Richmond is a city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population of Richmond, Kentucky was 31,364 in 2010. Richmond is Kentucky's seventh-largest city (after Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Covington, and Hopkinsville) and the second largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Lexington). Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.
The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller, who had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans. That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). Nevertheless, the county approved the move in March 1798. On 4 July 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace.
On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured. One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war."