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Nancy in Pulaski County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Union Line at the Fence

Union soldiers choose their ground

 
 
The Union Line at the Fence Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 26, 2012
1. The Union Line at the Fence Marker
Inscription. After the initial contact between the Union and Confederate forces in the foggy half light of the winter morning, Colonel Speed Fry, commanding the 4th Kentucky Infantry (US), pulled his men back to a rail fence on a hill east of the Mill Springs Road. After a brief lull in the battle, during which Confederate General Felix K. Zollicoffer was killed, the fighting was resumed.

As the Union soldiers deployed along the fence, the Confederates regrouped in the ravine. Suddenly, after this quiet interlude, came the fiercest fighting of the battle. The fight at the fence was bloody and at times hand-to-hand. The Confederates tried desperately to push the Yankees off the ridge, but the determined Union soldiers refused to be moved.

"Our boys soon drove them back to the main line and then advanced as Zouaves by lying flat and firing, wheeling on their backs and loading, rising and running forward about ten steps and again dropping and firing. This was kept up until the entire 10th Indiana regiment was driven from the field by our brave Grenada and Duck Hill boys." - James R. Binford, 15th Mississippi CS.

The enemy was advancing with fixed bayonets, but the Minnesota boys came up to them with an Indian yell and such a volley as there was poured upon them for 40 minutes was never before heard, When the enemy gave
The Union Line at the Fence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, April 1, 2012
2. The Union Line at the Fence Marker
way for us, we were so close to each other that some of our boys pulled their guns out of their hands. There was nothing but a fence between us."
- David Griffin, 2nd Minnesota, U.S.

"... with a shout that would have warmed an Egyptian mummy, we rushed up to the 15th Mississippi with only a fence between us and the enemy and did the best we could with our old flintlocks. Mine went off once in the action and although I wiped the "pan" and primed a dozen times it would do so no more. I had just taken aim and pulled the trigger and was waiting for the hammer to descend, when I felt a "new sensation" across the small of my back; it was like the cut of a knife, and I knew I had been shot ..." - James L. Cooper, 20th Tennessee CS.

"I moved the regiment through the brush and over logs to the place designated, and coming to a fence parallel with my line we hotly engaged the enemy before us and put him to flight with great loss." - W.C. Kise, 10th Indiana US.

Our entire line, putting their guns through the cracks of the fence fired into them with ball and buckshot, and the scene that followed beggared description. The screams and groans, officers cursing and begging, trying to rally their men, I shall never forget the scene ... it almost makes my blood run cold to think of it." - James R. Binford, 15th Mississippi, CS.

We were so close
The Union Line at the Fence Marker Map image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, April 1, 2012
3. The Union Line at the Fence Marker Map
on them that one of the men had his beard and whiskers singed by the fire of one of the muskets; ... another caught hold of one of their muskets and jerked it through the fence. The two stood and fired at each other, their muskets crossing; both fell dead."

 
Erected by Mill Springs Battlefield Association.
 
Location. 37° 3.398′ N, 84° 44.396′ W. Marker is in Nancy, Kentucky, in Pulaski County. Marker can be reached from State Road 235 0.1 miles south of State Road 761, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. This is Station #5 on the Battlefield Loop Trail at Tour Stop 2 - Zollicoffer Park. Refer to trail map photo (Union Line at Fence). Marker is in this post office area: Nancy KY 42544, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Battle on a Sabbath Morn" (here, next to this marker); Fix Bayonets - Charge! (within shouting distance of this marker); George Henry Thomas (within shouting distance of this marker); "The Zollie Tree" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Felix K. Zollicoffer, "Zollie Tree" (about 400 feet away); Mistaken Identity - A Deadly Error
Confederate View to the Fence image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 26, 2012
4. Confederate View to the Fence
Confederates repeatedly charged up this slope toward the rail fence on the horizon. The marker is at the right end of the rail fence near the large tree and another marker.
(about 400 feet away); Gen'l Felix K. Zollicoffer (about 400 feet away); Balie Peyton, Jr. (1833-1862) (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Nancy.
 
More about this marker. A painting on the right is "Melee at the Fence" by Jim Hoffman, 1993. A battle map at the lower left titled "Battle of Fishing Creek, Kentucky, January 19, 1862" shows this location.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The Union Line at the Fence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, April 1, 2012
5. The Union Line at the Fence Marker
The Union Line at the Fence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, April 1, 2012
6. The Union Line at the Fence Marker
Marker at left (yellow arrow).
The Union View at the Fence image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 26, 2012
7. The Union View at the Fence
The Confederates charged up the slope from the ravine in the trees.
The Fight at the Fence Model image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, April 1, 2012
8. The Fight at the Fence Model
Located inside the Mill Springs Visitor Center
Battlefield Loop Trail image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 26, 2012
9. Battlefield Loop Trail
This marker is at Station 5 - Union Line at Fence.
The Fight at the Fence Model Description image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, April 1, 2012
10. The Fight at the Fence Model Description
Located inside the Mill Springs Visitor Center.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 289 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   2, 3. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   4. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   5, 6. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   7. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   8. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   9. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   10. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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