In August 1862 two Confederate armies moved into Kentucky looking to threaten Union areas along the Ohio River and do some recruiting. These were commanded by Brigadier General Edmund Kirby Smith and Major General Braxton Bragg. They moved more or less parallel across the state, with Smith moving from Knoxville and Bragg from Chattanooga.
Smith’s men moved north on August 29th 1862 from Big Hill, Kentucky toward Richmond, Kentucky, where they met Union skirmishers. Shortly after noon Union artillery and infantry came up, forcing Smith’s cavalry under Confederate Colonel John S Scott to retreat back to Big Hill. Union troops in the area were commanded by Brigadier General Mahlon Dickerson Manson, and they pursued and skirmished with the Confederates into the late afternoon. That night Manson reported to his commander Major General William Bull Nelson.
The fighting continued the next day with each bringing in more troops. In the end the Union troops retreated. The Confederates captured about 4,300 Union men. The Union also had 78 men killed and 372 wounded and 1 missing. This battle laid open the way for the Confederate to move north towards Lexington and Frankfort.