Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/337

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gan, the notorious rebel raider, was also coursing again through central Kentucky.

General Nelson, detached from his division by General Buell and ordered to Kentucky to clear it of guerrillas and raiders before Kirby Smith's appearance on the scene, reported to Major-General Wright at Louisville, and was sent by him at once to Lexington to take command of all the troops in that vicinity. They consisted of about ten infantry regiments from Indiana and Ohio and a Kentucky cavalry regiment, most of them just organized, with perfectly raw officers and men, a large portion of whom were going through their first drill. They numbered between seven and eight thousand men. Kirby Smith reached their advanced posts on August 29, and drove them and their supports steadily before him upon the main body at Richmond, some twenty miles south of Lexington. He attacked the Unionists there with his whole force the next day, and, after driving them from position to position, completely overwhelmed them. The routed Federals lost nearly half their number in killed, wounded, and prisoners, the remainder fleeing in the greatest disorder, and without stopping, through Lexington to Louisville. This victory gave Kirby Smith the choice of an unobstructed advance, either upon Louisville or Cincinnati. He marched toward the latter city, and came within six miles of the Ohio River. His approach caused the greatest consternation, not only in Cincinnati, but throughout Ohio and Indiana. Martial law was proclaimed in the Queen City, and preparations pushed night and day for her defence.

The indignation and rage of the Kentucky loyalists and the authorities and people of the two other States over the new rebel invasion was intense, and centred upon General Buell. In the press and at public meetings he was denounced, not only for his incapacity to cope with his rebel adversaries, but for his alleged sympathy for the South and consequent half-heartedness in waging war against it. Hot demands for his removal were made upon the President