The Noble Ellis Saves an Army
Mill Springs Battleﬁeld
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
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: Landmarks • War, US Civil • Waterways & 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
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.)
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.