Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Day 1317

     In 1793, one year after Kentucky became the 15th state of the Union, Colonel Andrew Hynes, born February 28, 1750 in Hagerstown, Maryland, who was an officer during the Revolutionary War and an Indian fighter thereafter, purchased 30 acres of land in the Severn’s Valley Settlement of Kentucky. This settlement, 14 years earlier in 1779, was the first permanent settlement in the area and was called Severns Valley after John Severns who came here with 17 pioneers and their families, mostly from Maryland and Virginia.

     Haynes surveyed and laid off the land into lots and streets and formed Elizabethtown, named in honor of his wife, Elizabeth Warford Hynes. The town was established by the Kentucky Legislature on July 4, 1797 as “the town of Elizabeth”.

     The community became an important stop along the railroad and a strategic point during the Civil War.

      In fact, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders arrived in Elizabethtown on December 27, 1862, appearing on the brow of the hill that is now the City Cemetery. The main objective of the Christmas Raid was to burn two Louisville & Nashville Railroad trestles on Muldraugh Hill north of the town. The Confederates placed artillery on the hill and demanded the surrender of the Union garrison. They refused and Morgan’s artillery opened fire. The bombardment lasted twenty minutes. 3,900 Confederates engaged 652 Federals, 107 rounds were fired upon the buildings of the town killing or wounding 7 of the soldiers who had taken refuge there.

     You’ll never guess what we found on Mulberry Street.

     We found this blue building with a big arrow on it.

     During the Confederate barrage one ball hit the bank building located on this corner, lodging in the wall just under a third-story window.

     In 1887 a fire destroyed the entire block and the cannonball fell with the wall. When the building was rebuilt, the cannonball was placed in the same spot, as near as possible, where it had originally landed. 

      From 1871 to 1873, the Seventh Cavalry and a battalion of the Fourth Infantry, led by General George Armstrong Custer, were assigned to Elizabethtown. They were stationed in the community to suppress the Ku Klux Klan and Carpet Baggers and to break up illegal distilleries which began to flourish in the South after the Civil War. Custer died 3 years later on June 26, 1876 of arrow ventilation. 

     Abraham Lincoln did not live here,

but Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks did from the time of their marriage, June 12 1806, until their removal in 1808. Thomas Lincoln was born on January 6, 1778 in Linville Creek, Virginia. He was descendent from Samuel Lincoln, who in 1637 landed and became part of the English settlement of the  Massachusetts Bay Colony.

     After boundary disputes due to defective titles and Kentucky’s chaotic land laws, complicated by the absence of certified land surveys and the use of subjective or arbitrary landmarks to determine land boundaries. Lincoln, his wife and daughter moved 10 miles down the road to another farm he had bought.

Technical Stuff:

Athens, Alabama to Elizabethtown, Kentucky: 229.8 miles

4 hours 22 minutes

10.9 MPG

Diesel: $1.56

2 thoughts on “Elizabethtown, Kentucky

  1. Hi Travelers! You are in the area of western KY where Tom & I met in the Summer of ’68. We were students at Murray State Univ. (MSU). I hope you’re able to see & enjoy the beautiful bluegrass and horse farms of KY!

    Safe Travels

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