The Battle of Rowlett's Station (also known as Battle of Woodsonville or of Green River) was a land battle in the American Civil War, fought in the whistle-stop station of Rowlett's in Hart County, Kentucky, on December 17, 1861. The outcome was inconclusive, although the Union Army continued to hold its objective, a railroad bridge across the Green River.
Background and opposing forces
Brig. Gen. Don Carlos Buell had assumed command of the Army of the Ohio in November 1861, and in an attempt to consolidate Union hold over the surrounding area, organized a spate of troop movements into the field. Part of these movements included the march of the 2nd Division under Brig. Gen. Alexander McDowell McCook into Kentucky. Meanwhile, the Confederate Western Department, under General Albert Sydney Johnston, had sent out elements that lined up along the Green River near Munfordville, Kentucky. McCook initiated a movement toward Confederate lines, and the rebel divisions, under Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman, responded by blowing up the southern pier of the Lousville and Nashville Railroad bridge spanning the Green River, along with about 100 feet of track, on December 10. Col. August Willich of the 32nd Indiana Infantry sent two of his companies across the river, and had the rest engaged in building a pontoon bridge.
The Union forces were mainly men from the 32nd Indiana Infantry Regiment. The particularly notable Confederates were the 8th Texas Cavalry, later better known as Terry's Texas Rangers.
The 32nd Indiana Infantry, also called the "First German", was made up of German immigrants and descendants of local German settlers. Col. Willich had assumed command at the request of Governor Oliver P. Morton. He was a disciplinarian, using Prussian bugle calls to direct his regiment on the parade ground and battlefield.
The 8th Texas Cavalry was formed by Col. Benjamin Franklin Terry. He was requested by General Johnston to join the army that he was then recruiti...