“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

Perryville • The Battle For Kentucky

— October 8, 1862 —

Widow Gibson Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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
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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 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

(lower left) Union Sergeant James F. Cantwell, 80th Indiana Infantry

(upper 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.

Erected by Kentucky State Parks. (Marker Number 45.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is October 8, 1862.
Location. 37° 40.216′ N, 84° 58.53′ W. Marker is unreadable. 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

Widow Gibson Cabin Site image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Graff, April 19, 2012
2. Widow Gibson Cabin Site
Looking west toward a creek and ridge from the Widow Gibson cabin Site.
. Located at Interpretive Marker 45 on the Perryville Battlefield Trail System (Slaughter Pen Trail). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Perryville KY 40468, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Cleburne's Advance (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Slaughter Pen (about 700 feet away); The Bloodbath at the Crib (approx. 0.2 miles away); “For God’s 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 Loomis’ Heights (approx. ¼ mile away); 80th Indiana (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perryville.
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. 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.) 

2. Panoramio 1885 Photo of Widow Gibson's Crib/Barn. This photograph has, however, also been identified as Starkweather's Hill taken from the Cornfield. (Submitted on February 16, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.)
Widow Gibson Farm Site image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Graff, April 19, 2012
3. Widow Gibson Farm Site
Looking east on the trail toward the reconstructed Widow Gibson crib/barn.
Widow Gibson Crib/Barn image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 16, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 873 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on March 6, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 16, 2013, by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 29, 2024