Kentucky’s bloodiest battlefield of the Civil War: October 8, 1862
Supplement to “Divided We Stood”
Visitors to Kentucky’s bloodiest battlefield will find the one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation. In fact, Joni House, historic preservationist and program coordinator at Perryville Battlefield, likens the views you see today to those experienced 150 years ago.
“If a Civil War soldier who fought here could come back in time and walk on the battlefield today, he would know the place to be Perryville,” she says.
“There are a lot of organizations and dedicated volunteers who are committed to the preservation of this special place. Perryville is no doubt one of the most pristinely preserved battlefields in the United States and its preservation continues to advance,” she adds. “We are currently partnered with the Civil War Trust, which is actively engaged in acquiring endangered tracts of battlefields throughout the United States. They have been very generous to Perryville. We also have a great Friends group and they spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in protecting and interpreting the park.”
A stop along the Lincoln Heritage Trail, this Kentucky State Park Historic Site will commemorate that fateful day in 1862 in grand fashion. On October 6-7, the park will play host to battalions of re-enactors—some traveling to Perryville Battlefield from as far away as Sweden. The event will focus on re-creating small-scale selected portions of the battle that occurred when the Confederate Army of Mississippi and the Union Army of Ohio met on the farm fields surrounding the now historic Perryville.
According to House, there will also be a re-dedication of the Confederate and Union monuments at Perryville Battlefield on October 8, 2012. This occasion will be marked by descendents from the original combatants honoring their ancestors and rededicating the battlefield in the soldiers’ memories.
“If you asked a person in the mid-19th century they would not say they were from either the United States or the Confederate States,” noted Chad Greene, who will assume the role of commander of the Union Army for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Perryville. “They would say Georgia or Ohio—and Kentuckians certainly would have answered Kentucky.”
To read the Kentucky Living August 2012 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Divided We Stood.