Anderson's consolidation efforts in the Louisville region continued under Sherman. As the new commander, he transformed the Ohio River village of West Point, Kentucky, south of Louisville at the mouth of the Salt River, into a major supply depot. He ordered artillery placed within fortifications erected on the bluff above town to provide defense of both rivers, the depot in town, and the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike. Additional redoubts were constructed guarding the pike as it passed over the Bee Branch Creek just south of the town. 
From the onset of hostilities, the western states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois had all been feverishly organizing regiments and shipping them off to the eastern battlefields of Virginia or to protect Washington. Others were sent to the fierce struggles in Missouri or to augment General Grant's developing riverine operations in western Kentucky and Tennessee. Indiana's Governor Morton, recognizing the strategic importance of Louisville and the rail line south, set aside several of his state's new regiments specifically for this theater of operations. Colonel August Willich's all German 32nd Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry was among them.
By all accounts the 32nd Indiana made a splendid appearance on the evening of September 28, 1861, as it marched from Camp Murphy to the Indianapolis train depot. Waiting rail cars would transport the regiment to Madison on the Ohio River. Much to the astonishment of the crowd, Willich led his men on foot instead of horseback as was customary for regimental commanders. Five months of Federal service had not, as yet, produced payment. Willich was forced to rely on his limited personal finances, already strained beyond the point of sustaining the luxury of a horse. The commander's personal deprivation did not affect the attained efficiency of the 32nd.
Owing to the intense drilling, sharpened by the influence of many European veterans, the regiment appeared highly disciplined and impressive in parade maneuvers. An air of charged dynamic energy, exuding pride and proficiency, permeated the compact company columns marching amid the cheering crowds. Each man was well equipped, wearing a blue uniform trimmed in green and shouldering rifles with fixed bayonets. Over two hundred of the later recruits still carried either Enfields or 'Greenwoods,' but all gleamed with care.
Willich's German regiment embodied ten companies of infantry, 895 men strong, including a company organized later as engineers or pontoniers. Still nearly 130 men short of being at full strength, the dire need for troops in Kentucky dictated the regiment's time of movement. In just over a month, the professional level the men achieved compared to any regular army regiment and surpassed many volunteer organizations. The Indianapolis Journal reported on the departure of the 32nd that, "It was beyond question the finest regiment that has left our State, and we doubt if any state has sent out a body of volunteers their equal in all respects." 
On Tuesday, October 1, the 32nd departed Madison, Indiana aboard the steamboat N. W. Thomas and arrived in Louisville, Kentucky early the following morning. Tragically, the regiment lost its first man at the steamboat landing. As the boat was docking, Private Rudolph Kranefus of Company G fell overboard and was swept away in the swirling darkness. His life's adventures as a soldier ended at the beginning of his fourteenth day of service with a juvenile attempt to leap from the Thomas to another docked vessel. Search parties, impeded by the seasonal high water, unfortunately failed to recover the body. With the gloom of the accident overshadowing the men, the 32nd turned to the rousing Louisville welcome lavished upon them later in the day. 
Louisville's large German population was ecstatic over the arrival of Willich's regiment. At noon on their first day in the city they were the guests of honor at a large festive gathering, heavily provisioned with tables of food and kegs of beer, held at the Woodland Garden. Numerous other contending parties throughout the community, attempting to out-lavish the previous, honored the regiment during their short stay. Patriotic fervor ran high in the community resulting in eleven men joining the 32nd Indiana over the three-day period at Louisville. 
On October 4, in a brief ceremony in camp near the Nashville Depot in Louisville, Mrs. Adolph Seidensticker, representing the citizens of Indianapolis, presented Colonel Willich with the regimental colors sewn by the German ladies of that city. Embroidered on the national colors was the inscription, "Presented by the German Ladies of Indianapolis." The colonel was also supplied with a fine horse as a personal mount. Willich and Lieutenant Colonel von Trebra each received swords presented in the closing moments of the farewell.  Afterwards, the regiment marched from Louisville for duty at New Haven, Kentucky, in order to provide protection along the Lebanon Branch Railroad, an eastern spur of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.
Colonel Willich immediately instituted the methods of operation for the command on arriving at New Haven. Revolving guard responsibility did not exclude continuing the policy of constant drill. Those companies not posted on detail repetitively exercised the intricate maneuvers of battalion drill or bayonet training under the watchful eye of "Papa Willich." Bugle calls replaced vocal commands for any desired function. Willich would explain in detail, without the need of intimidation or force, any movement and the result he wished to attain. A staunch disciplinarian intent on keeping the men occupied, he felt foremost that, "an individual was first a man, then a citizen, and then a soldier."  Treating men with dignity and sharing their same adversities would endear this old soldier to many who came under his command.
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Notes: Richard A. Biggs, Bicentennial History of West Point, Ky. West Point Bicentennial Commission (1978), "Fort Hill," 67-78.