Historical Marker #172 in Prestonsburg notes the location of the house built in 1857 by John M. Burns, which was used as a temporary headquarters for Colonel James Garfield after the Battle of Middle Creek.
James Garfield was born into a modest home near Cleveland, Ohio, on November 19, 1831. His father died when he was only two, which forced him to learn responsibility at an early age. After working on a canal project as a young man, Garfield attended a local seminary and then studied at Western Reserve Electric Institute (later Hiram College) in Hiram, Ohio. He continued his education at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1856. Completing his education, Garfield returned to Western Reserve Electric Institute where he taught before becoming the school's president.
Garfield's passion for education and leadership led him to be elected the youngest member of the Ohio Senate in 1859. A committed Republican, Garfield supported the Union cause when the Civil War erupted in 1861.
Garfield was initially commissioned as a lieutenant colonel, but was soon made colonel of the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He then was placed in command of an infantry brigade and was sent to Kentucky to drive the Confederates out of the eastern portion of the state. On January 12, 1862, Garfield's brigade defeated Confederate General Humphrey Marshall's force at the Battle of Middle Creek in Floyd County. Garfield went on to fight at the Battle of Shiloh and served as the chief of staff for Major General William Rosecrans.
After serving a number of years in the U.S. Congress, Garfield was elected the twentieth President of the United States in 1880. He was shot by an assassin on July 2, 1881. After a lingering struggle, he died on September 19. Garfield was buried in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.
Unfortunately, Garfield Place was razed in 1982. In 1986, First Commonwealth Bank was built on its location.
Historical marker #172 was originally dedicated in the 1960s.
The marker reads:
Used by Colonel, later President, James A. Garfield as his headquarters following Battle of Middle Creek, January 10, 1862.
One block west.