Monday, July 24, 2017

A day trip to Perryville Battlefield

 photo 20170626_134622_zpshzx3kdua.jpg photo IMG_8948_zpsbwqfm5ne.jpgI recently took my sons, 10 and 6, to the Perryville Battlefield. According to the website, the battlefield is one of the most untouched Civil War sites and still looks very much like it did when the Union and Confederate armies met there in October 1862.

 photo IMG_8944_zpsa5ttncs1.jpgWhen we arrived, we headed straight for the small museum to get some information. Admission to the museum is very reasonable – adults $4, children 7-12 $3, and free admission for children under age 6. There are special rates for groups, military and seniors.

Part of the museum admission includes a 28 minute film about that fateful day in 1862. While I was really interested in the movie and learning about the area, it was a little long for my boys who had just spent 2 hours in our van. However, since the movie was in the same room, they were able to walk around the museum and look at all the artifacts. For such a small space, there are so many pieces of history! Old uniforms and weapons in cases as well as pictures of and quotes from soldiers capture the feeling of what it was like in Perryville over 150 years ago.

 photo 20170626_132116_zps94up7iww.jpgAfter we went through the museum at our leisure, we got a map of the grounds from the staff. The gentleman in the shop was very helpful and very glad to answer questions about the park. He showed us two different routes through the park – a walking trail that was just under a mile and a half along with a route we could take in our van on a gravel road.

 photo IMG_8984_zpsqauxno15.jpgWe set out first on the walking trail and we were all amazed at the absolute unspoiled beauty of fields of black eyed susans and white daisies. The trails are very well defined, and there are interpretive markers littered through the fields explaining a part of the battle and pointing out significant areas. The boys thought the cannons on our hike were awesome and even they couldn’t stop talking about how pretty everything was. The driving tour down a gravel road was equally beautiful and informative.

 photo IMG_8945_zpsblr9ne1b.jpg photo IMG_89541_zpsr5d25npl.jpgTip: My only regret was not having a map of Kentucky with me and relying solely on Google maps. I couldn’t reestablish a signal when we were ready to head for home, so we got somewhat misplaced and ended up going about half an hour out of our way! Next time we visit, I will also pack a lunch as there aren’t any close places that have food.

Onsite are restrooms, a pavilion, and picnic tables. Everything is very clean and very well maintained. In October, the park puts on a reenactment of the battle with historic lectures and battlefield tours. There are military demonstrations for two days. Also, downtown Perryville has a street with historic buildings that are mostly unchanged since before the Civil War.

I just can’t say enough about how strikingly beautiful the landscape is. A visit to the battlefield is a day well spent!


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