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On the Road to Perryville

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I was able to convince a few friends into visiting the well preserved Civil War battlefield in Perryville, Kentucky. This is a Kentucky state historical site. The battle was a dramatic and short (less than 6 hours) fight for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As a border state between the North and South, Kentucky declared neutrality. So of course both the North and South invaded with the desire to use Kentucky as a base to defeat the other side.

Perryville and the cemetary

Perryville battlefield at the cemetery–Ready for a hike

The North and South forces met in Perryville with the resulting battle costly for both sides. The information provided by the state park was that more soldiers died in the short hours of this battle than at Gettysburg. They are speaking of the death rate per hour of battle and not of the overall number who died in the battle.

Perryville Battlefield Museum and visitor center

The Perryville site does a good job of presenting how the Confederate Army pushed the Union Army and, if they had stayed, would have been able to claim a victory. At the end of the day, the Confederates left the field and moved out of the state to Tennessee. So, this was a technical Union victory. When you are on site and see the movement of troops, you can better understand the results.

We appreciated the site and how we were able to visualize the battle during our almost 2-mile hike around the battle grounds. It was hard to put ourselves in the place of the soldiers on either side going up and down hills. This is the type of place that a map and knowledge of the battle is a good idea. A healthy imagination is also a good benefit.

Perryville line of battle

Line of battle in Perryville KY Civil War site

 

Before we made it to Perryville, the group of guys I was traveling with decided we could go to Buffalo Trace Distillery. This is a 200 year old continually operating distillery; of course continually operating for 200 years takes some talent as most distilleries were shut down for prohibition. Buffalo Trace was open as it was able to supply medicinal bourbon during prohibition. This is a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and on the way to the battlefield (kind of).

BT Visitors Center

We arrived early in the morning and were able to take one of the free tours. You need to plan a few months in advance for the scheduled longer tours and, being guys, we planned a few days in advance to go and did not have the longer tour. The free tour was a very good tour. The tour had us walking the beautiful grounds. We were able to see a short film, ask questions and go into a rick house complete with a secret entrance. We were able to see the bottle filling and labeling as well. At the end of the free tour, we were able to taste test the product. As a result, or it could have been planned, our group purchased a few bottles of Buffalo Trace products at the gift shop.

After a lunch in Frankfort, near the Old State Capital, we went on a tour of the State Capital. This is a wonderful building with interesting statues in the rotunda of both Abraham Lincoln (dominating the center) and Jefferson Davis (much smaller and off to one side). Both were born in Kentucky, about 100 miles away from each other. If you know history, we were heading to a Civil War battlefield, and these two were in charge during the battle.

Lessons learned.

Everything is better with bourbon here in Kentucky. We visited the Kentucky Knows Coffee Shop in Frankfort. We had a good time talking with Tony, the owner of the store. And yes, we also purchased coffee beans.

Burbon Coffee

You can read about history and then walk the fields to see the hills and sweeping fields of fire. Even reading the markers and then walking the grounds sharpened how we took in the scope of that effort by both sides. I am a proponent of being on site. Thank you for the preservation of this historical battlefield.

 

Travel with friends and explore what they want to explore. One in our group had heard of the bourbon coffee shop. It was a fun place to explore.

 

Support the local businesses, helping them and yourself. I am so happy we made a stop at the distillery and visited the capital building. We are not alone and need to continue to explore.

 

No biking was done on this trip.

bike in garage

Bikes left in the garage

 


1 Comment

  1. Susan Goetzinger says:

    Love Buffalo Trace products and thanks for the tip about coffee shop in Frankfort. We will be there in May so on my list!

    Like

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