Role of local physician in battle aftermath presented at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

Bryan Bush as Dr. J.J. Polk

PERRYVILLE, Ky. — The aftermath of the Battle of Perryville in 1862 had a widespread impact in Perryville and surrounding communities.

One of the people who saw it first hand and wrote about it was Dr. J.J. Polk, a Perryville physician who cared for soldiers following the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky.

Bryan Bush, the park manager at Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, will portray Polk in a series of one-person interpretations at the park on Jan. 25, Feb. 15, March 14 and April 11 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under.

Besides his medical practice, Polk was also a traveling minister, newspaper publisher, temperance lecturer and abolitionist. His account of the aftermath of the Battle of Perryville is one of the more vivid and horrifying descriptions of the destruction resulting from a major battle during the Civil War.

Perryville Battlefield is 45 miles southwest of Lexington. Take U.S. 68 West to U.S. 150 West. For more information about Perryville, visit parks.ky.gov/parks/historicsites/perryville-battlefield/.

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