Nancy in Pulaski County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Confederate Defense Line
Confederate Defense Line
Late in 1861, Confederates sought to prevent Union forces from occupying strategic points in Kentucky and Tennessee, to maintain rail shipments of vital Confederate supplies from Virginia south and west and to set up bases for future offensive thru Kentucky and Ohio to divide eastern and western Union states. With those aims the Confederate Defense Line was formed from the Big Sandy Valley in east Kentucky thru Cumberland Gap, Mill Springs on Cumberland River, Bowling Green on L&N Ry. to Columbus, Ky. on the Mississippi River.
The Forces Move In
Brig. Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer in Nov. 1861 built CSA bases at Mill Springs and across Cumberland at Beech Grove, as part of plan. Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden took command Dec. 13, 1861. On Jan. 11, 1862 Union forces under Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas started from Lebanon, Ky. to join the Federals under Brig. Gen. Albin Schoepf at Somerset and to attack the Confederate base at Mill Springs. On Jan. 19 Gen. Crittenden moved out with his CSA troops to prevent the Union forces under Gen. Thomas from joining US army at Somerset.
Battle of Mill Springs
In first hour, Gen. Zollicoffer was killed, which threw his CSA regiments into confusion. Rallied
The way was opened for the Union to advance into Eastern Tennessee. Lack of provisions, bad roads and difficulty of crossing river made such advance impractical. Gen. Thomasí command joined Gen. Buellís Union force in move on Nashville. This Mill Springs victory with defeat of Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall by Col. James A. Garfield in the Big Sandy Valley broke the right section of the Confederate Defense Line. Thus began a series of events bringing Union control of Kentucky and upper Miss. River in first year of war.
Erected 1965 by Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Department of Highways. (Marker Number 863.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Kentucky Historical Society marker series.
Location. 37° 4.131′ N, 84° 44.152′ W. Marker is in Nancy Touch for map. Marker is located near the entrance to the Mill Springs Battlefield Visitor Center & Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9020 Kentucky 80, Nancy KY 42544, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Hard March (a few steps from this marker); A National Cemetery System (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mill Springs National Cemetery (about 500 feet away); Balie Peyton, Jr. (1833-1862) (approx. 0.9 miles away); "Battle on a Sabbath Morn" (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Union Line at the Fence (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Ravine (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fix Bayonets - Charge! (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nancy.
Also see . . . Experience Mill Springs Battlefield. Official website of the Mill Springs Battlefield Association. (Submitted on September 10, 2015.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 10, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.