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The 400-acre May Farm, with its steam-powered grist mill, was used as a recruiting post and staging area by the regionís leading secessionists.

In September, 1861, Jack May, Hiram Hawkins, Ezekiel Clay, James M. Thomas, Benjamin Desha, and other Kentucky secessionists marched their militia companies to this location and organized the 5th Kentucky Infantry, C.S.A. Hawkins' Bath County volunteers were the first men to pitch their tents at the farm, and Jack May's Morgan County volunteers arrived the next day. William James May, the owner of the farm, was Jackís cousin, and the farm itself was Jackís birthplace and boyhood home.

The 5th Kentucky subsequently joined Marshall's command and saw action during the Battle of Middle Creek, which occurred on January 10th, 1862.

On October 2nd, 1861, the Confederates camped at this location sent the following letter to President Jefferson Davis in Richmond:

His Excellency Jefferson Davis,
President of the Confederate States of America:

Sir: Our Legislature has betrayed us. We have marched to this point on account of its strategic importance with 1,000 men. Hundreds are gathering around our standard daily. We can have 5,000 men here in two weeks. We would most respectfully petition Your Excellency to send us immediately some experienced military man to command us, and place us upon a footing to make ourselves available in furthering the cause of civil freedom, in which we have enlisted, and to which we pledge our lives and our sacred honor.

Ben Desha, Captain of Light Infantry Company (armed).
E. F. Clay, Captain of Cavalry Company (armed).
James M. Thomas, Captain Mounted Rifles.
T. R. Worsham, Infantry (unarmed).
H. C. Swango, Infantry (unarmed).
J. May, Captain Morgan Guards, Infantry (unarmed).
Jesse Meek, Infantry (unarmed).
G. W. Connor, Captain, Infantry (unarmed).
G. M. Ewing, Captain, Infantry (unarmed).
John W. Sparks, Captain, Infantry (unarmed).
John Shawhan.
The May Farm: Staging Area For Marshall's Confederates
The May House in North Prestonsburg, as it looked in 1936.
Courtesy of William James May of Prestonsburg.
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 Middle Creek Foundation
MIddle Creek
Samuel May House
Archive Main Page
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
Civil War
The Skirmish
at Abbott Shoal