Built circa 1840, this double-pen log house originally stood on the Campbellsville - Columbia Turnpike. The occupants of the house witnessed thousands of soldiers and hundreds of wagons of supplies from both northern and southern armies move up and down the turnpike during the Civil War.
The builder of the home, Joel Dupuy Atkinson, was dead by the time the war broke out. His widow, Virginia Griffin Atkinson, still lived here. A daughter, Martha Rebecca Atkinson, married James Madison Griffin in 1858, and they came to live with her mother during the war.
The house was located 440 yards from the site of the Battle of Tebbs Bend at Green River which occurred on Saturday morning, July 4, 1863. Engaged in the 3 1/2 hour bloody battle were three regiments of Confederate cavalry under Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan and five companies of 25th Michigan Infantry, commanded by Colonel Orlando H. Moore. After the battle, many of the dead and injured Confederate soldiers were brought here.
The most seriously injured soldiers were placed on the porch. Men drilled holes in the porch floor to allow the blood to run through to the ground. Soldiers with less serious wounds were brought into the parlor and one of the bedrooms,. Bloodstains can still be seen in the upstairs bedroom.
That the situation was
critical for Confederate forces is evident from the fact that General Morgan left behind three surgeons, W. B. Anderson, J. F. Keiser, and Edwin M. Sheppard, to care for the wounded. They, along with other captured Confederates, were subsequently taken by the Federals to the Louisville Military Prison.
The W.W.F. Atkinsons, who lived nearby, were Confederate sympathizers. As son was born during the Civil War, the future Dr. Jefferson Lee Atkinson. However, no one in the family revealed his name until after the war. He was simply called, "Brother."
Pvt. Bennett H. Young, Co B, 8th Kentucky Cav, wrote: "Outside the disaster at Buffington Island...the darkest day that ever came to General Morgan's division was this sad 4th of July."
Lt. James H. Ferguson, Co B, 5th Kentucky Cav, was severely wounded and left a prisoner here. When sufficiently recovered, he was sent to Johnson's Island, Ohio, where he remained until the end of the war.
Pvt. James Polk Tribble, Co B, 11th Kentucky Cav, was brought here after the battle. He named his first child after the family because they cared for him so well.