Department of Parks
Three Battles Highlight Battle of Perryville Reenactment
PERRYVILLE, Ky. – The sound of cannons and the crash of rifle fire will once again fill the hills around Perryville during the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville on Oct. 7-8. Visitors to this Civil War reenactment will have the opportunity to watch three Civil War battles during the weekend.
The two battles on Saturday and the third on Sunday will offer visitors a glimpse of what occurred at Perryville in 1862. This year’s battle is the national Civil War reenactment and is expected to draw as many as 5,000 reenactors to Boyle County.
The Battle of Perryville was the most significant Civil War battle in Kentucky, leaving more than 7,000 casualties.
“Anyone interested in the Civil War or Kentucky history will be interested in attending this event,” Parks Commissioner J.T. Miller said. “We have one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the country at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site and this will make for a fascinating weekend.”
The first battle will be Saturday at with the Battle of Pottsville. This battle, one of the many skirmishes that occurred before the larger battle at Perryville, will feature cavalry units. Confederate forces led by General Joseph Wheeler attacked Union advance units and captured 50 rifles. But the Union counterattacked, forced the Confederates to withdraw and continued marching toward Perryville.
At on Saturday, the Fight for Loomis Heights will be presented. This clash began when a Mississippi brigade attacked two veteran Union brigades that had 12 pieces of artillery covering a ridge. The Confederates were turned back after suffering heavy losses. More Confederates came into action, and forced the Federals to retreat westward after heavy fighting. This was part of the main Battle of Perryville.
The third battle will be Sunday at It will present the Fight for the Open Knob, which opened the main battle at Perryville. This was a surprise attack upon a Union brigade that later caused many inexperienced Union troops to break and run. Attacking Confederates then swept over the Open Knob, but Federals stopped them for a time on the next ridge westward.
In addition to the battles, visitors will be able to visit the military camps, listen to Civil War experts and authors, and learn about what life was like in Perryville in 1862 during the weekend. For more information, including a schedule of events, visit: www.parks.ky.gov and click on “The Battle of Perryville 2006” logo.
Visitors are encouraged to arrive early because of the time it takes to park and get to the state park. Parking will take place at Perryville and the admission ticket includes a bus ride to the park. Visitors should wear comfortable shoes, bring a chair and be prepared to walk to the battle sites. Viewing areas will be marked off for visitors who want to watch the battles.
Advance tickets are being sold through Sept. 22 with a $3 discount available for one-day and two-day adult tickets. One-day tickets are $15 and two-day tickets are $20 for adults at the gate. Children ages 6-12 are $5 (second day free) and children 5 and under are free. Advance ticket holders can also bypass the main admission line.
Call the park at 859-332-8631 to order tickets or go to the Perryville web site. Information is also available at: http://www.perryvillereenactment.org/
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov