Historical Marker #2391 in Boyle County commemorates the site of the Kirkland Home, which was one of the homes used by soldiers during the aftermath of the Battle of Perryville.
Charles King Kirkland and Caroline Purdom Kirkland lived between the present-day Battlefield Road and the Chaplin River, near the entrance to the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. On October 8, 1862, Caroline was expecting company for dinner. The company never showed up, but two soldiers rode up, warned of an impending battle, and ordered the family to leave their home in ten minutes. The family gathered some clothes and hid the silverware, coffee, tea, and sugar in the attic. They rode off on two horses, with Caroline on one, holding the baby, and Charles on the other, with one child in front of him and the other behind him.
As the Battle of Perryville raged near their property, the Kirklands traveled ten miles to the south, where they stayed with Caroline's father on the North Rolling Fork in Forkland. When Charles and their oldest son, Millard, returned to their home after the battle they found that the home had been used as a hospital and much of their property was destroyed. All but four pieces of furniture had been burned for firewood and the dining table had been used as an operating table. Clothes that had been left behind had been used for bandages and the outbuildings and fences had been burned for firewood. The chickens, cows, and hogs had been killed for food and soldiers were buried all over the yard. After a rain, hands and feet could be seen as the men were buried in shallow graves.
The home was in no condition to be lived in, so the Kirkland family never returned. Some years later, they sold the farm at a loss, due to its poor condition. The house was razed and a new home built near the site. Charles Kirkland sought reimbursement for the property damages but was never paid. In February of 1870, the governor gave Charles a grant of 100 acres of knob land just above Elk Cave, due to his loss during the war.
The marker reads:
Near here was the home of Charles
King and Caroline Purdom Kirkland.
To escape the Battle of Perryville,
they traveled with their 3 young
children 10 miles south to the home
of Caroline's father in Forkland.
When they returned a few days
later, they found their home had
been used as a hospital and much
of their property destroyed. Over.
Presented by the Kirkland Family
Their blood-stained dining room
table was used for operations and
their clothes torn for bandages.
Furniture, fences, & outbuildings
were burned for fuel and farm
animals killed for food. Soldiers
were buried poorly in the yard;
after a rain their limbs protruded
from the soil. With these horrific
conditions, the family moved, sold
the farm, and never returned.
This marker was dedicated on April 27, 2013.