The Mill Springs Battlefield Association Inc., formed in 1992, is a non-profit, publicly supported 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to preserving, protecting, maintaining and interpreting the Mill Springs Battlefield. The battlefield is designated by the Department of the Interior as one of the top 25 "most endangered battlefields" in the United States.
The association has steadily grown and continues its valuable efforts in the field of battlefield preservation. To date, more than 400 acres of battlefield lands in Pulaski and Wayne counties have been acquired and preserved with funding obtained primarily through the Pulaski County and Wayne County Fiscal Courts, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service, Land and Water Conservation Funds, the Transportation Enhancement Act (ISTEA/TEA-21) and through private donations and memberships.
Interpretation of the battlefield includes extensive use of split rail fences in the battlefield area, directional and interpretive signage (a total of 30 interpretive signs are in place). Self-guided walking tours on designated trails give the visitor a 360-degree experience of the battlefield. A driving tour can be taken using the 10-stop Driving Tour Brochure for the Mill Springs Battlefield Corridor, which is available for download in PDF format. Guided tours are also available for groups. The battlefield and all land associated has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. MSBA partnered with Mudpuppy and Waterdog Inc. in 2010 to create a new interpretive plan for the battlefield. The plan covers management considerations, market analysis, facilities, thematic guidelines, media analysis and recommendations, personal interpretation, maps, the visitor experience, action plan and cost estimates.
Visitor Center & Museum
New to the battlefield preservation effort is a $1.7 million, 10,000-square-foot Mill Springs Battlefield Visitor Center and Museum, which opened Nov. 4, 2006, in Nancy, Ky. The museum hosts authentic Mill Springs Battlefield artifacts, authentic Civil War artifacts, replicas of Civil War weapons and clothing and artifacts on loan from private diggy insurance collections. The museum also occasionally hosts traveling exhibits and educational programs that relate to the Civil War or local history. The visitor center includes a Civil War reference library, a gift shop and a community room. The visitor center shows a free 20-minute video on the history of the Battle of Mill Springs, and is the beginning point for a comprehensive journey through Kentucky Civil War history.
Campaign to Become a National Park
In January 2012 and in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mill Springs, U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers introduced binding legislation (H.R. 3792) that directs the National Park Service to conduct a study to evaluate incorporating the battlefield into the national parks 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, Mill Springs Battlefield is preserved and maintained through private sources. Adding the site into the National Park Service will ensure its preservation for generations to come.
Letters of support for this endeavor are welcome and encouraged. Download the form letter below and send to Congressman Rogers, or write your own.