Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, 1863

After Christmas, the Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry did, indeed, receive their marching orders.  In Colonel McHenry's absence, their regiment, was now under the command of Colonel A.M. Stout.  They, and other troops from the Russellville encampment, were ordered again into Tennessee.  This time there would be no great battle looming on the horizon, as their assignment under Colonel Sanders Bruce was to garrison the newly re-occupied town of Clarksville, Tennessee.  This march was only 50 miles to the southwest of Russellville along present day US Hwy. 79.

They found that the inhabitants of Clarksville were devoted citizens of the Confederacy. However, having been subjected to a rather harsh occupation by Union troops after the battle of Fort Donelson, they were fairly cooperative with the comparatively civil authority of Colonel Bruce's command.

The Seventeenth, having the experience of garrison duty in Pulaski, Tennessee the previous summer, was better prepared than most to deal with a resentful population, and glad to be yet a few days' journey from their homes.  They only hoped that this might be their last assignment in an occupied South, and the new year would bring an end to this horrible war.

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