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Marshall's scouts had told him that Garfield was pursuing him and would most likely advance up the creek from Prestonsburg. He had also received reportsówhich subsequently proved to be falseóthat Cranor's 40th Ohio Infantry was advancing towards Prestonsburg from Salyersville. By positioning his troops at the Forks of Middle Creek, Marshall believed that he could intercept Cranor and defeat him before he joined Garfield. Cranor, however, anticipating this possibility, took the road to Paintsville, followed Garfield to Prestonsburg, and joined him while the battle was in progress.

Along the ridge to his right, Marshall placed Moore's 29th Virginia Infantry and Williams' 5th Kentucky Infantry regiments. He placed Jeffress' artillery battery on the ridge behind the Forks, where it could sweep the bottom land up and down the creek, and he placed Trigg's 54th Virginia Infantry directly behind his artillery, holding it in reserve. Marshall placed two dismounted companies of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry, commanded by  Clay and Thomas, on a ridge running north from the apple orchard on his left. Three more companies of the 1st Kentucky, under Shawhan, Cameron, and Stone, he held in reserve on his immediate right, next to his artillery. Holliday's cavalry company was given the job of guarding his supply train. Marshall commanded his troops from a position near his four artillery pieces, believing that they would play a decisive role during the battle.

The Confederate Command Post
Marshallís Map of the Middle Creek Battlefield. The two Wís mark the position of Col. John S. Williamsís 5th Kentucky Infantry, and the two Mís show the position of Col. Alfred Mooreís 29th Virginia Infantry. The Tís and Cís mark the position of Captain Thomasís and Captain Clayís companies of the 1st Battalion, Kentucky Cavalry. Marshall's command post was located at bottom left, a few yards above Captain Jeffress's artillery battery. Garfield's command post was located on Graveyard Point (top right).
General Humphrey Marshallís command post at the Forks of Middle Creek provided him with an excellent vantage point from which to view the valley and deal with unforeseen contingencies.  The lower valley, extending northeast, was his route of approach. The left fork of the creek, extending south, provided him with a route of retreat.
Samuel May House
Archive Main Page
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Middle Creek
Middle Creek Main Page
Why They Fought Here
The Opposing Commanders
The Confederate Waiting Game
The Artillery That Failed
The Union Command Post
The Union Assault
Monroe's Bayonet Charge
A Desperate Fight, But Few Casualties
The Mount Sterling-Pound Gap Road
The John M. Burns House
The Samuel May Farm
The Middle Creek Foundation
Colonel George W. Monroe
Colonel Ezekiel F. Clay
Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon
Colonel Don A. Pardee
Colonel Hiram Hawkins
Colonel John S. Williams
Colonel Alfred C. Moore
Colonel George W. Gallup
Dr. Stephen M. Ferguson
Civil War
The Skirmish
at Abbott Shoal