Richmond in Madison County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Madison County Courthouse 1862
In the early evening hours of August 30, 1862, the weary Union soldiers fighting a running battle from Kingston to Richmond were forced to stop. Confederate cavalry had blocked the roads leading out of Richmond - the Lancaster, Tate's Creek, and Lexington roads. As the light faded, Confederate cavalry and artillery crushed scattered Union resistance. The Union soldiers had little choice but to surrender.
The next day, the Union prisoners, captured wagons, and artillery were marched back into Richmond, where Col. Preston Smith's brigade was placed in charge of the prisoners. the defeated army was confined in the only place large enough to hold them, the courthouse lawn, which in 1862 was surrounded by a tall, ornate cast iron fence (that same fence now protects the Richmond City Cemetery). Inside this enclosure, 4,303 soldiers, nearly two-thirds of the Union force engaged in the battle, spent about a week before they were paroled and sent home.
The courthouse was also used as a hospital during the battle. Before the fighting started, Dr. Bernard Irwin, the Union medical director, took possession of the courthouse. Once the fighting began, Dr. Irwin reported that wounded were pouring in "as fast as our limited amount of transport would admit." In the days following
On reporting to Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith following the capture of the Union prisoners, Colonel Scott is said to have stated: "General, I've got them. I have not counted them, but I have a ten acre lot full."
"That night I was in charge of the guard and we had the prisoners in the courthouse building and within the enclosure that surrounded it, and it is fair to say we had more prisoners than we numbered men to guard them. There were few who escaped death, wounds or capture." Capt. Frank T. Ryan
Erected by Civil War Discovery Trail.
Location. 37° 44.861′ N, 84° 17.665′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Kentucky, in Madison County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 25) and North 1st Street, on the left when traveling east on East Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of the Madison County Courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond KY 40475, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Pioneer Monument (a few steps from this marker); Samuel Freeman Miller (a few steps from this marker); County Named, 1786 / County Formed (within shouting distance of this marker); James B. McCreary Hall of Justice (approx. 0.2 miles away); Frances E. Beauchamp / Prohibition Advocate (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gov. James B. McCleary (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cassius Marcellus Clay (approx. 0.3 miles away); Medal of Honor Winners (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 7, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 834 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 7, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on July 25, 2011, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.