American Civil War

  • Three Weeks Campaign

Battle of Mayfield

Battle of Princeton

10 am, 9 October 1862


6 am, 9 October 1862


Princeton, Kentucky


Confederate victory


US flag 33 stars.svg United States

Flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1863) Confederate States


US flag 33 stars.svg Mj. Gen. Don C. Buell

Flag of the Confederate States of America (1861-1863) General Albert S. Johnston


40,000, 77 guns

49,000, 80 guns

Casualties and Losses

6,311 killed, wounded, and missing

4,437 killed, wounded, and missing

The Battle of Princeton was a single-day battle fought on 9 October 1862 near the town of Princeton, Kentucky during the American Civil War. Following the bloody Battle of City Lake (TN) on 26 September, General Albert Johnston moved to relieve the pressure on General PGT Beauregard by attacking Major General Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, penetrating deep into western Kentucky. Intent on dealing a heavy blow to Union forces in enemy-held Kentucky, Johnston hoped a decisive victory here would not only endanger General Grant's position in eastern Tennessee, but also inspire a new wave of pro-Confederate sentiment throughout Kentucky and provide enough momentum for the secession movement to take control of the state legislature. Though he scored a decisive victory here, reinvigorating the Confederate sentiment he sought to inspire, he failed to destroy Buell's army entirely, and emboldened Lieutenant General William S. Rosecrans to move his Army of the Cumberland back north into Kentucky. Though Johnston scored a second victory against Rosecrans at Marion the following February, his death, and Rosecrans' removal, sparked a second brief campaign which resulted in Lieutenant General Louis J. Gascon dealing a decisive and crushing blow to General Braxton Bragg at the Battle of Marion that May.

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