Mill Springs Sesquicentennial Commemoration Kicks Off Fundraising Efforts for 16 Acres of Hallowed Ground

Prior to 150th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Mill Springs, Civil War Trust announces fundraising campaign to preserve 16 additional acres on the battlefield

(Mill Springs, Ky.) – At a ceremony prior to the beginning of tomorrow’s Mill Springs Battlefield Association anniversary reenactment, Civil War Trust will announce a new fundraising effort for the preservation of 16 acres of hallowed ground at the heart of the Mill Springs Battlefield.

“Today, as we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, I have the honor of announcing the Civil War Trust’s newest preservation effort,” said Trust chairman Henry Simpson. “If we are successful we will purchase the scene of the 9th Ohio’s famous assault — a pivotal moment in the battle and the first bayonet charge of the war.”

The Civil War Trust is committed to protecting remaining portions of historically significant battlefields, like Mill Springs, as a permanent and meaningful legacy of this anniversary period. Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy, one of the Trust’s most ambitious projects to date, kicked off last year, seeking to raise enough funds by 2015 to protect an additional 20,000 acres of hallowed ground. The Trust has previously worked with the Mill Springs Battlefield Association to preserve 379 acres at this site.

Battle of Mill Springs Map courtesy of the Civil War Trust

The purchase price of the property, which sits along State Highway 235 and had been at risk from commercial and residential development, is $175,000. But the Trust has applied for a 50 percent matching grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program to complete the transaction, leaving $87,500 to be raised from private donations. More information about the project is available at  

Spurred by the charge of the 9th Ohio on this property, the Battle of Mill Springs, fought January 19, 1862, was a decisive Union victory that significantly damaged the Confederate position in eastern Kentucky and shifted the war effort into middle Tennessee.

To further mark Mill Springs’s 150th anniversary, Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-05) yesterday introduced two pieces of legislation related to the battlefield. The first, H.Res. 517, a nonbinding resolution commemorating those who fought at Mill Springs and praising the preservation work done there to date, was introduced with the support of the entire Kentucky delegation. The second, H.R. 3792, would direct the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility study investigating the potential to incorporate the Mill Springs battlefield into the national park system.

In addition to the Mill Springs property, the Trust is currently engaged in active fundraising efforts to save significant battlefield properties at Bentonville, N.C., Fredericksburg, Va., Gaines’ Mill, Va., Perryville, Ky., and Shiloh/Fallen Timbers, Tenn., as well as an ambitions sesquicentennial preservation effort of broader scope.   To learn more about Campaign 150 and other active efforts, please visit

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 32,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including 379 acres at Mill Springs. Learn more at, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.

From the office of Congressman Hal Rogers

Rogers Introduces Legislative Measures to Honor and Preserve Mill Springs Battlefield

Washington, DC, Jan 19 – On Thursday, January 19, 2012, U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) recognized the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs by introducing two separate legislative measures to honor and preserve this historic Civil War site and applaud the work of volunteers and enthusiasts in protecting this southern Kentucky landmark. Occurring on January 19, 1862 in Pulaski and Wayne counties, the Battle of Mill Springs was the first significant victory for the Union Army in the west and blazed a trail for Union troops to move from Kentucky into Tennessee. The Mill Springs Battlefield Association (MSBA) has led efforts to acquire, preserve and maintain this battlefield for future generations; to date, over 50,000 Civil War enthusiasts have visited the 500-acre battlefield.

“On this the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, I am proud to commemorate this historic event and honor those who died in conflict on Kentucky soil. The outcome of this battle notably changed the course of the Civil War, and impacted our nation’s history,” stated Rogers. “As such, the battlefield is already a National Historic Landmark, and a treasured part of our community in Pulaski and Wayne Counties, welcoming thousands of visitors annually. I am proud to stand with the Mill Springs Battlefield Association and Civil War enthusiasts in commemorating this anniversary today and in seeking to preserve these hallowed grounds for generations to come.”

With the support of the entire Kentucky delegation, Rogers introduced a non-binding congressional resolution (H. Res. 517) which pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, the American blood shed, and its significance during the Civil War.  The resolution recognizes the importance of preserving and educating the public about this noteworthy Civil War skirmish, congratulates the tireless work of the Mill Springs Battlefield Association in preserving this site, and encourages the people of the United States to visit Mill Springs. Additionally, on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, an American flag has been flown over the U.S. Capitol in commemoration of the American patriots who fought valiantly that day and those who continue to honor their legacy through the preservation of the historic site.

Rogers also introduced binding legislation (H.R. 3792) that directs the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study to evaluate incorporating the battlefield into the national park system.  If approved by Congress, the federally-led analysis would consider the economic and educational impacts that inclusion of Mill Springs would have on surrounding communities, impact to landowners, and cost of federal government operation. Currently, the Mill Springs Battlefield is being preserved and maintained through private sources, but adding the Mill Springs Battlefield site into the National Park Service will ensure its preservation for generations to come.  Previously, Rogers secured over $1.35 million in federal funding to enhance the visitor experience at Mill Springs.

The Battle of Mill Springs was the second largest battle to take place in Kentucky and the first significant Union victory in the western theater of the Civil War. In addition, the battle marks the death of Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer, who was the first general to die in the Civil War. The battle highly contributed to the outcome of the war, as the main Confederate defensive line that was anchored in eastern Kentucky was broken so that the Union army could move through Kentucky and into Tennessee for the major battles at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, Tennessee.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. 

Click here to download an mp3 audio statement from Congressman Rogers

Click here to view a copy of a statement offered by Rogers in the Congressional Record commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs

About civilwarweek

Member - Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force, Civil War reenactor and historian since 1993, holds Bachelor's Degree in History from Concordia University-St. Paul, currently pursuing Master's Degree in History at St. Cloud State University and is author of the forthcoming book, "Muskets and Memories: A Modern Man's Journey through the Civil War."
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2 Responses to Mill Springs Sesquicentennial Commemoration Kicks Off Fundraising Efforts for 16 Acres of Hallowed Ground

  1. Pingback: Minnesotans faced first Civil War combat action at Mill Springs 150 years ago | This Week in the Civil War

  2. Pingback: 150th Anniversary Mill Springs Reenactment to be held January 21-22, 2012 | This Week in the Civil War

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