“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Perryville in Boyle County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Widow Gibson Cabin

Widow Gibson Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 19, 2012
1. Widow Gibson Cabin Marker
Inscription. In 1862, the widow Mary Jane Gibson and her children lived here in a small cabin. The Gibsons were poor tenant farmers who scratched out a living on land owned by Henry Bottom, their first cousin.

On October 8, the household was spun into confusion as blue-clad Union troops swarmed around the house. Soon, Donelson's Confederate brigade attacked and the Federal soldiers fell back to this ridge, where they reformed on the high ground around the cabin.

For the Gibson family, it must have been a terrifying experience. Artillery shells exploded overhead, bullets cracked against the cabin walls, and wounded Union troops swarmed around the structure desperately looking for shelter. The frightened Widow Gibson took an axe, chopped a hole in the floor and hid with her family beneath the house. The family was so scared that they refused to emerge from their hiding place for several days.

As every barn, home, church and stable was used as a field hospital following the battle. it is likely that the Gibson cabin also served as a hospital. However, archeological work on the site has determined that cannon fire damaged the cabin so severely that the Gibson family abandoned it shortly after the battle.

We all bounded to our feet like so many parched peas, determined to pour the contents of our muskets, into the ranks of
Widow Gibson Cabin Site image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 19, 2012
2. Widow Gibson Cabin Site
Looking west toward a creek and ridge from the Widow Gibson cabin Site.
our ungodly opposers ... our bullets found them in their hiding places and strewn the ground with their mutilated carcases -- the legitamate fruits of (their) own treason and folly
- Union Soldier Joseph Gloren, 80th Indiana Infantry
Erected by Kentucky State Parks.
Location. 37° 40.216′ N, 84° 58.53′ W. Marker is near Perryville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Park Road and Battlefield Road (State Route 1920), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at Stop 22 on the Donelson Trail off Park Road on the Perryville Battlefield Hiking Trails Map. Marker is in this post office area: Perryville KY 40468, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cleburne's Advance (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stewart's Attack (about 800 feet away); Donelson Persists (approx. 0.2 miles away); “For Godís Sake, Save That Battery” The 38th Indiana at Perryville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harris' Battery (approx. 0.2 miles away); General Polk Behind Enemy Lines (approx. 0.2 miles away); Defense of Loomisí Heights (approx. 0.2 miles away); Simonsonís Battery (approx. ľ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Perryville.
More about this marker.
Widow Gibson Farm Site image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 19, 2012
3. Widow Gibson Farm Site
Looking east on the trail toward the reconstructed Widow Gibson crib/barn.
The marker has the following photos:

Photo Lower Left: Union Sergeant James F. Cantwell, 80th Indiana Infantry

Photo right: This 1885 photograph taken near Perryville shows a small farmhouse tucked under a large tree. While this is not the Widow Gibson Cabin, her cabin may have looked like this. Farming was the predominant activity around Perryville during the 1860s, and this view of farm life may have been typical.

The marker is badly weathered and barely legible.
Regarding Widow Gibson Cabin. The marker is about 350 feet past the Widow Gibson's crib/barn structure that is visible at some distance away as you walk the trail.
Also see . . .
1. CWLA Description of Tour Stop 22. The web pages on Stop 22 include several photos of the marker and area surrounding it taken before the marker faded, as well as the marker text. (Submitted on February 16, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.) 

2. Friends of Perryville Battlefield. This page contains a printable map of the Perryville Battlefield Hiking Trails including trail stops. (Submitted on February 16, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.) 

3. Panoramio 1885 Photo of Widow Gibson's Crib/Barn. This photograph has, however, also been identified as Starkweather's Hill taken from the Cornfield.
Widow Gibson Crib/Barn image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 19, 2012
4. Widow Gibson Crib/Barn
This is a reconstruction of a building that might have been shown in a different 1885 photograph of the battlefield. It is about 350 feet east of the marker.
(Submitted on February 16, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 373 times since then and 98 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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