Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, Kentucky

On a trip across central Kentucky with my family, we stopped at the site of a 1862 Civil War battle. It cost us $9 to view the pathetic one-room museum and listen to some lady with perhaps half her teeth tell us what we were about to view. She didn’t give us any information that wasn’t in the museum — she just told us what was there.

“On that wall there are pictures of soldiers who fought here. Over in that corner is a cannon.”

We saw everything there was to see in about nine minutes — $1 a minute.

It was hot, humid and sunny outside, and I knew my family wasn’t interested in walking around the fields. There were several trails, the shortest a loop that was supposed to take an hour and 15 minutes to walk. I promised my family I’d do it quicker than that. I walked fast between stops and didn’t linger long when I did stop. I finished in 35 minutes and was very sweaty.

Perryville BattlefieldPerryville Battlefield - the cannon on the hill in the distance is the cannon in the third photoPerryville Battlefield

The battlefield is open country — grassy fields on a series of ridges with a few copses of trees. I saw quite a few birds and butterflies, but I didn’t stop. When I got back to the museum, I found my family sitting at a picnic table in the shade of a pavilion looking at magazines. There was a nice breeze blowing across the hill, and they were having a good time.

There were more Union soldiers than Confederates in the area on the day of the battle, but the Confederates had more men at the point of attack. They drove the Union army back from ridge to ridge until evening, then had to leave the field. It was a pretty area, and I wish I could have spent more time there.

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