Near Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Mt. Zion Church - Field Hospital
The Sanctuary Became A Surgery
On the day of the battle, August 30, 1862, the temperature hovered near 100 degrees. As the battle raged, ambulances drawn by sweating horses raced into the churchyard, bringing more and more casualties to Mt. Zion Church. By afternoon, this small churchyard was filled with men who were wounded, some dying, all awaiting medical attention.
Inside the church, where the doctors struggled to keep up with the flow of wounded, it was almost unbearably hot. In the sweltering church the doctors performed operation after operation, most of them amputations. The urgency of the battlefield and the state of medical science did not allow more sophisticated care. One Indiana soldier remembered seeing amputated arms and legs thrown from the south side rear window of this building to the yard outside.
Local residents, many of them members of the congregation, brought food and drink to the doctors and wounded at the church. All day, wagons came to the church. Some left filled with wounded men who were taken to local homes where they could recuperate. Others carried the bodies
The Doctors Were Ill Prepared
Dr. Bernard J. D. Irwin, medical director, Union Army of Kentucky, was charged with insuring that each regiment had the medical officers and supplies that would be needed if the army went into battle. The medical situation of the Army of Kentucky's regiment was grim. On his arrival in Lexington in late August 1862, Dr. Irwin found the medical corps as inexperienced as the men who were marching for battle. "[The] few medical officers…had neither medicines, instruments, ambulances, tents, or camp equipage, to enable them to perform their duties. With three exceptions the medical officers were inexperienced in service and had but vague ideas as to the extent or sphere of their duties."
Erected by Civil War Discovery Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Science & Medicine • War, US Civil.
Location. 37° 40.414′ N, 84° 15.226′ W. Marker is near Richmond, Kentucky, in Madison County. Marker is on Battlefield Memorial Highway (U.S. 421) 0.8 miles south of Berea Road (U.S. 25), on the right when traveling south. Marker is on the grounds of the Mt. Zion Church. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond KY 40475, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within Civil War Field Hospital (a few steps from this marker); Michigan Light Artillery Regiment / Batteries F and G (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Union Artillery (about 400 feet away); The Confederates Crush The Union Left (approx. 0.2 miles away); Manson's First Line (approx. 0.2 miles away); Manson's Mistake (approx. half a mile away); A Reckless And Useless Charge (approx. half a mile away); Barnett Burial Ground (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 2, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 1,192 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on February 21, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on June 2, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. 2. submitted on July 27, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 3. submitted on February 21, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.