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Central Army of Kentucky
Civil War Encyclopedia >> Armies - Confederate
March 29, 1862 The Central Army of Kentucky and the Army of Alabama and West Florida, and is merged into the Army of Mississippi in Corinth under Albert Sidney Johnston with P. G. T. Beauregard as second-in-command. Corps commanders are Braxton Bragg, Leonidas Polk, William Hardee and George Crittenden. Mississippi
  Albert Sidney Johnston
  P. G. T. Beauregard
  Braxton Bragg
  Leonidas Polk
  William Hardee
  Army of Mississippi


Central Army of Kentucky

Other names: Army of Central Kentucky, Central Division of Kentucky

Originally, Jefferson Davis organized the Second Department, or Department Number 2, around Leonidas Polk, although Polk lobbied for Sidney Johnston to be in command. In early September, Polk advanced into Kentucky and occupied Columbus, on the Mississippi River south of Paducah. Ulysses S. Grant then occupied Paducah. Kentucky had declared its neutrality, but as with all border states, deep divisions separated the citizenry, even within the same family.

Commander, Central Army of Kentucky, Corps Commander, Army of Mississippi and Army of Tennesseee
William J. Hardee
Simon Bolivar Buckner, commander of the Kentucky State Guard (militia), organized two pro-Confederate divisions in the state and one week after Grant's seizure of Paducah, these 6,000 men became the Central Division of Kentucky, headquartered in Bowling Green. On October 4, 1861, Buckner reported a large force moving towards him and Sidney Johnston ordered William Hardee to advance to Bowling Green with his division from Missouri and take command of the combined force, under the label Central Army of Kentucky. John Floyd, who moved west from West Virginia with his brigade in December, 1861, was given command of a second division in the Central Army.

Grant's move south along the Tennessee River forced the Confederate's hand, and at Gideon Pillow's request Sidney Johnston ordered Buckner to move to Fort Donelson and Floyd to scout the Cumberland River with his brigade. Buckner arrived at Fort Donelson on February 11, while almost all of the Central Army of Kentucky prepared for a move to Nashville with Hardee. Leaving the last of its stores behind in Bowling Green on February 13, John Breckinridge's Orphan Brigade arrived in Nashville in time to find out Buckner, Pillow and Floyd were surrounded at Fort Donelson with little hope of getting out. Shortly, Floyd and his brigade arrived with news of the loss of the fort and pandemonium broke out in the Tennessee state capital.

Hardee left Floyd in command of the men at Nashville with orders to move supplies and men to Hardee's relocated headquarters in Murfreesboro. Don Carlos Buell, as always, took his time advancing on Nashville, giving Floyd until February 23rd to withdraw the Central Army of Kentucky from the city. From Murfreesboro the army moved south to Shelbyville and on to Alabama, where they turned west to Corinth, Mississippi. Arriving at the rail hub in late March, 1862, the Central Army was one of four reorganized by Johnston into the Army of Mississippi.

Links appearing on this page:

Army of Mississippi
Don Carlos Buell
Gideon Pillow
John Floyd
Leonidas Polk
Sidney Johnston
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Ulysses S. Grant
West Virginia
William Hardee

Civil War Encyclopedia >> Armies - Confederate

Central Army of Kentucky was last changed on - November 16, 2007
Central Army of Kentucky was added on - November 7, 2007




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