of the tree like a wild animal.
Jan. 31, 1865:
The 14th KY Inf. [US] is mustered out at Louisa.
Fort Bishop, Louisa: The work done during the month has been finishing the northeast and southeast corners of the fort. The banquette around the fort has been finished, but wants a little more dressing to give it a better shape. The magazine is finished. The part of the ditch at the west end of the fort has been excavated to twelve feet deep and fifteen feet wide and the material has been deposited on a portion of the south parapet that settled last winter. The fort is manned by seven field guns. The crest is 925 feet.
Apr. 24, 1865:
Members of William Horton's Co. M, 10th KY Cavalry [CS], conduct a raid in Lawrence County.
Hugh and Jim Boggs, former Union soldiers, are ambushed and killed by Confederate John L. Sparks [a member of Horton's company] while working in a field near the mouth of Collier Creek.
Apr. 26 to May 11, 1865:
Parts of Colonel Giltner's command, including remnants of the 10th KY Cavalry [CS], surrender at Louisa and are paroled.
Researched and compiled by: Marlitta H. Perkins, July 2002
P.O. BOX 142
Blaine, KY 41124-0142