Statement of Significance (as of designation - October 5, 1992):
Control of Kentucky was very important to President Abraham Lincoln, who had been born there and appreciated its strategic value. The Eastern Kentucky campaign that resulted in the this battle was part of the overall Union strategy to keep Kentucky within the fold. At the Battle of Middle Creek (January 10, 1862), Union forces led by Col. James A. Garfield met and defeated Rebel forces under the command of Brig. Gen. Humphrey Marshall, thus securing Eastern Tennessee. The battle was an important early victory for the Union and brought hope to a disheartened Northern population.