Battle of Mount Sterling
|Battle of Mount Sterling|
|Part of the American Civil War|
|United States||Confederate States|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Colonel H. L. Giltner
General Stephen G. Burbridge
|Colonel Leroy Cluke
General John H. Morgan
Colonel R. M. Martin
|Casualties and losses|
|4 killed, 10 wounded||8 killed, 13 wounded|
Lead-up to the battle
During the American Civil War, the northern and southern forces took turns occupying Mount Sterling. On March 22, 1863, about 300 Confederate cavalrymen under Colonel Leroy Cluke captured the city taking 438 prisoners, 222 wagon loads of military goods, 500 mules, and 1000 stand of arms. The aftermath of the battle included 8 killed, 13 wounded for the Confederates and 4 killed, 10 wounded for the Union. The courthouse of Mount Sterling was burned by Confederate troops resulting in the loss of early city records. About one half of Kentucky county courthouses were burned down by both armies during the Civil War, resulting in a vast loss of records. Eighty percent of Kentucky counties voted for secession after Union armies occupied Louisville and seized the state capitol at Frankfort.
On June 8 and 9, 1864, General John Hunt Morgan's Cavalry attacked Union forces guarding an important supply depot at Mount Sterling. On June 8, the CSA forces attacked the Union camp in Mount Sterling under the command of Captain Edward Barlow. The CSA captured 380 prisoners and material and took $59,000 from Farmers' Bank. Leaving a force under Colonel H. L. Giltner, Gen. Morgan moved west with the 2nd Brigade.
Early in the morning on June 9, 1864, US forces under General Stephen G. Burbridge attacked the CSA camped on Camargo Pike under command of Colonel R. M. Martin. Col. H. L. Giltner brought a CSA force from Levee Road to support Col. Martin's besieged men, but both forces were driven back through the city. The CSA counterattack failed to overcome the opposing force and heavy losses were encountered on both sides.
The battle continued sporadically throughout the surrounding countryside, leaving relics like ammunition and sabers buried in the ground, some of which are still being found as fields are plowed. The battle ended with defeat of the outnumbered Confederates, marking the last of the actual fighting for Montgomery County, Kentucky.