Skip to main content

Civil War Trust

Return to the main page

Mill Springs Battlefield

9020 Highway 80, Nancy, KY 42544, USA

The Battle of Mill Springs was fought on January 19, 1862, in rural Pulaski County, Kentucky. It was the first significant victory for the Union in the Civil War. Maj. Gen. George Bibb Crittenden and Brig. Gen. Felix Zollicoffer commanded the Confederate forces which had encamped at Beech Grove, 8 miles south of the battlefield on the north side of the Cumberland River. Maj. Gen. George Thomas and Brig. Gen. Albin Schoepf had been dispatched to Logans Crossroads to join forces and launch an assault on Beech Grove, known as "Zollie's Den". However, before an attack could be launched, the Confederate army attempted a surprise strike against the camping Union forces on the morning of January 19. Due to bad weather conditions, the Confederate army was at a disadvantage having to using old flint-rock rifles, some as old as the young soldiers carrying them. The element of surprise was lost due to the diligence and viligence of pickets that had been placed well in advance of the Union camp and to the surprise of Confederate forces, General Shoepf had been able to cross 3,000 men from Somerset to Logans Crossroad even though Fishing Creek was swollen and at flood stage. The battle raged on the ground for approx. 3 1/2 hours. General Zollicoffer was shot and killed when he inadvertantly entered the enemies' lines and the Confederate army retreated to it's encampment and was ordered to evacuate across the Cumberland River during the night of January 20, in order to escape the anticipated attack of the Union forces at Beech Grove.


Satellite Map

Google Satellite Map of Nancy, KY.

View Larger Map » | Get Directions »


From I-65 (West) ' Take Louie B. Nunn/Cumberland Parkway East to exit 78, turn right onto Hwy 80. Continue east on Hwy 80 into Nancy; the Visitor Center is on the left just past the National Cemetery. From I-75 (East)' Take exit 62 (Renfro Valley) and follow Hwy 461 south to the Louie B. Nunn/Cumberland Parkway; turn right and travel toward Somerset. Stay on the Parkway through the intersection at US 27; proceed west through one additional stop light to the next street (Tiger Way) and turn left. Take Tiger Way to old Hwy 80 and turn right. Follow old Hwy 80 about 8 miles west; you will see the Visitor Center on your right just before you reach the National Cemetery. From Lexington (North) ' Take US 27 (Nicholasville Rd) south toward Somerset. Turn right at the intersection of US 27 and old Hwy 80 (First Southern National Bank and Burger King). Follow old Hwy 80 about 9 miles west; you will see the Visitor Center on your right just before you reach the National Cemetery. From South ' Take US 27 north toward Somerset. Turn left at intersection of US 27 and 914 Bypass. Follow the 914 Bypass North around Somerset to old Hwy 80 and turn left. Take old Hwy 80 about 7 miles west; you will see the Visitor Center on your right just before you reach the National Cemetery.

Visitor Services

Restrooms, gift shop, research library, educational video

Regular Events

Annual Observance of the Battle (3rd Saturday in January), Memorial Day Services (Last Monday in May), Living History Weekend (Last weekend in June), Ghostwalk (First Saturday in November), Christmas Open House (Second Saturday in December)

Available Interpretation

Loop trail, interpretive signs, visitors center and museum, video depicting the battle

Plan Your Visit

Admission Fee

Museum: $8.00 per person; group and family rates available


Visitor Center and Museum: Monday - Tuesday by appointment only, Wednesday - Thursday 10:00AM - 4:00PM, Friday - Saturday 10:00AM - 6:00PM, Sunday 1:00PM - 4:00PM



Website »


Share your experience and read reviews...

See this site on TripAdvisor »

Contact Us

Are you a site manager? Need to update your site? Want to sign up? Have photos to share?


Our Sponsors

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software