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Ivel in Floyd County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Struggle for the Big Sandy Valley

 
 
Struggle for the Big Sandy Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
1. Struggle for the Big Sandy Valley Marker
Inscription. While the debate over Kentuckyís neutrality raged in Frankfort, men of the Big Sandy Region were taking action. For Jack May, Hiram Hawkins, John S. Williams, and others, the choice had already been made. President Lincolnís call for 75,000 volunteers to “put down the rebellion” and the legislative elections of August, 1861, which installed a Unionist majority in Frankfort, were all that was needed for local secessionists to flock to the Samuel May House in Prestonsburg and enlist in the Confederate Army.

This pre-Confederate activity caused genuine concern at the newly established Union headquarters in Louisville. Colonel John Williamsí plan may have been to use Prestonsburg as a staging point for a Confederate advance into Central Kentucky. By mid-October, he was in command of all the Confederate troops in the region and was drilling 1,000 soldiers at his camp north of Prestonsburg. However, the regionís roads were so poor that it was impossible for the Confederate government to provide him with arms and ammunition.

This, coupled with a lack of support from Confederate forces based in Southwestern Virginia, made any attempt to launch an offensive from Prestonsburg virtually impossible.

Following the engagement at Ivy Mountain, Williams retreated southward from Pikeville and established a
Battle of Ivy Mountain Markers image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
2. Battle of Ivy Mountain Markers
Struggle for the Big Sandy Valley marker is on left (east) side of obelisk
camp at Pound Gap. Meanwhile, General Humphrey Marshall was placed in command of all Confederate troops in Southwestern Virginia and ordered to proceed to Prestonsburg “for the protection and defense of that frontier.” On November 26th he left his base at Wytheville and marched to Pound Gap with two infantry regiments, a regiment of cavalry, and a battery of artillery. By this time Union General “Bull” Nelson had evacuated his troops from the region, reasoning that his foeís lack of supplies and the lateness of the season made a Confederate counter-attack unlikely.

Marshall reached Pound Gap on November 28th, and, after issuing rifles and uniforms to Williamsí command, began advancing into Eastern Kentucky. By December 22nd his Virginia regiments and several companies of the 5th Kentucky were camped three miles south of Paintsville on the farm of Daniel Hager. While Marshallís army was moving down the Big Sandy, a large Federal force under Colonel James A. Garfield was moving up the valley. The first skirmish between the two armies occurred at Tomís Creek, two miles below Paintsville, on January 4, 1862. Thus the stage was set for the decisive Battle of Middle Creek, which occurred six days later.
 
Location. 37° 35.592′ N, 82° 39.824′ W. Marker is in Ivel, Kentucky
View to South from Parking Lot image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
3. View to South from Parking Lot
Marker is on left side of obelisk
, in Floyd County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 23 and County Road 1032, on the right when traveling east on U.S. 23. Touch for map. Marker is at a pullout on the southwest side of US 23 across from its intersection with CR 1032. Marker is in this post office area: Ivel KY 41642, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Battle of Ivy Mountain (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Battle of Ivy Mountain (here, next to this marker); Floyd County Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.9 miles away); Greenville R. Davidson (approx. 7.9 miles away); County Named, 1799 (approx. 7.9 miles away); Prestonsburg Toll Bridge / Chesapeake & Ohio Railway System (approx. 8 miles away); John Graham (approx. 8 miles away); The Burns House / A Brief History of the Garfield Place (approx. 8.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ivel.
 
More about this marker. At the right bottom, the marker includes portraits of Colonel James A. Garfield who would be elected twentieth President of the United States in 1881, and General Humphrey Marshall.
 
Also see . . .  Big Sandy Expedition - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on August 29, 2015.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
View Towards Pullout and US 23 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 7, 2015
4. View Towards Pullout and US 23
Marker is on right side
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 29, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 191 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 29, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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