The 1862 Kentucky Campaign, Battles of Richmond and Perryville
Battle of Richmond Visitor Center
101 Battlefield Memorial Hwy, Richmond KY 40475
A visitor center in the historic Rogers House and more than 15 interpreted stops describe this Aug 29–30, 1862, battlefield, part of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign. Confederates under Gen. Kirby Smith, marching from the Cumberland Gap, overpowered and routed a smaller Union force here. The Rogers House, which served as a hospital after the battle, offers artifact exhibits and a driving tour of the battlefield. Tour stops explain the three phases of the battle and highlight the personalities involved including Patrick Cleburne. Admission is free.
Open April–October Monday–Friday 10 am–4 pm, Saturday 10 am–2 pm, Sunday 2–4 pm.
Battlefield tour information is also available at the city visitor center, 345 Lancaster Ave, Richmond KY 40475. 800-866-3705. It’s open 8 am–4:30 pm Monday–-Friday.
White Hall State Historic Site
500 White Hall Shrine Road, Richmond KY 40475
This 44-room mansion built in 1788 was the home of fiery emancipationist Cassius Marcellus Clay. Tours Wednesday–Sunday April–October. See website for other times. Fee charged.
Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve
Entrance off US 31-W, 1 mile south of Munfordville
Miles of interpreted trails cover this Sept. 14-17, 1862, battlefield, a prelude to the Battle of Perryville. On Sept. 13, some of Gen. Kirby Smith’s cavalry approached Munfordville hoping to capture the 1,800-foot Louisville and Nashville Railroad bridge over the Green River. But a small Union garrison held them off in bloody fighting. The Confederate Army of the Mississippi under Gen. Braxton Bragg arrived on the scene the next day and surrounded the vastly outnumbered Federal troops under Col. John Wilder. The Union commander at first refused to surrender but finally did so after Wilder was given a guided tour of the Confederate lines.
The Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve protects 219 acres of the Munfordville battlefield. The interpretive trail features vistas of the Green River railroad bridge and Fort Craig. See the Hart County Historical Museum for tour information. Open daily during daylight hours.
Hart County Historical Museum
109 Main St, Munfordville KY 42765
The history of the area is covered here with permanent and rotating Civil War exhibits. This is the starting point for local walking tours and a good contact point for the Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve.
Open Monday–Friday 9 am–4 pm, Saturday 8 am–4 pm.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site
1825 Battlefield Road, Boyle County KY
This is one of the most unspoiled and beautiful battlefield sites in the country. Seven miles of trails take visitors through scenes of vicious fighting Oct. 8, 1862, as the 1862 Kentucky Campaign came to its decisive moment.
Marching through the desperately dry countryside, Union forces under Union commander Gen. Don Carlos Buell and Confederates under Gen. Braxton Bragg collided just outside Perryville. The collision resulted in more than 7,000 casualties in what became the largest battle fought in Kentucky. At the end of five hours of heavy fighting, the Confederate army was forced to withdraw from the field. Bragg abandoned his Kentucky campaign later that month. The Confederates never again seriously threatened the state.
Park trails open daylight hours. Museum open 9 am–5 pm Monday–Saturday and 1–5 pm Sunday April–October. Call for hours other months. $3.50/adult.
Town of Perryville
Some nicely preserved buildings along the town’s main street, Buell Avenue, date from the 1840s. Interpretive signs describe some of the skirmishes in town associated with the nearby battle and the town’s role as hospital following the fighting. Worth a stop for the shopping and the history along the Chaplin River.
Website links to Kentucky places: Kentucky Links