Battles fought during the Civil War have left a lasting impact on our country, and it's an impact still clearly felt across the great state of Kentucky. Due to Kentucky's significant role in the Civil War, a Civil War Heritage Trail
was established in 2010. The goal of the trail was to make accessible the many historic and interpretive sites from around the state, and to provide travelers with new heritage tourism opportunities relating to the Civil War. Along this trail, visitors will find several Civil War Battlefields to visit, along with battle re-enactments, costumed walking tours, historic home tours, and more. There are more than 40 historic sites located along the Civil War Heritage Trail, but among the most significant are the following:
- Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace National Historic Park, a beautiful place dedicated to honoring the humble beginnings of our 16th president.
- The Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve, which protects 219 acres of the Munfordville Battlefield. This historic site was the location of three Civil War battles, including the Sept. 14-17, 1862 Battle and Siege of Munfordville, considered by historians to be one of the most strategically important battles in Kentucky's Civil War history.
- Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park, which once served as the Union Army Civil War supply depot & training camp, and was also the site where 10,000 African American men gained their freedom.
- Camp Wildcat Civil War Battlefield, which is recognized as the location of the first Union victory during the Civil War.
- Civil War Fort at Boonesboro, which was a defensive fort built by the Union Soldiers.
- The Farmington Historic Plantation is one of the many remaining examples of Kentucky's plantations. This one was a hemp plantation built in 1816, which was once supported by nearly 60 enslaved African Americans.
- The Greenhill Cemetery is one of the many Civil War-related cemeteries in Kentucky. This one in particular holds a stone monument with the names of 142 African-American men from Franklin County who served in the United States Colored regiments during the Civil War.
- The Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview, Kentucky is a 351-foot obelisk constructed in honor of Jefferson Davis, who once served as President of the Confederacy during the war. There is also a museum on the grounds with plenty of Civil War artifacts and history.
- The Lincoln Museum is a must-see for any history lover. Here, you'll find several historically accurate dioramas depicting scenes from the life of Abraham Lincoln, in addition to a variety of historic artifacts.
- Middlecreek National Battlefield is the site of the largest and most significant Civil War battle in Eastern Kentucky, which took place on January 10, 1862.
- Mill Springs National Battlefield Visitor Center & Museum commemorates the first Union victory in the western theater of the American Civil War.
- Visit the Bierbower House, which was a documented Safe House used during the Underground Railroad. It now houses the National Underground Railroad Museum, where you'll find servants quarters, remaining with their Hidden Slave Chambers.
- At Old Fort Harrod State Park, you'll find a full-scale replica of the fort built by James Harrod in 1774, along with the historic Mansion Museum, George Rogers Clark Federal Monument, Lincoln Marriage Temple, and the oldest cemetery west of the Alleghenies.
- The Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site is the largest preserved Civil War battlefield in the state of Kentucky. Here, you'll also find an interpretive museum along with historic monuments, signage, and cannons that mark notable events that occurred during the battle.
- Finally, a must-see stop along Kentucky's Civil War Heritage Trail is the Civil War Museum and the Women of the Civil War Museum in Bardstown. It is the largest and most complete museum regarding the Western Theater of the American Civil War.
However long you spend touring these incredible Civil War Battlefields and destinations in Kentucky, we know you'll leave with a better understanding of the historic significance Kentucky played throughout this period of American history. If you're looking for help in planning your itinerary, our Innkeepers are an exceptional resource. It's one of the many perks you'll enjoy when staying at a Kentucky Bed and Breakfast. Find an Inn today
, and start planning your adventure!