Bowling Green Fire Department, 1898

Bowling Green's Civil War Evacuation and Fire


The following has been received at headquarters:



Mitchell’s division, by a forced march, reached the river at Bowling Green to-day.  The rebels were evacuating the place when he arrived.



– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, February 17, 1862, p. 1

From Wikkipedia:

Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner
Though the majority of it's residents sided with the Confederacy, Bowling Green declared itself neutral during the Civil War. Because of its key location, (both river and railroad) and resources, both the Union and Confederacy desired control of the city and, on September 18, 1861, the Confederacy succeeded in occupying the site under the command of General Simon Bolivar Buckner The provisional Confederate government of Kentucky chose Bowling Green as its capital in November 1861.

Gen. Stephen G. Burbridge
On February 14, 1862, after receiving reports that Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River had been captured by Union forces, the Confederates ended their occupation. They destroyed bridges across the Barren River, the railroad depot and other important buildings as they retreated. The city was subject to raids and other disruptions for the remainder of the war.

During the summer of 1864, Union General Stephen G. Burnbridge, (also known as the 'Butcher of Kentucky'), arrested 22 men in and around Bowling Green on suspicion of treason. This and subsequent ill treatment by federal authorities led to bitterness among Bowling Green residents toward the Union and sympathies with the Confederacy.

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