The First Defenders Civil War Round Table celebrated the coming holiday season during its December program with a festive meal that included a birthday cake for former Preservation Committee chair Cate Kennedy.
54 First Defenders assembled at the Inn at Reading to hear our own Greg Stull talk about “The Battle that Wasn’t Supposed to Be – Perryville.” A descendant of Confederate General Leonidas Polk, a key player at Perryville, Greg traced the origins of Braxton Bragg’s “Kentucky Campaign” in the fall of 1862 and how a promising start resulted in a demoralizing retreat from the Bluegrass State that would characterize most of Bragg’s subsequent military operations. General Polk is not generally seen as a leading light of Confederate leadership, but he had a very good day at Perryville where he held off a superior Federal army that was poorly led by Don Carlos Buell.
Perryville would be the only major battle in the border state of Kentucky, and would fairly end the Confederacy’s dream of bringing that state into its fledgling nation. Greg brought to life the events of the autumn of ’62 that have long-been overshadowed by Robert E. Lee’s Maryland Campaign that also ended in disappointment on the banks of the Antietam Creek.
As always, the December program was enjoyed by all!