On August 23, while travelling up the road to Lexington, Col. John Scott’s Confederate troops ran into a force of Union cavalry atop Big Hill, on the western edge of the Cumberland Mountains
The Union troops consisted of the 7th Kentucky Cavalry and a battalion of the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry, commanded by Col. Leonidas Metcalfe. At Scott’s approach, Metcalfe ordered a cavalry charge. As the army’s Adjutant General, J. Mills Kendrick, reported later, Metcalfe then
“had the mortification to find that not more than 100 of his regiment followed him; the remainder, at the first cannon shot, turned tail and fled like a pack of cowards.”
A few men from the 3rd Tennessee rescued Metcalfe.
Scott chased the federals up the road to Richmond, Kentucky, 20 miles southeast of Lexington.
But during the chase, the Confederate troopers learned from a captured Union dispatch that heavy Union reinforcements were due in Richmond by August 23. The federals suffered 10 killed and 40 wounded. The confederates suffered 25 killed & wounded