Near Prestonsburg in Floyd County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Kentuckian versus Kentuckian (I)
Captain Ezekiel F. Clay of the First Kentucky Mounted Rifles, C.S.A.
Captain Ezekiel Field clay was the son of U.S. Congressman Brutus J. Clay, Bourbon County stock-breeder and president of the Kentucky Agricultural Association. In October 1861, Clay organized a Bourbon County company of mounted men and took them to Prestonsburg, where they enlisted in the newly formed First Kentucky Mounted Rifles, C.S.A. Clay was one of the organizers of the regiment, and after its baptism of fire at the Battle of Ivy Mountain, he was singled out for praise by his commanding officer, Colonel John S. Williams.
During the 1862-63 period Clay and his men served with Marshall's Army of southwestern Virginia, participating in Marshall's fall 1862 invasion of eastern Kentucky and the abortive rain on
Transferred to Georgia, Clay and his men served with General Nathaniel B. Forrest's cavalry after the Battle of Chickamauga and rode with Wheeler's cavalry during their famous raid through Middle Tennessee. At Shelbyville Clay was badly wounded and lost his horse, but he recuperated in time to participate in the Knoxville campaign.
In April 1864 he led a brigade of cavalry into Eastern Kentucky and, at Puncheon Creek in Magoffin County, was surrounded by a superior force of Union troopers and badly defeated. Wounded in the eye, Clay was captured and sent to a Union prison on Johnson's Island, located on Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, where he remained until Lee's surrender.
After his release, Clay returned to his family estate in Bourbon County and spent the remainder of his life breeding horses. His farm, known as Runnymede, became famous under his management and is still widely celebrated as the home of many of Kentucky's finest thoroughbreds.
Colonel John S. "Cerro Gordo" Williams
A hero of the Mexican War, Williams led the effort to organize the 5th Kentucky Infantry in the fall of 1861. He was later promoted to brigadier general and placed in command of the Department of Southwestern Virginia. In the fall of 1863 he commanded the cavalry brigade which contested the advance of Burnside's
Lieutenant Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon
Educated at Oberlin College, Sheldon was the principal recruiter of the 42nd Ohio. Following Middle Creek, he and his men saw action with Sherman's Corps at Chickasaw Bayou, Port Gibson, and Thompson's Hill. Wounded during the latter engagement, he spent the rest of the war building forts and repairing levees.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is January 10, 1861.
Location. 37° 39.04′ N, 82° 48.82′ W. Marker is near Prestonsburg, Kentucky, in Floyd County. Marker can be reached from Kentucky Route 114, 0.1 miles east of Kentucky Route 404, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located at the Middle Creek National Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Prestonsburg KY 41653, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kentuckian versus Kentuckian (II) (here, next to this marker); Eastern Kentucky's Civil War Battles and Skirmishes, 1861-1862 (here, next to this marker); The Middle Creek National Battlefield Foundation (here, next to this marker); Kentucky Blue Blood versus Ohio Self-Made Man (here, next to this marker); Eastern Kentucky's Civil War Battles and Skirmishes, 1863-1864 (here, next to this marker); Why They Fought Here (here, next to this marker); The Battle of Middle Creek (here, next to this marker); The Battle of Middle Creek / The Fitzpatrick Farm (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Prestonsburg.
More about this marker. Marker is one of eight interpretive signs at the site.
Also see . . . Middle Creek National Battlefield. Official website of the Middle Creek National Battlefield Foundation. (Submitted on October 8, 2013.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 8, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 446 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 8, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.