Battle of Richmond Civil War Interpretive Sign Commissioned by Kiwanis Club of Richmond Dedicated

An interpretive sign describing the role the Palmer House (now the pro shop of the Battlefield Golf Course) as a field hospital in the aftermath of the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky during the Civil War was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Richmond.

Included as part of the interpretive sign was a scene depicting the use of the Palmer House as a hospital. The caption under the photo on the sign reads "The Palmer House became a refuge for civilians as well as wounded soldiers. The Palmer's neighbor Elizabeth Armstrong, her children and slaves, took refuge in the Palmer House after their home, Pleasant View, became engulfed in the conflict."

A detail from the mural (on display inside of the Palmer House, now the pro shop of the Battlefield Golf Course) shows Elizabeth Armstrong and her children and slaves approaching the Palmer House. At the door of the house is a doctor waving a greeting to Mrs. Armstrong. On the left is a photo of a detail of Richmond resident, General John Miller of the Union Army, being carried to the Palmer House field hospital for treatment by the doctor.

There were many such field hospitals needed because of the significant number who were wounded and killed in the Battle of Richmond. The Battle of Richmond, fought Aug. 29-30, 1862, was the second largest Civil War battle in Kentucky, and was one of the most decisive and complete Confederate victories of the entire war with the Union army retreating in disarray and chaos. Of the 6,500 Union troops who went into battle, some 4,300 were taken prisoner and more than 1,000 were either killed or wounded.  The Confederates, who were some 6,600 strong, lost only 128 men -- 118 who were killed and 10 listed as missing in action.

The description on the interpretive sign reads:

The Palmer House

In the accounts of the first phase of the Battle of Richmond several houses are mentioned, either in terms of landmarks or as field hospitals. The Thomas Palmer house is an example of both. This house was within sight of the 69th Indiana's line, which anchored the Union right west of Mt. Zion Church. It was also very near this structure that Churchill's Confederate division emerged after marching north through the draw created by Mound Creek. During the battle, the Palmer house suffered severe damage from the two-hour artillery bombardment.

Some of the Union soldiers of the 69th Indiana and the 95th Ohio who were wounded during the battle were taken to the Palmer House for treatment of their wounds. Among the Union soldiers treated at the Palmer House was General John Miller, a civilian volunteer. Miller, a member of one of Richmond's founding families, joined Gen. Charles Cruff''s staff as an aide. Miller was mortally wounded trying to rally Union soldiers who were fleeing the battlefield. He died of his wounds six days after the battle. Miller is buried in the Richmond Cemetery.

A traditional story reports that Confederate soldiers ransacked the house after they found Union soldiers drinking some form of distilled spirits stored in the house or outbuildings.

The interpretive sign also displays a photo of a monument to Gen. John Miller which is located in the Richmond Cemetery along with the graves of many soldiers who died during the Battle of Richmond.

Kiwanis logo and legend on the Palmer House interpretive sign. It reads: "The Palmer House Battle of Richmond sign is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Richmond. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time."

Sources of additional information
on the Battle of Richmond


A Brief History of the Battle


Preserving a Place in History


Weather During the Battle of Richmond


Click here to view the Mural displayed in the Palmer House also supported by the Kiwanis Club of Richmond



Back to Richmond Kiwanis Introduction Page