Near Nancy in Pulaski County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
The Zollie Tree
Mill Springs Battleﬁeld
— National Historic Landmark —
After Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer was fatally wounded at the Battle of Mill Springs on January 19, 1862, his men placed his body under a white oak tree. In the years that followed, the tree became known as the "Zollie Tree."
Forty years passed with no effort made to remember or honor Zollicoffer or the Confederate soldiers who lay in the mass grave nearby.
A Family Tradition
In 1902, ten-year-old Dorotha Burton witnessed the lavish ceremonies held on Memorial Day for Union soldiers buried in Mill Springs National Cemetery. She realized that the Confederate soldiers buried nearby had all but been forgotten.
That year, Dorotha decorated the Zollie Tree with a flower- entwined evergreen wreath and placed flowers on the mass grave. She continued decorating the Zollie Tree on Memorial Day until 1947, when disabled by arthritis. Her family continues the tradition.
Loss of an Old Friend
One June 9, 1995, a severe storm destroyed the original Zollie Tree. Arborists judged the tree, then almost ninety feet tall and fifteen feet in circumference, to be between 200 and
From her mother's garden she plucked roses and made wreaths,
and each day when the Federal dead had their graves covered
with floral tributes this little girl laid . . . upon the graves of these
Confederates . . . nature's lovely offering, and hung chaplets on
Confederate veteran Bennett H. Young, May 19, 1910.
Left side: Dorotha Burton and the Zollie Tree, ca. 1935.
Right side: Above, the Zollie Tree the day before the storm destroyed it. Right, the Zollie Tree on June 9, 1995.
Erected 2014 by Mill Springs Battlefield Association.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Horticulture & Forestry • Landmarks • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Historic Trees, and the National Historic Landmarks series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is January 19, 1862.
Location. 37° 3.343′ N, 84° 44.361′ W. Marker is near Nancy, Kentucky, in Pulaski County. Marker can be reached from Kentucky Route 235, 0.1 Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Nancy KY 42544, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Fatal Mistake (here, next to this marker); Felix K. Zollicoffer / "Zollie Tree" (here, next to this marker); Gen'l Felix K. Zollicoffer (a few steps from this marker); Mill Springs Battlefield (a few steps from this marker); Confederate Mass Grave Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); A Scene of Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); Dawn of Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Dead (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nancy.
More about this marker. This marker replaced an older one at this location also titled “The Zollie Tree".
Also see . . . Battle of Mills Spring. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on October 30, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 352 times since then and 105 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.