Samuel May's steam mill was located at the mouth of Abbott Creek, one mile north of Prestonsburg. On the night of January 9th, 1862, several hours before the Battle of Middle Creek, it was the scene of a skirmish between Garfield's Federals and Marshall's Confederates.

On January 7th, fearing that Colonel Garfield’s troops were going to outflank him, General Humphrey Marshall ordered his men to abandon their fortifications at Hager Hill in Johnson County and move up the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy towards Prestonsburg. He was also worried about Colonel Jonathan Cranor's 40th Ohio Infantry, which was poised to advance into Floyd County from Salyersville and cut off his route of retreat. On  January 9th, the Confederates reached Abbott Shoal and made camp three miles up Abbott Creek. May's Mill stood at the mouth of the creek, and Marshall wanted to give his men the opportunity to use the mill to grind the corn which they had harvested from fields along their line of march.

After Garfield was reinforced by Cranor on January 8th, he marched his men towards Prestonsburg in pursuit of Marshall. Sometime during the evening of January 9th, the Union troops reached Abbott Shoal and surprised a squad of Confederate soldiers in the act of grinding corn at May's Mill. After a brief
skirmish the Confederates fled the scene and rejoined Marshall's command. 

Abbott Shoal is named for the rocky shallow which is the principal feature of the Levisa Fork at this point. The name also refers to the bottom land adjacent to the shoal, part of the original May Farm and now the site of Prestonsburg Community College.  The exact location of the mill has not yet been determined.
The Skirmish at May's Mill
on January 9th, 1862
Middle Creek Main Page
Why They Fought Here
The Opposing Commanders
The Confederate Waiting Game
The Artillery That Failed
The Union Command Post
The Confederate Command Post

The Union Assault
Monroe's Bayonet Charge
A Desperate Fight, But Few Casualties
The Mount Sterling-Pound Gap Road
The John M. Burns House
The Samuel May Farm
The Middle Creek Foundation
Colonel George W. Monroe
Colonel Ezekiel F. Clay
Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon
Colonel Don A. Pardee
Colonel Hiram Hawkins
Colonel John S. Williams
Colonel Alfred C. Moore
Colonel George W. Gallup
Dr. Stephen M. Ferguson
Middle Creek
Civil War
Samuel May House
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