The Zollie Tree

The Zollie Tree (HM2J2W)

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N 37° 3.343', W 84° 44.361'

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Inscription

Mill Springs Battlefield

— National Historic Landmark —

After Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer was fatally wounded at the Battle of Mill Springs on January 19, 1862, his men placed his body under a white oak tree. In the years that followed, the tree became known as the "Zollie Tree."

Forty years passed with no effort made to remember or honor Zollicoffer or the Confederate soldiers who lay in the mass grave nearby.

A Family Tradition
In 1902, ten-year-old Dorotha Burton witnessed the lavish ceremonies held on Memorial Day for Union soldiers buried in Mill Springs National Cemetery. She realized that the Confederate soldiers buried nearby had all but been forgotten.

That year, Dorotha decorated the Zollie Tree with a flower- entwined evergreen wreath and placed flowers on the mass grave. She continued decorating the Zollie Tree on Memorial Day until 1947, when disabled by arthritis. Her family continues the tradition.

Loss of an Old Friend
One June 9, 1995, a severe storm destroyed the original Zollie Tree. Arborists judged the tree, then almost ninety feet tall and fifteen feet in circumference, to be between 200 and 250 years old. This young white oak, planted by the Mill Springs Battlefield Association on Memorial Day 1996, is a seedling of the original tree.

From her mother's garden she plucked roses and made wreaths,
and



each day when the Federal dead had their graves covered
with floral tributes this little girl laid . . . upon the graves of these
Confederates . . . nature's lovely offering, and hung chaplets on
Zollicoffer's Oak.
Confederate veteran Bennett H. Young, May 19, 1910.

Photo captions:
Left side: Dorotha Burton and the Zollie Tree, ca. 1935.
Right side: Above, the Zollie Tree the day before the storm destroyed it. Right, the Zollie Tree on June 9, 1995.
Details
HM NumberHM2J2W
Series This marker is part of the series, and the National Historic Landmarks series.
Tags
Year Placed2014
Placed ByMill Springs Battlefield Association
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 at 2:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 701011 N 4103443
Decimal Degrees37.05571667, -84.73935000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 3.343', W 84° 44.361'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 3' 20.58" N, 84° 44' 21.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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