The Crittenden County Genealogy Society met Sat. April 11th. The program was on the history of the Civil War in Crittenden County. After the program we made a field trip to see these two historic sites and the markers that are there. Some of the program included the following:
Several years ago in 1998, a project in the county was being researched that would be titled the "Illinois-Kentucky, Ohio River Civil War Heritage Trail.
Crittenden County played no commanding role in the Civil War but rather suffered to be overrun by both sides.
All known military actions were confined to the northeastern corner of the county, and represented a spilling over of the military activities in Union County.
Guerrilla activity was sustained within the county and the largest military action in Crittenden County was located in the area of Weston and Bells Mines.
The largest military action took place at Weston on June 21, 1864. The steamboat Mercury, carrying the entire 7th Ohio Infantry was fired on by Confederates as it passed the north end of town, the attackers firing from behind a bluff and buildings near it. There were casualties on both sides. The boat's captain refused to land and allow the infantry to burn the town, citing orders to not land on the Kentucky shore.
The second documented military action was at Bells Mines just weeks after the Weston incident. Lt. Thomas W. Metcalfe with 436 men of Company C, 56th Kentucky Mounted Infantry from Cloverport, Ky., were attached at Bells Mines by a reported 300 "guerrillas" and the force was reported captured by the an article in the Evansville Daily Journal of July 19, 1864.
The group gathered around the Historical Marker at Bells Mines for a photo.
Left to right: Rita Travis, behind her, Don Foster, Margaret Parish, Steve Eskew, Fay Carol Crider and Darlene Eskew.
Also while at Bells Mines we toured the old historical cemetery and visited some of the grave stones.
The group at the marker telling about the old Bells Mines Church.
Rita Travis, Jean Owen and Fay Carol Crider in front.
Don Foster, Margaret Parish, Darlene Eskew and Steve Eskew in back.