Buford’s Brigade Cavalry
Prior to the above:
9th Kentucky Cavalry (UNION)
If he could talk, this man would have an interesting tale to tell, for either he deserted the Union Army to join the Confederates, or there was a terrible misunderstanding of his actions and intentions back in September 1862.
I am going to outline this story in as straightforward manner as possible:
1860 US Federal Census, District 2, Jefferson County, Kentucky (Long Run Post Office):
Ludwell Ross is enumerated in the household of Silas B Yeager (64 years old), with Louisa Yeager (52 years old), and August Heitz (14 years old, born in Germany). Ludwell Ross is listed as age 40 and is a farm laborer.
4 August 1862: Ludwell Ross enlists into the Union Army, Company F of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry in Oldham County, Kentucky.
22 August 1862: He is mustered in at Eminence (Henry County), Kentucky.
23 August 1862: Kirby Smith and his troops have entered Kentucky and defeat Union troops at the Battle of Big Hill, just south of Richmond, Kentucky. Additional Union troops head toward Richmond, Kentucky, including the 9th Kentucky Cavalry.
29 & 30 August 1862: Confederate Union forces meet in what was to be the second largest Civil War battle in Kentucky. The Battle of Perryville, fought a little more than a month later, was the largest.
The 9th Kentucky Cavalry (Union), presumably including Private Ludwell Ross, was dispatched from Eminence, Kentucky east toward the Richmond area. According to Hafendorfer’s “Battle of Richmond”, the 9th left Lexington in the early morning, heading toward Lancaster. The 9th Kentucky Cavalry would later participate in the Battle of Richmond.
Only a few days later, Company F of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry was evidently present in Lexington during on September 1st, to cover the evacuation of the city and the retreat of Federals to Louisville (Hafendorfer).
Meanwhile, in Lexington, Abraham Buford, the owner of a horse farm, a cousin to two Union Generals, and once a Captain in the US Army (an 1841 West Point graduate) is commissioned a Brigadier General in the CSA. Prior to September 1862, Buford had remained out of the war, but as the Confederates took Lexington, he decided to become involved.
It is impossible not to wonder what was going through Ludwell Ross’s mind at this time.
2 September 1862: As the Confederates make their way to Lexington, Abraham Buford set up a recruiting camp in Lexington and created a cavalry brigade – units identified as the Third, Fifth and Sixth Cavalry regiments, according to Bruce S. Allardice and Lawrence Lee Hewitt (Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State).
On this same day, according to his military records, Ludwell Ross “deserted at Lexington, Kentucky, Septemer 2, 1862 taking Arms, Horse, and Equipage”.
I have found records of men who were enlisted by Abraham Buford on 2 September 1862 in Lexington, Kentucky into the 6th Cavalry, however I have not been able to find Confederate military records proving Ludwell’s enlistment into the CSA. The likelihood of his desertion from the Union Army and enlistment in the Confederate Army is reflected in only two sets of records – his Union military records, and the document that records his death.
21 September 1862: Ludwell Ross dies on this date. He is identified as a Captain in Buford’s Brigade Cavalry, Company G.
4 October 1862: Ludwell Ross is buried in the Confederate Lot, Grave 12 (Disposition 2341).
If the information above factually reflects the last days of his life, it tells a remarkable story – in exactly two month’s time Ludwell Ross, 42-45 years of age,enlisted as a Private in the Union Army, mustering in on 22 August 1862. He deserted the Federal Army 11 days later on 2 September 1862, taking his horse, ammunition and equipment and enlisted in Buford’s Cavalry Brigade as a Captain in the CSA. He died 19 days later and was buried in the Confederate Lot, Lexington Cemetery on 4 October 1862.