Washington, DC, Jan 19 - On Thursday, January 19, 2012, U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) recognized the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs by introducing two separate legislative measures to honor and preserve this historic Civil War site and applaud the work of volunteers and enthusiasts in protecting this southern Kentucky landmark. Occurring on January 19, 1862 in Pulaski and Wayne counties, the Battle of Mill Springs was the first significant victory for the Union Army in the west and blazed a trail for Union troops to move from Kentucky into Tennessee. The Mill Springs Battlefield Association (MSBA) has led efforts to acquire, preserve and maintain this battlefield for future generations; to date, over 50,000 Civil War enthusiasts have visited the 500-acre battlefield.
“On this the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, I am proud to commemorate this historic event and honor those who died in conflict on Kentucky soil. The outcome of this battle notably changed the course of the Civil War, and impacted our nation’s history,” stated Rogers. “As such, the battlefield is already a National Historic Landmark, and a treasured part of our community in Pulaski and Wayne Counties, welcoming thousands of visitors annually. I am proud to stand with the Mill Springs Battlefield Association and Civil War enthusiasts in commemorating this anniversary today and in seeking to preserve these hallowed grounds for generations to come.”
With the support of the entire Kentucky delegation, Rogers introduced a non-binding congressional resolution (H. Res. 517) which pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, the American blood shed, and its significance during the Civil War. The resolution recognizes the importance of preserving and educating the public about this noteworthy Civil War skirmish, congratulates the tireless work of the Mill Springs Battlefield Association in preserving this site, and encourages the people of the United States to visit Mill Springs. Additionally, on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, an American flag has been flown over the U.S. Capitol in commemoration of the American patriots who fought valiantly that day and those who continue to honor their legacy through the preservation of the historic site.
Rogers also introduced binding legislation (H.R. 3792) that directs the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a study to evaluate incorporating the battlefield into the national park system. If approved by Congress, the federally-led analysis would consider the economic and educational impacts that inclusion of Mill Springs would have on surrounding communities, impact to landowners, and cost of federal government operation. Currently, the Mill Springs Battlefield is being preserved and maintained through private sources, but adding the Mill Springs Battlefield site into the National Park Service will ensure its preservation for generations to come. Previously, Rogers secured over $1.35 million in federal funding to enhance the visitor experience at Mill Springs.
The Battle of Mill Springs was the second largest battle to take place in Kentucky and the first significant Union victory in the western theater of the Civil War. In addition, the battle marks the death of Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer, who was the first general to die in the Civil War. The battle highly contributed to the outcome of the war, as the main Confederate defensive line that was anchored in eastern Kentucky was broken so that the Union army could move through Kentucky and into Tennessee for the major battles at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, Tennessee.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information visit www.halrogers.house.gov .
Click here to download an mp3 audio statement from Congressman Rogers
Runs 1 min 11 seconds
“This is congressman Hal Rogers,
On this, the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, I’m proud to introduce two legislative measures in Congress to honor and preserve this important battlefield.
A key Civil War skirmish, Mill Springs brought Union forces out west their first significant victory on January 19th, 1862 and paved the way for further advances against the Confederates in Tennessee.
Today, this well-preserved battlefield is a joy to thousands of visitors annually thanks in large part to the leadership of the Mill Springs Battlefield Association.
The legislation I’ve introduced today, recognizes the Association’s laudable efforts while requiring the National Park Service to evaluate inclusion of Mill Springs Battlefield into the national park system.
Through these efforts, we’re taking another step toward ensuring future generations can experience the bravery of our Civil War soldiers and the importance of southern Kentucky in shaping our great nation.”
Click here to view a copy of a statement offered by Rogers in the Congressional Record commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs
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