Perryville in Boyle County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
—The Battle for Kentucky October 8, 1862 —
Although the Confederate army won a tactical victory, they were outnumbered and left Perryville that night. In their haste, they left all of their dead and most of their wounded lying on the battlefield.
While the Union army buried their own dead in regimental plots, the Confederates remained unburied. Within days, hogs were rooting up the bodies and hundreds of buzzards and crows scoured the battlefield.
Henry P. Bottom, a farmer who owned most of the land upon which the battle was fought, organized a civilian burial detail for his property. Bottom, his slaves, and a number of his neighbors buried most of the Southern bodies in two large pits. Bottom recorded as many names as he could, but most of the soldiers buried here remain unknown to this day. It is likely that several hundred soldiers are buried in this mass grave.
In 1901, the Commonwealth of Kentucky erected this monument at the Confederate cemetery, which began efforts to preserve this historic site.
All around us was evidence of the death struggle the day before. Bodies of men and horses lay scattered about. In the fields and by the roadside every house and barn was filled with the maimed and dying and the dead… Many of them were in the most horrible condition that the mind can conceive. Some were shot through the head, body or limbs. Other mangled by fragments of shell and all suffering the greatest torments.
Anonymous Union soldier
Location. 37° 40.477′ N, 84° 58.241′ W. Marker is in Perryville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker can be reached from Park Road 0.3 miles west of Battlefield Road (Kentucky Route 1920). Touch for map. Located in Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Perryville KY 40468, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Squire Henry P. Bottom (a few steps from this marker); Perryville Confederate Memorial Perryvile and the Emancipation Proclamation (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Perryville (within shouting distance of this marker); Perryville Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker); Soldiers' Reaction to Lincoln's Emancipation (within shouting distance of this marker); Army of the Ohio (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perryville.
More about this marker. On the upper right is a photograph with the caption, "In this 1885 photograph, Henry P. Bottom, who organized the burial of Confederate soldiers in this cemetery, sits atop the original cemetery wall."
Also see . . .
1. Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. Kentucky Department of Parks (Submitted on August 23, 2011.)
2. Perryville. Civil War Trust (Submitted on August 23, 2011.)
3. Perryville. CWSAC Battle Summary (Submitted on August 23, 2011.)
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 938 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 3. submitted on September 16, 2013, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. 4. submitted on August 23, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.