The Filson Civil War Field Institute Bus Tour
In the aftermath of the 1862 Perryville campaign, Kentucky never again served as a major theater for military operations. Yet people throughout the state continued to experience the hard hand of war at an ever growing rate. As Union troops defending the state were constantly being sent to the front lines in Tennessee and Georgia, Kentucky increasingly fell prey to large scale cavalry raids and guerrilla depredations. From the summer of 1864 to the fall of 1865, months after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Kentucky was plagued by a savage guerrilla conflict that became a reign of terror to the people of both sides.
The Filson Historical Society invites you to re-discover this bloody chapter in Kentucky history through a bus tour of some of the sites that marked the dark deeds of such legendary guerrilla chieftains as William Quantrill, Samuel “One-Armed” Berry and Marcellus Jerome Clark better known as “Sue Mundy.”
Tour Guide James Prichard received his B. A. and M.A. in History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He supervised the Kentucky State Archives Research Room and is currently employed at The Filson Historical Society. His book on the history of Frankfort during the Civil War will be published this fall. He penned the foreword to Thomas Watson’s book, Confederate Guerrilla Sue Mundy.
Some of the places we will visit:
Frankfort, Fort Hill - Launched in the summer of 1864, Gen. John Hunt Morgan's last Kentucky raid ended in disastrous defeat. His command was scattered to the winds and many of his raiders made their way to the heart of the state to wage war on their own terms. On June 10-11, 1864, the local militia led by Gov. Thomas Bramlette and other high ranking state officials successfully defended Frankfort against an attack by one of Morgan's detachments. At Fort Hill, now a city park overlooking the capital, the remains of the city's civil war defenses can still be seen.
Bardstown - In June, 1864, only days after Morgan was driven from Kentucky, Lt. Col. George M. Jessee, who had remained behind to gather stragglers, captured Bardstown. Jessee later won undisputed control of the region between Louisville, Frankfort and Carrollton until after Lee's surrender. Bardstown's Civil War Museum of the Western Theater offers exhibits that bring the conflict in Kentucky to life.
Bradfordsville - Sheltered by a large population of Confederate sympathizers in Nelson County, roving guerrilla bands launched raids throughout central Kentucky. In late January 1865, William C. Quantrill, the dreaded Missouri partisan, swept through New Market, Bradfordsville and Hustonville. In another raid a few days later he clashed with Union forces at Bradfordsville on Feb. 8, 1865. The same day, the raiders killed Prior Prewitt at his home nearby. The bullet hole through the front door of the structure is still visible.
Wakefield- this Historical Highway Marker on State Route 55, Quantrill was mortally wounded and captured in a fight with Union scouts on May 10, 1865. Taken to the Louisville military prison, he died of his wounds on June 6th. The remnants of his band, including Alexander Franklin "Frank" James, finally surrendered in Nelson County on July 26th.
Simpsonville - This roadside cemetery contains the remains of 22 men of the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry. Their detachment, which was driving cattle to Louisville, was attacked and scattered by guerrillas on Jan. 25, 1865. The site was an unmarked mass grave until it was restored in 2009.
James Prichard received his B. A. and M.A. in History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He supervised the Kentucky State Archives Research Room and is currently employed in the Special Collections at The Filson Historical Society. He is a member of Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. His book on the history of Frankfort during the Civil War will be published this fall. He penned the foreword to Thomas Watson's book, Confederate Guerrilla Sue Mundy.
The bus will Depart the Filson Historical Society at 8am and return 5:30pm on Monday, October 13th. We will stop for lunch along the way. The field trip fee covers the cost of the bus, lunch and all admissions to museums.
Deadline to register is September 12th at 3pm.
To register, please use the EventBrite link below, call The Filson Historical Society 502-635-5083, or mail in the Attached Form along with payment
$65 for Filson members$75 for non members
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