Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Perryville Creating Online Store

I do not have all the details, but the Perryville Battlefield is in the process of creating an online store so that those who are wanting to purchase books and other items will be able order these titles directly from the Perryville Battlefield. I know from my experiences in using the Antietam Museum Store that online purchasing makes it a snap to pick up useful items for trip planning and research. More details to follow once I have them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Trail planned to link battlefield, Perryville

Lexington Herald Leader, Associated Press, March 1st, 2009

PERRYVILLE — The state has purchased 76 acres of land in Central Kentucky and will build a walking and biking trail connecting a Civil War battlefield with a nearby city. The Kentucky Department of Parks recently purchased the land off of U.S. 150 in Perryville for $416,933.

Parks Department spokesman Gil Lawson said the land will be used to connect Perryville with the site where the Battle of Perryville was fought on Oct. 8, 1862.

Lawson says plans call for an "interpretive walking trail" several miles in length and are part of an effort by the state to preserve what he said is one of Kentucky's most valuable landmarks.
"The battlefield is very significant, and was one of the largest in the Civil War," Lawson told The Danville Advocate-Messenger. "It's also been very well preserved, especially when compared to other battlefields in the state. To our knowledge, it still looks very similar to the time of the battle."

The trail will follow a stretch known at the time as Mackville Road, which was basically an undeveloped wagon trail that connected Perry ville to Mackville in Washington County and saw heavy traffic during the war.

Lawson said Mackville Road was apparently very significant during the battle, because it connected the battlefield to the city.

The state paid for the purchase from grant money in Kentucky's Heritage Land Conservation Fund. The fund gets its revenue from the purchase of specialized nature license plates, the state portion of the unmined minerals tax and environmental fines.

Of the total revenue in the fund, the Department of Parks receives a 10 percent allocation.
Plans for the trail come after a failed attempt to develop the property.

The Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission last year approved a request from Pete Coyle, a developer and member of the commission, to change a portion of the now state-owned land from agricultural to highway-commercial, single-family and multifamily houses. The Perryville City Council voted against the change, citing in part historical preservation. After the state purchased the land, Coyle described the deal as a "win-win" situation. "This is just going to be a great thing for the city and the battlefield," said Coyle, citing the project's dual ability to preserve history and mark the area.

Lawson agreed.

"The land will be conserved and continued to be made appropriate for wildlife development," the spokesman said.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Grove Cemetery

Today I got out for a little spring walk with a couple of friends at Spring Grove Cemetery, located in Cincinnati. I plan on doing research on Ohio soldiers who fought at Perryville who are buried at Spring Grove, but in the interim here are some pictures of the final resting places of two important Perryville figures, Major General Alexander McDowell McCook (I Corps commander) and Colonel William Haines Lytle (commander of the 17th Brigade, part of Rousseau's 3rd Division).

McCook of course was the commander of the Federal I Corps which took the brunt of the Confederate attack, suffering heavy casualties until darkness ended the battle. His corps was later handled roughly at both Stones River and Chickamauga.

Colonel Lytle commanded McCook's right flank brigade that took position near the Squier Bottom farm. Lytle was wounded, captured, and later exchanged. He was mortally wounded at Chickamauga. Lytle was a noted politician and poet before the war, and started his Civil War career as colonel of the 10th Ohio Infantry. He fought at Carnifex Ferry before moving his command to Kentucky.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ohio Medal of Honor Recipient at Perryville


2nd Ohio Infantry - Private William Surles, Company G. In action against Confederate forces at Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8, 1862, Private William Surles displayed uncommon courage and dedication to his commander. During the hottest part of the battle, with no regard for his own safety, Private Surles stepped in front of his colonel to shield him from the fire of the enemy. Surles was born in Steubenville, Ohio on February 24th, 1845, died on March 19th, 1919, and is buried in the Riverview Cemetery, East Liverpool, Ohio. His Medal of Honor was issued August 19th, 1891.


Private Surles deserves his own interpretive sign at Perryville as he is only one of two recipients of the CMoH during the Perryville battle.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Purpose of Ohio at Perryville

As the title indicates, this blog is about the participation of Ohio troops at the Battle of Perryville, which was fought in Kentucky on October 8, 1862. Perryville was the largest battle in the Bluegrass State, and some have called it the Gettysburg of the west as Braxton Bragg's Confederate forces, while winning the tactical fight, lost their ability to control Kentucky. (there are those who call Gettysburg the Perryville of the east, but I think that might be a bit of a stretch)

My primary goal of this blog is to provide a place for Buckeyes (and others who are so inclined) to discuss the role that soldiers from the Buckeye State had in the Perryville campaign. My secondary goal is to bring more public awareness to one of the most remarkable battlefields of the Civil War, a battlefield that has changed little since that dry autumn of 1862. And my ultimate goal (or dream) is to create a monument or additional interpretive signage on the battlefield itself that deals with the Ohio boys in blue. Michigan has a Michigan at Perryville marker, and they had very little participation in the actual battle. Ohio, which provided the most troops from any one state to Buell's Army of the Ohio, has none.

Posts will be sporadic, depending on the amount of interest readers of this blog show. I, like many, am an amateur historian with a good grasp of the Civil War, and the battle of Perryville in particular. I look forward to achieving the goals set above and hope you will support these efforts.