Throwback Thursday – Hart County Civil War Days: the Battle for the Bridge

Our Commonwealth of Kentucky was a troubled hotspot during the Civil War years. The Mason Dixon line runs through our Bluegrass, and there was both Union and Confederate sympathy carried between county lines. Hart County was home to a couple of Civil War battles in the earliest parts of the war, and the Battle for the Bridge Preserve continues to tell those stories today.

In this week’s Throwback Thursday, we visit the Green River Battle for the Bridge Preserve. Part of the Civil War Discovery Trail and recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, this river’s bridge is home to two Civil War battles: the Battle of Rowlett’s Station and the Battle of Munfordville.

First came the Battle of Rowlett’s Station, part of a Confederate offensive in eastern Kentucky in late 1861. Union Col. August Willich battled rebel Brig. Gen. Thomas Hindman. The Union troops launched an offensive against the Confederate lines along the Green River, so the rebels blew up the Louisville & Nashville Railroad bridge over the river, forcing a skirmish between just over 1,300 men. There were just over 130 casualties, and the results of the battle were indecisive.

Second came the Battle of Munfordville, also known as the Battle of the Green River Bridge. It was summer of 1862, exactly 160 years ago, when this battle began, as Union Col. Cyrus Dunham challenged Confederate Brig. Gen. James Chalmers. Munfordville was a major transportation center because of its railroad and bridge lines, and the rebel forces were able to retake full control, causing over 4,000 casualties.

Find out more at the Battle for the Bridge Preserve’s website, or check out any of its annual events like the Battle for the Bridge 5k run, the re-enactments at Hart County Civil War Days in September, take a Haunted Battlefield Tour in October, or see the Woodhouse Christmas Bazaar.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Hart County Tourism.