About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Mill Springs Battlefield" (with photographs), and other historical documents. It was made possible by the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program. The lesson was written by William P. Turpen, a member of the Board of Directors of the Mill Springs Battlefield Association, and Ronald Nicholas, former Administrator for the Mill Springs Battlefield. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in teaching units on the Civil War or on the commemoration of wars.
Time period: 1860s-1905
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To understand why the Civil War caused such deep divisions in border states.
2) To explain the strategic significance of Kentucky to the Union and Confederacy.
3) To examine why and how those killed in battle came to be honored by the local community.
4) To assess how the war dead are honored in their own community.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps, photos, drawing appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of Kentucky and the surrounding region;
2) three readings about the battle and local commemoration of the dead;
3) a drawing of the death of General Zollicoffer; and
4) three photos of the battlefield and the Mill Springs National Cemetery today.
Visiting the Site
The Mill Springs Battlefield is located nine miles west of Somerset and one mile south of Nancy (Logan's Cross Roads), Kentucky. It includes the place of Zollicoffer's death and the mass graves of the Confederates. Visitors may also visit the Mill Springs National Cemetery, where the Union dead are buried. Self-guided driving tour brochures of the battlefield are available and guided tours can be arranged. For additional information contact, Mill Springs Battlefield Association, P.O. Box 810, Somerset KY 42501.