Jennie's Creek

Historical Marker #571 in Johnson County commemorates Jennie's Creek, which is named for the famed frontier heroine Virginia Wiley. The creek was named for Wiley after she crossed the water to escape from Native Americans who had held her captive.

Jennie's Creek also has a Civil War connection. In January 1862, a skirmish fought there preceded the Battle of Middle Creek.

In late 1861, Confederate troops under General Humphrey Marshall were on a recruiting mission near Paintsville. That December, Union Colonel James A. Garfield led troops into the region to push Marshall's command from eastern Kentucky. Garfield’s force arrived outside of Paintsville on January 6, 1862.

Colonel William Bolle's (West) Virginia cavalry joined Garfield near Paintsville. On January 7, Bolle's men deployed to strike a Confederate cavalry camp at the mouth of Jennie's Creek. A skirmish ensued, resulting in minor losses. When word reached the camp that Garfield's full command was approaching, Marshall withdrew after burning any supplies that they could not carry with them.

Marshall retreated south to Middle Creek in Floyd County, where a much larger battle was fought on January 10. As a result of the Union victory there, Colonel James A. Garfield—who eventually became U.S. President—was promoted to brigadier general.