Mill Springs Battlefield Driving Tour


You know we love learning about history and exploring new places. But sometimes, there isn’t enough time to make a trip to big historic sites or new far away places. This past weekend we were out finishing up some shopping and wanted to take an adventure. We have visited the Mill Springs Battlefield in the past but this time we decided to take the Battlefield Driving Tour and see what we could discover. The sky was blue. The weather was beautiful. It was a great day to learn more about Kentucky Civil War battles and discover something new about our local area.

Mill Springs Battlefield Driving Tour

The Mill Springs Battlefield Driving Tour begins at the Visitors Center. All of the stops are well marked with clear signs telling you what is significant about each location. You can follow the tour stops online or print a pdf version that will tell you how far it is between each of the stops.

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The Mill Springs Battlefield Association proudly offers a 10-stop, self-guided driving tour. Learn about the history of each leg of the tour while standing on the ground that soldiers fought on more than 150 years ago. Visit the Confederate mass grave, look out over the crossing at North Ferry Landing, and tour the General’s headquarters at the Brown-Lanier House.

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When we are taking these historic detours, we try to find little snippits of history that we can take away that will help us remember the significance of this event in our American History. General Felix Zollicoffer is definitely one piece of history that we found very intriguing. After all, the story of the Zollie tree and how he died is truly a one-of-a-kind story in history.

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Fatal Case of Mistaken Identity:
In the confusion of battle, Zollicoffer did something that earned him a permanent spot in books about strange Civil War anecdotes. According to some accounts of the battle, Zollicoffer rode up to a group of soldiers and ordered their colonel to stop firing on his own men. Colonel Speed Fry — a Union officer — stared back at the enemy general in disbelief, then shot Zollicoffer in the chest, killing him.
– taken from Mill Springs History

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Stop #8 on the Driving Tour

Stop #8: North Ferry Landing was by far the favorite of our stops on this family trip. We parked the car and got out to walk down next to the Cumberland River. The historical significance of this location is that the Confederate Soldiers were retreating and used a steamboat to ferry themselves across the river before the Union soldiers could catch up. Then they burned the steamboat as they escaped.


Our family enjoyed the time to just wander around and explore.

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We had not planned to take a scenic hike down by the river on this trip so I didn’t bring my DSLR camera. But I knew that I had to capture the moments with my phone.

Battlefield Driving Tour
Battlefield Driving Tour
Battlefield Driving Tour

It’s moments like these that remind me why we love to explore historical sites. It’s not just about studying the past. It’s more about spending time with my family exploring new places. Learning new things. Making memories together!

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Have you ever taken a driving tour through a historic battlefield or national landmark? What is your favorite part about these self guided tours? I’d love to hear!

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Nancy, KY 42544

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