Perryville's Henry P. Bottom

Historical Marker #192 in Boyle County commemorates a Perryville resident who made great sacrifices during the Civil War.

Henry Bottom was a farmer and justice of the peace whose home was caught in the crossfire of Kentucky's largest battle. After the fight, Bottom's house became a field hospital. According to William C. McChord, a Springfield resident who toured the battlefield as a twelve year old, a pile of amputated arms and legs, "some with shoes on, others with socks," stood "four or five feet high" in one corner of the yard.

Soldiers also swept his farm clean. Bottom lost 9 cows, 30 sheep, thousands of pounds of pork and bacon, 3,000 bushels of corn, 50 bushels of oats, 2 horses, and 22 tons of hay.  For the first time ever, the Bottom family had to buy food to eat.

With hundreds of dead Confederates covering his farm, Bottom, his neighbors, and slaves interred many on a small rise on the northern end of Bottom's farm. The Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site evolved from this cemetery.

Bottom never recovered, economically or psychologically, from the horrors and destruction of the Battle of Perryville. One Perryville resident said that Bottom was "broken in spirit from that time on until he died."

Images

The Henry P. Bottom House, Perryville

The Henry P. Bottom House, Perryville

The Henry P. Bottom house, pictured here in 1885, was a field hospital after the Battle of Perryville. After the fight, the farm was swept clean, and, for the first time, the family had to buy food to eat. Courtesy the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. View File Details Page

Henry P. Bottom

Henry P. Bottom

This post-war image shows Henry P. Bottom, who owned a majority of the land upon which the Battle of Perryville was fought. Courtesy the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. View File Details Page

Union Colonel Curran Pope, 15th Kentucky Infantry Regiment

Union Colonel Curran Pope, 15th Kentucky Infantry Regiment

At Perryville, Union Colonel Curran Pope led the 15th Kentucky Infantry Regiment on a hill above Henry P. Bottom's house. Slightly wounded in the arm at Perryville, Pope marched with his men in pursuit of the Confederates, who withdrew after the battle. Pope, however, fell ill and died from typhoid in Danville, ten miles from the battlefield. Although he survived the fight, illness took his life. He is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Private Henry T. Hunter, 42nd Indiana Infantry Regiment

Private Henry T. Hunter, 42nd Indiana Infantry Regiment

Private Henry T. Hunter was a member of Company G, 42nd Indiana Infantry Regiment. He was killed in action at the Battle of Perryville while fighting near the Henry P. Bottom House. View File Details Page

William C. McChord

William C. McChord

When Springfield resident William C. McChord was twelve years old, he rode his horse to Perryville to tour the battlefield. When he passed the Henry P. Bottom House, which was being used as a makeshift hospital, McChord noted that a pile of amputated limbs stood "four or five feet high" in a corner of the yard. After touring the battleground, McChord had nightmares for weeks. Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner

Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner

A native of Munfordville, Kentucky, Simon Bolivar Buckner was a Confederate general who later became governor of Kentucky. At the Battle of Perryville, Buckner commanded a division in the Confederate Army of the Mississippi. Many of his troops fought across a farm owned by Henry P. Bottom. Courtesy the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Signature of Preston Sleet

Signature of Preston Sleet

Preston Sleet was a former slave who testified in the war claim hearings when Henry Bottom's heirs tried to be reimbursed for goods and items taken or destroyed by Union troops during the Battle of Perryville. Sleet, and other witnesses, signed each page of their transcribed testimony. Courtesy of the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. View File Details Page

The Battle of Perryville

The Battle of Perryville

Henry Moesler drew this image of the Battle of Perryville. Courtesy of the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Perryville's Henry P. Bottom,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 23, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/8.

Subjects

Share this Story