Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tracing Samuel McIlvaine's Route Into Kentucky

While we were in Indiana, I suddenly decided that since Kentucky was not far away, we would try to retrace the path that Samuel McIlvaine took when his Indiana 10th Volunteer Infantry went to save the Union from those secesh traitors!  I did not have a copy of the published version of his diary with me, but this did not much matter.

I knew that he marched through Louisville, and through Bardstown on several occasions, so we headed through Lafayette, Indianapolis, and then Louisville.

The trees were beginning to turn as we drove south:

Here's the bridge at Louisville, as you enter Kentucky:

Once you enter Kentucky, even the rest stops try to get that Southern mansion feel:

Once you enter Bardstown, you see lots of well-preserved early 19th century and even late 18th century buildings.  These are on the main drag of town; I am sure that Samuel marched past some of these:

Every place has something for which it is famous, and Bardstown is no exception:

More fine mansions as we left town, although as Samuel reminded his diary, the curse of slavery hung over this beautiful land.


  1. I think Bardstown's a bit more famous for bourbon than leg amputations.

  2. And...the mansion that inspired the song, "My Old Kentucky Home" is also located there. If you like to tour old (1800's) era homes, this is a must see in Bardstown.

    They also have a summer show called "The Stephen Foster Story". It's very entertaining, featuring his music. But it's just a show...doubt that there's much truth to it. :-)

    And as Rob says, Bardstown is the Bourbon Captial of KY with Heaven Hill Distilleries not far outside of the town. Maker's Mark isn't much further if memory servers. And Wild Turkey is less than an hour away. The Maker's Mark tour was fascinating when we were last there (15 years ago). They still used the same mash pits that they did when they topped, wooden tanks. If you like Bourbon, taking the Bourbon trail and touring the distiller's is a lot of fun.

    And no...I don't work for the KY tourist department. I'm an Ohio boy.

  3. I believe you are referring to the War of Northern Aggression and the curse of East Coast Yankee self-righteousness. Gary

  4. Would you be happier if I called it the War of the Rebellion?

    Of course, self-righteousness was hardly a Northern monopoly. Some of the firebreathers, like Edmund Ruffin, who fired the first shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, and committed suicide at the end of the war, were not exactly short on this.

  5. Call it what you wish. Slavery was a plague in this country and some of the scars are still visible. I lived in Kentucky for a great many years and I was born a smart ass. I enjoy your blog and I hope to read for many more years. Gary