MIDDLE CREEK — One hundred fifty years later, Floyd County eyes turn once more toward Middle Creek, as locals commemorate a clash between the Union and Confederate armies.
On a cold winter morning the Jan. 10, 1862, Union and Confederate forces battled at the forks of Middle Creek. The outcome of the battle would establish Union dominance of the Big Sandy River and eventually provide a career stepping-stone for the Union Commander James A. Garfield, who would eventually become President of the United States.
At 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 8, the Friends of Middle Creek will conduct a ceremony commemorating the battle’s sesquicentennial at the Middle Creek National Battlefield, located at the junction of Routes 114 and 404 near Prestonsburg. Anyone who had a relative who died at the Battle of Middle Creek is invited to share the name and life of their fallen soldier.
“We will be having a flag raising, donated by Woodmen of the World, and with the assistance of the Allen Central ROTC,” said Floyd Davis, Ast. Adjutant of the Friends of Middle Creek.
“The Battle of Middle Creek was the largest battle in Eastern Kentucky, and determined control of the Mount Sterling/Pound Gap Road,” said Davis. “That doesn’t sound like much today, but at the time, that was the only improved road through the area.”
Davis says while there won’t be an official reenactment, there will be muskets and cannon fire. “There will be plenty of bangs and booms.”
Members will also walk the Garfield trail, retracing the route of the union soldiers as part of the commemoration.
In conjunction with the sesquicentennial, the Friends of May House will be joined by the Friends of Middle Creek in celebrating Old Christmas at the May House, beginning at 5 p.m. Free tours will be given and light refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome.
For more information, contact Floyd D. Davis by phone at (606) 886 6323.