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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

The Noble Ellis Saves an Army

Mill Springs Battlefield

 
 
The <i>Noble Ellis</i> Saves an Army Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 12, 2019
1. The Noble Ellis Saves an Army Marker
Inscription.  
The Confederate army arrived in Mill Springs in November 1861. For some time, Confederate General Felix K. Zollicoffer's pleas for more men and supplies were ignored. Finally, his superior sent the steamboat Noble Ellis up from Nashville with provisions and clothing. The small sternwheeler docked at Mill Springs on the south side of the Cumberland River.

A Night of Fear and Chaos
After the hard-fought Battle of Mill Springs on January 19, 1862, the defeated Confederates fled back to the Beech Grove encampment across the river from Mill Springs. The Confederates knew that escape depended on getting across the swollen Cumberland River. As darkness fell, Union forces stopped their pursuit. General George H. Thomas planned to make a final assault on the Confederates in the morning. Union artillery shelled the river crossing as the Noble Ellis and a few rowboats worked through the night ferrying the Confederate army to Mill Springs.

Thousands Crowded the Riverbank
W.J. Warsham, 29th Tennessee Infantry, described the chaos: "We were on the river bank in a compact mass of excited and confused

Marker at the Mill Springs Battlefield Tour Stop #8. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 12, 2019
2. Marker at the Mill Springs Battlefield Tour Stop #8.
humanity. Thousands were crowded there waiting, each his turn, to get on the Noble Ellis as she crossed and recrossed the river. The enemy just a little over a mile behind who, from their battery above us on a hill, kept constantly shelling the boat as she crossed back and forth with her excited fugitive load."

Inset sketch:
As daylight came the last Confederate soldiers disembarked in Mill Springs. Its critical mission accomplished, the Confederates burned the Noble Ellis to prevent its capture by the Union.
 
Erected 2014 by Mill Springs Battlefield Association.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: LandmarksWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list.
 
Location. 36° 56.519′ N, 84° 47.178′ W. Marker is near Nancy, Kentucky, in Pulaski County. Marker is at the intersection of Sellars Road and Mill Springs-Battlefield Road, on the right when traveling east on Sellars Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Sellars Road, 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. The Cumberland River (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Battle of Mill Springs (approx. 0.7 miles away); Home, Headquarters, Hospital

Mill Springs is across the Cumberland River from here. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 12, 2019
3. Mill Springs is across the Cumberland River from here.
(approx. ¾ mile away); Mill Springs and the Civil War (approx. ¾ mile away); Zollie's Den (approx. ¾ mile away); Beech Grove / Noble Ellis (approx. ¾ mile away); Mill Springs (approx. 0.8 miles away); Winter Quarters (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nancy.
 
Regarding The Noble Ellis Saves an Army. Mill Springs Battlefield was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1993 and a National Monument in 2019.
 
Also see . . .  Mill Springs Battlefield Association. (Submitted on August 2, 2019.)
 
Another marker about the <i>Noble Ellis</i> about 0.8 miles north at Tour Stop #7. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, July 12, 2019
4. Another marker about the Noble Ellis about 0.8 miles north at Tour Stop #7.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 118 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on September 14, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 25, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 4, 2021