The small, unassuming county-seat village of Munfordville, founded on an old buffalo crossing and home to a well-known tavern, could claim pride of place in 1860 as the spot where the L&N Railroad crossed the Green River, over what whas then the longest iron bridge in the world. But one year later that asset became a liability - a prize contested by both armies in the Civil War. Within the space of five years, the town saw three separate battles, one of them perhaps the most strategically important in the struggle for Kentucky; a war-long occupation by Union forces that at its height numbered 40,000; the rise of notorious Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan; a town-sized garrison of African-American soldiers and havens on the Underground Railroad; a two home-grown generals, one for each side in the conflict.
The remnants of that time are still visible on the landscape - the railroad bridge still spans Green River on it original pilings. Antebellum architecture still stands in the form of the George Wood House, the Robert and Richard Munford Homes, the F.A. Smith House, the Munfordville Presbyterian Church, the old Village School, and the Old Munford Inn. Across the river, the Battle for the Bridge Historic Preserve protects the battlefields, which a soldier of that conflict would still recognize.
But the most enduring echo of Munfordville's war years is the faces of it people, many of whom are descended from those who endured the struggle that shaped America. Their eyes reflect a community one strengthened by adversity, and now looking toward the future.
Battle of Rowlett's Station, December 17, 1861
Battle and Siege of Munfordville, September 14-17, 1862
Skirmish of Woodsonville, September 20-21, 1862