December 17, 2006-The annual Christmas Dinner was held at the 4-H Extension Office, overlooking Whitesburg, KY. Approximately 40 people were in attendance. The induction ceremony saw Mark Patrick, Manton Ray Cornett, and Willis Stong officially inducted into the ranks of the Caudill Camp. Commander Chaltas and Adjutant Brown gave out the awards. The auction was a grand success. A special thanks goes to the Order of Confederate Roses for their services regarding the dinner.
December 15, 2006-Richard Brown, David Chaltas, David Brown, Ross Fleming and John Back participated in the Christmas in the Park. They were ‘keepers of the lights’ and David & Richard Brown (they had previously decorated that week) were responsible for keeping all the decorations lite. An estimated crowd of 3,500-5,000 people visited the annual event. Over 1500 treat bags were given out. Several local groups performed Christmas songs, as the Christmas spirit was shared in Whitesburg, KY.
December 10, 2006-Commander Chaltas met with the 6th Virginia Brigade, Cumberland Mountain Rangers and the Lockard Hamilton Chapter of the UDC at the monument to discuss its conception, history to the latest innovations taking place in 2007. Commander Chaltas discussed the possible opening of the tunnel, Artesian Center, Welcome Center, cleaning the old Trace (Fincastle) Trail and the negotiations with TECO. After the meeting, all went to a Christmas dinner at Mosby’s and he offered a presentation on, ‘The importance of living history and humbleness of spirit.”
December 10, 2006-Commander Chaltas and Adjutant Brown met with the 6th Virginia Brigade, Cumberland Mountain Rangers and the Lockard Hamilton Chapter of the UDC at the monument to discuss its conception, history to the latest innovations taking place in 2007. Commander Chaltas discussed the possible opening of the tunnel, Artesian Center, Welcome Center, cleaning the old Trace (Fincastle) Trail and the negotiations with TECO. After the meeting, all went to a Christmas dinner at Mosby’s and he offered a presentation on, ‘The importance of living history and and humbleness of spirit.”
December 9, 2006-Commander David Chaltas in the persona of General Lee, represented the interests of the camp at the Ewing, VA Lee/Jackson Dinner. He was the keynote speaker and talked of the Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky bond of fellowship. All units represented voted to support the Caudill Camp endeavors such as the Pound Gap Monument, Dedication of the cemetery located in Whitesburg, reenactments co hosted by Caudill Camp. FLEMING NEON PARADE: Several Caudill Camp members attended and participated in the Neon Christmas Last night. Those present were Johnny Pearl Back, Danny Wright, Kenny Cantrell, David Lucas, Bob Balthis and David Lucas’s son. Doc Slone, Roger Hall and Kiser were in attendance. OCR members Debbie Back and Sandy Wright were also present with Miss Sandy marching in the parade with the men of the Caudill Camp.
December 1-3, 2006-In a last hurrah as commander of the Ben Caudill Camp, Commander Chaltas did a blitz of public relations tours, as noted in the following journal postings.
December 3, 2006-General Jackson, Forrest, Lee and Colonel Taylor were honored to offer presentations to the tour groups at the Confederate Museum (Bleak House) on Kingston Road in Knoxville , Tennessee . The Christmas tours were a complete success and the tourist were ecstatic about meeting the generals. Our deepest thanks go out to Ms. Namuni Young and the UDC ladies that treated us with such kindness.
December 2, 2006-General Nathan Bedford Forrest, General Robert E. Lee (Commander Chaltas), and Colonel Walter H. Taylor (Danny Taylor) attended the Mike Kent’s Civil War Collectible Show held on the Nashville Fairgrounds. They met several fellow reenactors and the capacity crowd was thrilled to have them present. Several hundreds pictures were taken and interviews were given. It was a very productive day. The Caudill Camp’s name was discussed by many, as several offered their appreciation for the stones that had been set for their ancestors. General Forrest insisted that we stayed with him and he treated the travelers with the joy of being accepted as family.
December 1, 2006-The Commander and Danny Taylor were in a play at the Lincoln Memorial University campus entitled, Christmas with the Lincolns . The play consisted of four scenes, each representing a different aspect of Christmas during the Civil War. Several reenactors participated in the play that was presented at 10 A.M. and 7 P.M on Friday. The story line for the final scene revolved around General Lee visiting a winter encampment to wish the soldiers a Merry Christmas. General Forrest took on the persona of a Sergeant in camp and captured the audience with his message. They discussed different stories from home that revolved around that season. It was very well received. The Coffey’s played several songs during the 1st play prior to going to perform in Gatlinburg. The evening play offered Mean Mary and Frank around the campfires singing songs of the season. After the play, a reception was held for the actors and a recital was held featuring Mean Mary and Frank. They were brilliant in their performance and received a standing ovation for their musical accolades. They will have a weekly TV show from Nashville beginning in January on channel 19. Our sincere thanks to Ms. Carol Campbell, as well as all that made the experience so delightful! Merry Christmas! November 22, 2006-Effective today, all bills have been paid that are owed by the Caudill Camp. Appalachian Monument is completely paid in full along with all miscellaneous items. We will close out the year in the black at the changing of the guard!
November 21, 2006-Corporal Matthew Chandler surpassed the old General with his knowledge on the common soldier during a presentation to Letcher County Central High School AP History Class today. The corporal demonstrated the attire of the era along with discussing the common soldier’s life. He was exceptional and the students were mesmerized by one of their own being so well versed. Rick Adams was a gracious host and the General was well pleased with the interest that was shown by young minds. The 5th Kentucky Orphan Brigade should be very proud of the presentation offered. Thanks Corporal!
November 17, 2006-Cumberland Brigade Lt. Commander Danny Taylor and David Chaltas, Commander of the Ben Caudill Camp, participated in the Lincoln Memorial University event held on its campus at Harrogate, Tennessee. Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, General Forrest, General Lee, and Colonel Walter H. Taylor entertained questions after a delightful play was performed. The play was based on events surrounding the Battle of Gettysburg and culminated with the Gettysburg Address. Danny, in the persona of Adjutant Walter H. Taylor, offered a presentation based on one of the school’s founders, Robert F. Patterson. Patterson was the first vice president and a colonel in the 29th Tennessee, Company C. The Caudill’s Army flag was officially presented to the LMU museum via Ms. Carol Campbell. It will fly proudly at that location as the Caudill legacy continues to be spread across this nation. The highlight of the event was the visitation to the Learning Tree Academy Day Care Center. Little eyes peered at the living historians with wonder and delight. A wondrous time was held by all, as the adults were able to be children once more! Our gratitude goes out to the LMU staff (Ms. Natalie-Ms. Amy-Mike), and especially to Ms. Carol Campbell for her support, along with our new friend Thomas Mackey, Director of the LMU Museum. Please consider the Museum a MUST SEE, as it holds so many treasures of our heritage, both blue and gray.
November 15, 2006-Raymond Isaac and David Chaltas attended the funeral services of compatriot Atlas Hall. Acting in the capacity of his appointment as Kentucky Division Chaplain, Commander Chaltas performed the graveside service and gave a letter of resolution to both the wife and mother of Captain Hall. A 21 gun salute was offered by the SCV from North Carolina and Raymond Isaac representing the Kentucky Division. The bagpipes played to honor the Scots/Irish ancestry that Captain Atlas Hall so loved. The captain now rests on the other shore, as his remain lie in Asheboro, North Carolina.
November 10-12, 2006-Despite the cold wind and rain, several local schools attended a living history at Fort Dickerson, located in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. The children and adults witnessed artillery demonstrations, drills (the children were conscripted into the Confederate Army), medical practices, cavalry demonstrations, and met the generals (General Jackson, Forrest and Lee). They were also privy to a dedication honoring the Veterans on all three days. During a salute to the veterans, our own General Lee (David Chaltas) addressed the crowd as a squadron of fighter planes swept down over the skies of Knoxville. On the 11th day, 11th hour, and 11th minute, a memorial/dedication was offered inside the earthen fort. The battles went well and the audience was complimentary. The Knoxville Round Table was the gracious host. A wonderful event for the whole family.
November 13, 2006 – It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of a true compatriot and friend, Captain Atlas Hall. He passed through the turbid vale on November 11, 2006. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, November 15, 2006, at 11:00. Loflin Funeral Home, Ramseur, North Carolina is in charge of the arrangements. His dying request was to have a 21 gun salute from his brothers of the SCV.
November 11, 2006 – The last burial site of the thirteen members of the Amburgey family who served in the Confederate Army of Eastern Kentucky has been found and marked. On November 10, 2006 Caudill Camp members Faron Sparkman and Willis Strong placed a headstone on the previously unmarked grave of Lt. Jesse Amburgey of Co. F, 5th KY. Infantry. The grave is at the Greasy Burger Cemetery on Rt. 582 at Pinetop, Kentucky. This project required several years of research until specific documents and descendants could be tracked down confirming the “lost” burial site of Lt. Jesse Amburgey who died in 1905 at his home on Wildcat Branch of Carr in Knott County. New numbers: 842 Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set 798 13th KY. Burial Sites Located 570 13th KY. Stones Set By County: Knott 102, Letcher 128
November 4, 2006-The yearly Family Day for the 5th Kentucky, Company D, E, F were held. Forty four ‘Orphans’ attended the meeting at the historic McNeil’s Crossing. The yearly meeting was held, as schedule changes were discussed and noted awards given out. The 5th Kentucky continues to grow, picking up two new members this weekend. The total is 123 and still climbing! Kentucky Orphans, you represent your ancestors well. If anyone wishes to join, please contact the following for information or simply down load the application on this website (5th Kentucky Application). The cost is $14 per year for single and $16 per family. Also contact David Chaltas or Les Williamson.
November 1, 2006-All new flags now fly over the Pound Gap Monument. A new guest sign in log has been placed in the Gazebo as well.
November 2, 2006 – Faron Sparkman reports new stone numbers: 840 – Total set 570 – 13 KY. Cav. set 127 – Letcher County
October 27-29, 2006-Through a torrent of rain, over 10+ busloads of school children came to enjoy the education day held at the mouth of Leatherwood. Though poorly organized in regards to size of groups and lack of escorts (General Lee and Ms. Lily were the only escorts at first), each station performed their tasks exceptionally well. The medical display was grand. The Blacksmith’s demonstrated their crafts with soap making, dulcimer crafts, shingle making, school house and other stations doing all to offer a view into the past. The Presidential Debate went well, as President Lincoln and President Davis offered their views on the war. The State Dinner on Friday night saw over 75 participants meet at the cafeteria on the old Stuart Robinson Campus. The tables were well decorated and the food was exceptional. The number of gray clad members paled in comparison to those in blue and the recognition seemed to address the latter. Saturday saw a continuation of bad weather, breaking in time for the battle that saw approximately 50 infantry, 10 cannon and 20 horses on the field. The Fifth Kentucky, with their brothers from Tennessee and Virginia fought gallantly and repelled the forces from the Harlan County Battalion. General Jackson, Burnside, and Lee presented to the crowd, as Colonel Robinson’s Kentucky Cavalry Brigade offered a classic duel. The artillery duel was grand and the smoke floated across the battlefield. A moving dedication of three 13th Kentucky men (Sampson Brashears, William Brashears, and James N. Brashears) was held at the William C. Brashears Cemetery. Mean Mary and Frank provided a musical salute, along with a 3 volley military salute by the men of the fabulous Fifth Kentucky and Wayne Whitaker/Jesse Thorpe providing artillery fire to honor those that have gone before. The Grand Military Ball was the hit of the day, as Mean Mary and Frank filled the room with music to sooth the savage beasts within. A carriage ride was offered to and from the ball on campus and LKLP provided transportation to and from the ball. Sunday witnessed a moving service by Rick King who brought a quartet that offered their 4 part harmony to the hills and hollows of Leatherwood. John P. Back closed with stirring remarks. The battle was up close and personal and the crowd showed their appreciation by offering applause of appreciation during the Pass and Review Salute. Closing ceremony paid tribute to our DAV, as they (accompanied by both blue and gray) offered a 21 gun salute. Those in attendance from the Caudill Camp (23 members!) were Leathen Whitaker, Matthew Chandler, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Randall Haddix, Willie Cornett (soap making), Richard Brown, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Jason ‘Big Tree’ Adams, Kenny Cantrell, Jeremy Jones, Danny Wright, Dale Wright, Tabby Back, John P. Back, Martin Joe Caudill, Glenn Brown, Raymond Isaacs, Carl Hall, David Chaltas, Danny Taylor, and Carlos Brock.
October 24, 2006-12:00-Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Back offered a presentation regarding the Battle of Leatherwood and the Ben Caudill Camp to a very receptive Rotary Club audience. An overview of the battle as well as the camp history was discussed. An invitation was extended for them to come and join the reenactment.
October 24, 2006-9:30 A.M.-Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Back attended the round table discussion on WTCW radio station. The War Between the States was discussed along with the upcoming Battle of Leatherwood Reenactment. Question were asked about living history and reenactments. A brief history of the Battle of Leatherwood also given. The dates and times of the reenactments events were given and the listening audience was invited to attend.
October 24, 2006-6:30-A.M.-Lt. Commander Back and Gary Begley of the Caudill Camp along with Paul Taulbee, Nancy Ashworth and Janet Cornett attended a taping at the WYMT-TV studio’s in Hazard, KY, to advertise the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Leatherwood.
October 19-21, 2006-The sound of eighteen cannon offering a cannonade greeted the spectators at the Battle of Wildcat. With approximately thirty cavalry and five hundred reenactors with families, the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Wildcat exceeded expectations. The crowd was offered an up close and personal performance by professional living historians and reenactors celebrating the heritage of Kentucky. Friday witnessed Education Day with several stations and several hundred school children attending, as they learned crafts, witnessed a skirmish along with a artillery demonstration, listened to President Lincoln and General Lee respectively discuss their side of the engagement, east Kentucky Blacksmith Association offered presentations, as they demonstrated their skills, with several sutlers and vendors selling their wares. On Saturday, the weather was perfect for wool and heralded one of the best battle scenarios of the year. Colonel Robinson and Captain Adkins offered a perfect performance to the delight of the crowd. After the battle, several people attended the memorial service on Wildcat Mountain, where Commander Chaltas in the persona of General Lee brought tears to those present with his rendition of We Drank From the Same Canteen. The sounding of a bell highlighted the reading of the names of soldiers that died in action and units present. The military salute was well attended with Little Jesse (manned by Manton Ray Cornett, Carlos Brock, and Willis Strong) being participants. A solemn tribute was paid to one of the brothers that lost a daughter a year ago and was buried on the mountain, only 100 yards from the memorial. The ball went well and was well attended. Sunday saw a period church service with the Kentucky Division Chaplain leading the service and inviting John P. Back, Andy McGinnis and June Field to join him. Mose provided music that set the tone of the service. Another grand battle was witnessed and all went away satisfied that they had seen history come alive once again. Those from the camp that were in attendance were Darrell Crawford (his wife Amy), Danny Wright (his wife Sandy & Katie), Dale Wright (his wife Cindy), Mark Patrick, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Leathen Whitaker, Matthew Chandler, David Chaltas Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Manton Ray Cornett, John P. Back (his wife Debbie), Tabby Back, Chris Back, and Richard Brown. On to Leatherwood
October 13-15, 2006-This general wishes to thank the fine people overseeing The Battle of Blue Springs for their kindness. Commander Jim Allen was much too kind in his recognition of this unworthy servant, as he provided a carriage during Education Day and a Cavalry escort to the delight of the 1600+ children that visited the event. The 18 stations were well coordinated and moved flawlessly for one to another. The artillery, cavalry and infantry demonstrations were precise and well orchestrated. The glorious 19th Tennessee gathered the students into companies and offered them an ‘up close and personal’ experience as to the soldier’s life. The 52nd Alabama String Band performed in their usually grand manner, as group after group stopped by and listened. The battle scenario brought back the 1863 October engagement, as the reenactors recalled the Confederates being outnumbered 10 to 1, yet dared challenge the Federalists for the land. This general was given the honor of meeting and greeting, along with working the lines during the battle. During the Pass and Review, this fielder felt such a sense of humbleness and was moved to tears, as both the blue and gray offered their salutations to an image of the past. My sincerest compliments to all that participated, attended and supported this wondrous event. With all sincerity and a thankful heart, I do remain your humble servant. Postscript: SGT Ronnie Bowling of the Arthur Camp and David Chaltas of the Caudill Camp represented not only the 5th Kentucky but also the men of Kentucky that came to the aid of their sister state in her time of need. To our ancestors, the men of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry that rode behind the white cross with a blue background, know that YOUR flag flew proudly once again, after a 143 year absence, on the sacred soil of Mosheim.
October 11, 2006 – Faron Sparkman, accompanied by Mark Carroll and Harold McKinney (Cox Camp) set four veteran stones, and one stone on Faron’s great grandmother and Mark’s cousin, Phoebe Amburgey Sparkman. Mrs. Cindy Sherman of the “Lasalle Corbell Pickett” Daughters of the Confederacy Camp, Cleveland Ohio, and Mrs. Debbie Reed of Frenchburg, who were also descendants of Phoebe Sparkman, joined the group for the settings of Phoebe Sparkman, Private William Caudill (Col. Ben’s brother), and Pvt William Ingels of the 13th Ky. Cav., all in Rowan County. After an enjoyable lunch with the ladies, the men traveled to Morgan County and met with John Ison, his son, and another kinsman to set the stones of their ancestors: brothers Hamilton Ison (Pvt, 5th Ky) and Doctor Ison (Pvt, Fields Partisan Rangers of Ky.).
October 6-8, 2006-The morning mist mingled with the smoke for the cannonade, as the dawn was greeted with the beginning fire of the 144th Battle of Perryville. An estimated 7,000 reenactors came from all over the United States and foreign countries to participate in this epic national reenactment. Over 100,000 spectators came over the 2 day period to witness the battle and to visit the 1862 encampment. Unreconstructed performed brilliantly not only in their tent but also under the spectator tent. President Davis and Lincoln held their grand debate. They were escorted by General Lee and Frederick Douglas. Bill and Carla Coleman received a standing ovation with their theatrical performance of The Last Rose and The Haunting War. Sutler row was splendid and the filming of the documentary was good. Our commander David Chaltas represented General Robert E. Lee, as he was the ‘meet and greeter’, escort to the presidents, and line officer during the battle. Those representing the Ben Caudill Camp and the Martha Ashbury Caudill Order of Confederate Rose were Gary Begley, Quentin Childers, Garland Kiser, Mark Patrick, Dave Chaltas, Dale and Cindy Wright, Danny and Sandy Wright. Our salutations to those that hosted the event! It was well done.
September 30, 2006-General Lee offered a presentation to a class from Midway College on the Southeast Community College Campus. The topic included humanities in the classroom and the role of living historians. The presentation was well received. Several more people are now aware of the Caudill Camp endeavors at preserving the rich heritage that we possess.
September 27, 2006-Richard Brown, David Brown and David Chaltas worked at the Sandlick Confederate Cemetery (burial location of several men that died in the hospital at the confluence of Sandlick Creek into the North Fork of the Kentucky River) mowing grass and setting 12 markers. The 4″ wide by 16″ long markers were donated by Don Brown (Dry Fork Market) and the camp had the insignia of the southern cross with unknown soldier engraved upon them. Our goal is to mark each grave with a memorial stone so that they will be remembered as unknown men that offered their all in service to their cause, be it blue or gray. Present day Americans paying homage to Americans of yesteryear.
September 22-24, 2006-The Battle for Morristown was a huge success in spite of the rain and storms. We were able to ‘witness’ to over 2500+ school kids on education day. Meet the generals was wonderful, as H.K. gave a stirring rendition of ‘I am their flag’. He served as General Lee’s color bearer and adjutant on both days. General Longstreet, Jackson, Forrest and Lee were represented. The Church services were held in the 1835 Bethesda Church with max capacity. We also held 2 memorial services on Saturday and Sunday. One service was for the unknown and the other for the 21st Mississippi Infantry, Company C, CSA. The 21st served with General Lee at Seven Pines, Savage’s Station, Malvern Hill, Marye’s Heights, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, 1st day of Gettysburg (they received the highest rate of injury and lost General Barksdale in the struggle), and Chickamauga. SGT. Nathan Andrew Jackson was eulogized also. He was the seven foot flag bearer that made it through all the battles unscaved only to die of smallpox on February 18, 1864, in the church known as Bethesda (House of Mercy). The battle went well and the scenario followed a historical interpretation. Rick Ravel again excelled in his narration of the battle. General Lee and Jackson walked the line with their faithful adjutant, sharing with the crowd personal stories and explaining the action in detail. General Lee told the crowd not to be dismayed or discouraged by the rain, for it was only our Confederate ancestors tears of gratitude, thanking us for remembering. From the general’s point of view, the highlight of the event was when he was given permission to sleep in Bethesda Church that served as a hospital. Several stayed sharing stories and thinking of those boys that died within the walls and the number that asked for forgiveness underneath the roof of that sacred shrine. KENTUCKY remembered! VIRGINIA remembered! NORTH CAROLINA remembered! SOUTH CAROLINA remembered! MISSISSIPPI remembered! GEORGIA remembered! TENNESSEE remembered! All came together to assist Tennessee celebrate their heritage after 142 years. These 3 glorious days in September will be featured in the Civil War Courier so that ALL can remember with a gratitude written in their hearts.
September 23, 2006-Lt. Commander John P. Back attended the Kentucky Division meeting held at Elizabethtown. He submits the following after action report: The meeting at E’town went well. The brigades have been split and several of the new commanders have been appointed. Sam Hatcher- Big Sandy Brigade, Rich Warner- North Central Brigade, Brad McAlpin- Purchase Area Brigade. The Position Of Heritage Defense Director is still open and so far no one has been nominated for the position. The Sam Davis Youth Scholarship Fund was discussed and it was decided that the Ky. Division would fund one scholarship. The 2007 Ky. Division Reunion will be held June 8th, 9th, 10th in Paducah, Ky. at the Executive Inn. Room Rates are $63.00 per night. The number for reservations is (270) 443-8000. On November 11, 2006 a memorial for Elizabeth Wirz will be held in Cadiz, Ky. (Trigg Co.). A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Express. The number for reservations is (270) 522-3700. The Vicksburg Monument was discussed at length. Work is currently under way to gather a list of email addresses for all Ky Division Chaplains
September 18, 2006-Our own General Robert E. Lee was selected to be on a panel discussion for Constitution Day held on the campus of Hazard Community College. The keynote speaker was Dr. Canon, a noted professor a UK. The panel consisted of Dr. Canon, General Lee along with Susan B. Anthony and Ms. Shaffer. Our general reaffirmed the believe that the 10 commandment must never be taken down and that all our symbols that created this great country must remain fast in the hearts of Americans. Two Union soldiers came to offer their support for the cause of freedom (the topic was the Constitution and the 10 Commandments) as well as Ms. Brenda and Ms. Nancy. Gentlemen! We must not falter with the flag. We must not give in to complacency when it comes to defending our country and our rights as southerners. We must continue the cause and make sacrifices so that future generations will remember. That is our charge. That is our duty…..Flyers for the Battle of Leatherwood were given out to the teachers.
September 16-17, 2006-The 145 anniversary of the Battle of Barbourville was a huge success with record crowds and reenactors. The 2 day event entailed Blacksmithing, featuring the East Kentucky Blacksmith Association, rail splitting, making of apple sauce, period photographers, sutlers and skits involving a shotgun wedding, plus a trial of a deserter. The apex of the event was not the picture perfect battles that raged for two days (as described in Adjutant Williamson’s’ After Action Report below) but was the baptism of 4 people turning over their lives to Christ. The total of baptisms this year for our ministry is forty seven! The following men from the Caudill Camp fell in to defend the homeland: Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, Carlos Brock, Wayne Watts (all were on the cannon crew and helping ‘Little Jesse’ bellow his defiance), Matt Chandler, Danny Taylor, Richard Brown, Leathen Whitaker, Tim Blair, Okie Blair, Dale Wright, Danny Wright, Tabby Back, Chris Back (who was baptized!), Darrell Crawford, John Back, and the old general. The ladies in attendance were Cindy Wright, Amy Crawford, Sandy Wright, Debbie Back, and Katie Cowden.
After Action Report submitted by Lt. Les Williamson of the 5th KY Orphan Brigade: The glorious 5th was in action this past weekend. Victorious both days. 45 Muskets were mustered Sunday, A RECORD! We took the bridge both days with limited causalities. The Bluebellies had the bridge blocked with wood both days. The bridge was taken Saturday led by Cpl. Terry Kidd and Sunday led by Cpl. Wrinn and the boys of “The Banjo Mess” The battle of Barbourville was a complete success. I counted 60 total from the 5th present along with two new members who saw the elephant. We were backed up by the new Caudill Battery. More importantly, 4 were baptized today with our Chaplain Back, The good General and Tabby Back helping to lead the way to the cleansing water. Thanks to Captain Ray, 1st Sgt. Ronnie Bowling, Judy, Deb, Chris and Tom for working so hard and making sure the 5th and everyone else was accommodated in every way. Next our troops will march to Perryville, Wildcat and Leatherwood. On to Victory!
September 13, 2006-Gary Begley, David Chaltas, John Back and his wife Debbie represented the interests of the camp in a video to be aired beginning the first week in October. It can be seen on Letcher County Central High School’s channel and will be played for a week. The bulletin board will announce the date and time as soon it is sent to Commander Chaltas
September 12, 2003 – Mark Carroll, Quartermaster, reports that August 2006 was the highest month in the preceding 12, with 55,762 hits and 4,245 visits. Annual visits are about 50,000. Popular pages are the What’s New, Newsletter, Journal, Album, Commander’s Events Schedule, and Chaplain of the Confederacy pages. Saturday, August 12th was the largest volume day with 4,214 hits.
September 9, 2003 – Faron Sparkman reports our new number for stones set is 823, and we now have 81 set in Floyd County.
September 2-3, 2006-The first annual Battle of Tazewell was a complete success! The battle took place on the actual field in which 5,000 Confederate troops fought 3,000 Federal soldiers and swept them from the field. Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Back participated in the 2 day event. Commander Chaltas talked to representatives from Lincoln Memorial University (Carol and Mr. Roop) and they wish to have an event next year. They are also willing to carry our books at their museum. Commander Chaltas portrayed General Lee and offered 2 presentations on Lee’s perspective of the war. On Sunday, Division Chaplain Chaltas, East Kentucky Brigade Chaplain Back and Doc Andy of the Southern Guard united in a stirring church service on What is Your Purpose? General Lee introduced Chaplain back to the world Master of Ceremony, as both gave a play by play of the contest. An excellent event with potential for growth in the coming years.
September 3, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown and Chad Brown worked on the gazebo and added new laminated pictures to the four display cases. The gazebo is now complete with pictures of the area, local reenactments and a map of the Battle of Pound Gap. The Caudill Camp still leads the way!
August 29, 2006-Richard Brown and David Chaltas represented the camp’s interest on via the radio airwaves (103.9, the Bulldog) on the Round Table Show. It was well received, as they discussed the accomplishments of the Ben Caudill Camp and the future projects that will be undertaken.
August 26, 2006-Richard Brown, Tim Blair, Okie Blair, David Lucas, David Lucas, Jr., Roger Hall, Kenny Cantrell, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong, Johnny P. and Debbie Back participated in the Jenkins Day Festivities. Willis and Manon fired the camp cannon to start the parade and fired it again, as the 13th KY and 5th KY men marched by. The announcers introduced the soldiers of yesteryear. The company fired several rounds to the delight of the audience. An information tent and table was set up and several flyers and applications were distributed to interested parties.
August 26-27, 2006-Gary N. Begley and David Chaltas represented the Caudill Camp and the 5th KY this weekend at the Battle of Richmond. The event was excellent with approximately 300 reenactors. The old general worked the line and assisted in introducing General Kirby Smith. The event was well attended.
August 21, 2006 NOTICE OF CHANGE OF MEETING LOCATION! Effective September 21, 2006, (3rd Thursday) monthly meeting will be held at the Letcher County Education Center located at the Vocational School on 185 Circle Loop, Whitesburg, KY. and continue meeting at that location until further notice. If you have any questions feel free to call the following phone number: 633-5559
August 18-20, 2006-Our congratulations goes out to the citizens of Saltville for an OUTSTANDING reenactment! Captain Hunt and Lawson performed their chores with great success as the hosts of said event. Our congratulations goes out to all that were involved. The Battle of Saltville was well attended by the men of camp #1629. The 5th Ky, Company F was represented by Tim Blair, Okie Blair, Richard Brown, Manton Ray Cornett, Willis Strong, Carlos Brock, Leathen Whitaker, Quentin Childers, Garland Kiser, Gary Begley (along with his wife) and John P. Back with his wife. Willis, Carlos and Manton Ray did an outstanding job working our artillery piece and firing ‘Little Jesse’ into the enemy during the battle on Saturday Richard, Okie, Tim and Leathen joined the Southern Guard in an effort to represent their ancestors that fought in the actual October 1864 battle. All were interviewed by the Civil War Courier and pictures were taken for a possible upcoming article. Robert E. Lee (Commander David Chaltas) was one of the town criers, presented to the audience both days, was the line officer and narrator of the battle. But the highlight of the event was an actual baptism. On August 20, 2006, people witnessed yet another miracle, as fourteen came forward during the church service to make a confession of faith and to seek the cleansing water of the river. Parson James Smith, Chaplain Gary Walker and KY Division Chaplain Chaltas offered up a sermon and were the instruments used by God to bring others to Christ. Channel 5 covered most of the events of the day, as well as several newspapers
August 17, 2006-Richard M. Smith and David Chaltas gave a performance at the beautiful auditorium located in the new Letcher County Central High School to a group of students. Richard took on the persona of William “Stiller” Bill Caudill and the commander was in the persona of General Lee. The topic was reconstruction and its effects upon the south. The program was taped and will air next week via channel 59 and 43. We owe a debt of gratitude for Richard’s portrayal of a 13th man.
August 17 – Faron Sparkman, Mark Carroll, and Harold McKinney of the Cox Camp set four stones in three counties, and found to more grave sites of Kentucky CSA Veterans, one of which was the grave of William Caudill, brother of Colonel Ben E Caudill, in the Old City Cemetery in Morehead.
August 14 – Faron Sparkman and Mark Carroll set a stone for Pvt Hebird Powell, a member of Co K 13th Cavs, and Co A 2nd Mounted Inf, CSA.
August 13, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown and Glenn Brown cut the grass at the Pound Gap Monument. They also picked up 3 bags of garbage from the large trashcan at the site. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
August 12, 2006-Adjutant Brown and Wayne Watts assisted with the KIDS DAY at Mike Caudill’s farm at UZ, KY. Over 70 kids were in attendance. They represented well the Caudill cause and vision.
August 12, 2006-A new chapter of the Order of the Confederate Rose was chartered in Whitesburg, Kentucky.. The Chapter is named in honor of Martha Asbury Caudill, the wife of Colonel Ben Caudill. The Charter has been started with 12 members, making it the largest OCR charter in the state of Kentucky. The Charter President is Debbie Back, the vice president is Sandy Wright. General Lee was the guest speaker and reminded us all of the vital role of the ladies during and AFTER the War Between the States in preserving the good name of the Confederate soldier. If any ladies are interested in joining, please contact Ms. Debbie or Ms. Sandy at 606-633-3331.
August 3, 2006-The First National is flying proudly over the War Between the States Monument due to the efforts of Adjutant Richard Brown and his father, Glenn Brown. The 20′ flagpole is prominent on the horizon as you ascend the hill (by Westwood and the Housing Project), as you head in and out of Whitesburg
July 29-30, 2006-Over the weekend, Richard Marion Smith edited the book entitled Confederate Kin for the Ben Caudill Camp. This is the 3rd revision and with one more, the book should be ready for publication. Twenty-five copies will be ordered and sold on a first come, first served basis. Those that purchase the book will be asked to edit it prior to its global release. Thank you Richard for sacrificing your weekend to assist on this camp project.
August 1, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown and Commander Chaltas assisted in taking the 20′ flagpole to the Civil War Cemetery (located at West Wood). It was purchased from Breedings. It will be placed to the right of the monument this week.
July 31, 2006-Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Back communicated with the American Electric Company regarding the setting of the residential electric post. A nightlight will be set along with an electrical outlet so that spotlights and accent lights can be run to the flagpoles.
July 29-30, 2006-Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General R. E. Lee, represented the Caudill Camp at the annual Tomato Festival Living History held in Rutledge, Tennessee. He greeted groups of people talking about the war and in particular the sacrifices of the mountain people of eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia, and eastern Tennessee. General Forrest, Longstreet, and Jackson accompanied him, as did several members of different companies from Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky to offer a living history presentation to a large crowd of spectators
July 22, 2006-The Grey Confederate Skies offered tears of gratitude as a few dedicated descendants braved the slick hill to offer their respects at a dedication honoring the memory of SGT Thomas Stephens SR.. The dedication was opened via a word of prayer by KY Division Chaplain Chaltas, followed by welcoming and recognition of guests and scripture reading from Joshua 4: 5-10 and Psalms 22:28. My Southern Heritage was also shared by Commander Chaltas and a poem was read by Mrs. Judith Hall, direct descendent of SGT Stephens. A eulogy was offered by Captain Atlas Hall followed by The Charge and a military salute. Taps was played by Mrs. Hall’s son. The family was grateful to Commander Sam Hatcher and Commander Chaltas for their participation in the event. Special thanks to Captain Hall for his unselfish dedication and sacrifice in honoring yet another man of the south.
July 21, 2006 Historian Faron Sparkman: We got a new Confederate stone set today: Pvt. John Harris, Co. A, Diamond’s 10th KY. Cav. He served previously in Co. E, 5th KY. Infantry. He received Confederate Pension #4403. Pvt. John Harris is buried at the Harris Cemetery across from the boat ramp off Rt. 321 from Lancer at the Jenny Wiley State Park. His real name was John Wesley Harris but because of his “blue-black” hair he was more often known as John Blue Harris or John B. Harris. Floyd 74, total 806
July 14, 2006-ANNOUNCING THE PLACEMENT OF A MONUMENT HONORING THOSE THAT DIED IN HOSPITALS! Compatriots Richard Brown, Glenn Brown, Wendell Brown and David Brown assisted Appalachian Monument Company is erected the monument to our War Between the States soldiers that died of injuries and diseases during that war. The monument honoring those that died while in the Civil War Hospital (located at the confluence of the Sandlick and North Fork) has been erected! The 6’ monument towers on the apex of the hill and behind it on a 16×16 granite stone is the prose, “I Asked God” that was found on the body of a Confederate soldier after a battle. A granite bench with the words ‘Deo Vindice’ and ‘Laus Deo’ engraved on its side is in place for reflective moments. I consider this achievement a grand tribute to those of yesteryear that rest in soil ‘known but to God’ and it is yet another example of our commitment to honoring our ancestors for generations to come. The grounds had once again been mowed by the Brown family and is in great shape.
July 13, 2006-Commander Chaltas and Lt. Commander Back met with the American Power Company at Pound Gap to discuss obtaining nightlights at the monument. The full report is listed under the Lt. Commander’s report of the July newsletter. They also checked on the cemetery monument to the erected at the mouth of Sandlick (Graveyard Holler) and it is completed. It will be installed this week! For a limited time, the monument can be viewed at the Appalachian Monument Company
July 11, 2006-Willis Strong, Ray M. Cornett, Johnny P. Back and David Chaltas represented the Caudill Camp during the PBS taping of the events that occurred in and around Saltville, Virginia during the War Between The States. The taping was on location at the King Stuart House and
July 10, 2006-Commander Chaltas and Ross Fleming attended the Letcher County Fiscal Court and presented the proposed 5 year budget for the Pound Gap Monument (attached-click here). Also presented was the invoice for the Grand Military Ball that will be held on the St. Robinson Campus (Cavalry College) on October 28, 2006.
July 8-9, 2006-General Lee was invited attend the reunion of the descendents of the 43rd Tennessee that was held at Kingston, Tennessee. He participated in the presentation/dedication to honor the ancestors as well as the descendents of the 43rd. Descendents came fro Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and as far as Nevada. Cards were given out for the Ben Caudill Camp’s website. The mission of spreading the word of Caudill’s Army continues….
July 5, Historian Sparkman reports new numbers: total stones set – 805 13th set – 548 13th burial sites- 784 Floyd County – 73 Johnson County – 12 Knott County – 97 Letcher County – 126 Morgan County – 87
July 4, 2006-The 1st on the 4th of July Parade held at 12:01 A. M. in Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a fabulous success. The Southern Guard was in the lead position (following the fire trucks and ambulances) as our own General Lee was escorted by 50 Confederate soldiers and Southern Belles to the delight of the estimated 150,000-200,000 capacity crowd. Our own General Lee worked the crowd and told them that the disposition of the men in gray was to fire above the heads of the crowd if they applauded loudly but if the made no noise, they might fire at a lower elevation! Their response was loud and full of merriment in the celebration of our country’s independence from England. The Southern Guard offered volleys at intervals to the delight of the audience and the crowd’s response was a tremendous roar of approval. A child from the audience was selected out of the audience to give the command to fire the muskets. The parade ran from light 3a through 10 and was estimated to be 2 miles in length. The flags of the South intermixed with the Red, White and Blue were honored as Americans saluted Americans on this 1st parade of the 4th in this nation. The battalion was so well received that they were invited back for next year’s event. Well done ladies and gentlemen of the South!
July 2, 2006-The Pound Gap Mountain Monument flags were changed out to honor America during the celebration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The monument has seen several visitors from different states and is quickly becoming a beacon for tourism within Letcher County. Well done Caudill men!
July 1, 2006-A memorial dedication was held at the Old Herald Cemetery to honor 4 Confederate Veterans that are buried at that location Prior to the dedication a wondrous lunch was served at the Cow Creek Church and an estimated crowd of over 500 were in attendance to listen to descendants share stories. The actual dedication began with a welcome by Commander Chaltas in the role of General Lee, posting of the colors and invocation by Lt. Commander Back. Introductory comments were given by Ms. Emma Lou Martin and the unveiling of the markers were by the descendants of those being honored. Another young man by the name of Brice placed flowers at the head of each marker. The mountain tradition of placing Wild flowers on graves was explained by Lt. Commander Back. Eulogies were read by the 5th KY, Co. E and 13th KY men for James Crager, John Wesley Herald, William Oney Herald, and David Y. Kendrick. The sacred ritual of “We Drink From the Same Canteen” was presented along with a poem entitled The Volley written by Commander Chaltas. The military salute began with Colonel Adkins 6 pounder and the Caudill Camp ‘Little Jesse’ followed by 3 volleys from the muskets and cannons. The tolling of the bell was followed by Amazing Grace was performed on the Bagpipes. Benediction was offered by East Kentucky Brigade Chaplain Back. Our thanks to the east Kentucky Brigade Camps and all those that supported this wondrous event. A special thanks of gratitude is offered to the 5th KY, Come under the command of Corporal Terry for their participation and commitment to the cause.
June 29, 2006-General Lee made an appearance at the McRoberts Elementary School for their summer youth program. The students ranged in grades from preschool through sixth grade. Ms Angie, Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Earls treated the ole general with much kindness. The kids were wonderful.
June 27, 2006-Lt Commander Back and Commander Chaltas attended an SCV meeting at the May House last night. Commander Hatcher was a gracious host and a great time of reflection and planning for future events were held by all.
June 24, 2006, Johnson Co. KY. CAUDILL CAMP & SPARKMAN REACH MILESTONES
Two major milestones were reached on a steep hillside deep in the woods in a remote part of Johnson County Kentucky with the setting of the Caudill Camp 800th Confederate marker and also the 500th personally for camp historian and former commander Faron Sparkman. The marker is for Pvt. John Calvin Walters, who served in Co.K, 13th KY. Cavalry and is buried in the Goose Branch Cemetery near Tutor Key. Walters served throughout the war, first in Co.E of the original 5th KY. Infantry and then in the 13th until surrendering at Mt. Sterling on April 30, 1865. Sparkman, who was assisted by Joe Skeens of Prestonsburg and also by Mickey Goble, said this was a significant day in the preservation of our Eastern Kentucky Confederate history. The remarkable milestones were reached in a little over ten years.
June 24, 2006 Compatriot Darrell Crawford, along with his Father-in-law Charles Whisman set a Confederate stone in the Whisman Cemetery on Island Fork. The Confederate stone of Pvt. Henderson Whisman 5th Ky Infantry Company D was set in Rowan Co. KY. Pvt. Whisman enlisted at Prestonsburg, KY on October 19,1861 at the May House. He was Discharged at Gladesville(Wise) Va. He never took oath of allegiance to the United States Government. He was in several skirmishes and Battles. He served for a little over a year. The Confederate Adjutant General’s Report has his name listed as Whistman,Wm. H.H. His nickname was “Hens”(pronounced Hence). William Henderson “Hens” Whisman. Henderson was Born Jan. 22,1844 in Letcher Co. KY to David Crockett Whisman and Nancy Holcomb in the Line Fork area of Letcher County. Henderson married Derrina Fannin in 1866. Also, a second Confederate stone was set by Compatriot Darrell Crawford along with his Father,Clarence Crawford and assisted by Mr. Charles Whisman. The stone was set in Clearfield, Ky. on Dry Creek Rd. in the Franklin-Caudill Cemetery. The Confederate stone of Pvt. William DeBord 63rd VA Infantry Company K was set also in Rowan Co. KY. Pvt. Henderson Whisman is the Great Great Grandfather of Amy Whisman-Crawford, who is a member of The Order of the Confederate Rose. Pvt. William DeBord is the Great Great Grandfather of Compatriot Darrell Crawford, who is a member of The Col. Ben Caudill Camp #1629. Thanks to Mr. Faron Sparkman, Harold and Henrietta McKinney for there assistance in making this happen.
June 23, 2006-The long awaited book CONFEDERATE KIN, volume 1 is now on line. After the final proof copies are approved, it will be ready for global distribution. Go to lulu.com and then type in Confederate Kin, ben caudill or chaltas and it should go to a storefront. Another feather in the Caudill Camp’s hat….
June 22,2006-BREAKING NEWS! The 3×6 monument for the Whitesburg Civil War Cemetery (located at the mouth of Sandlick-Westwood) is in and should be etched by next week! Lt. Commander John Back and Commander Chaltas went by and looked at it. Also the bench is engraved and ready to be set. The Camp continues to lead the way in honoring our ancestors. Thanks to all the ladies and gentlemen that support our sacred endeavors
June 22-24, 2006-Our own Richard M. Smith and his lovely wife Libby attended the End of the Trail in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 3 day WORLD S.A.S.S. competition resulted in Ms. Libby (known nationally as No Purse Ness) winning her second consecutive title as Ladies Frontier Cartridge World Campaign! That lady of the South can shoot! Richard “Cherokee Big Dog” came in at a very impressive 16th in his category of World Class Frontier Cartridge Duelist. The Ben Caudill Camp #1629 as well as the state of Kentucky offers their congratulations to the couple and we offer a hardy rebel yell showing our pride in the continuation of a wondrous southern tradition of excelling in our endeavors..
June 20, 2006-LT. Commander John P. Back and his wife Ms. Debbie attended a meeting in Wise, Virginia, to address the cost of a flagpole the the Virginia camps. They also inquired about the location as well as a stone to be used at the base to identify the camp that purchased the stone. A very productive meeting.
June 20, 2006-Commander Chaltas, in the persona of General Lee, addressed several people from Illinois that are in Kentucky working on a SWAP program. They are residing in the Presbyterian Church at Isom, KY while they are repairing homes in Letcher county. The program was well received.
June 14, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown and his father, Glenn Brown mowed the Civil War Cemetery that is located at the mouth of Sandlick at Graveyard Holler. The graveyard is looking great thanks to their continued efforts.
June 11, 2005 – Faron Sparkman reports: Carlos Brock and I set the 90th Confederate marker in Perry County on June 7th, bringing our new total to 796. Here are the updated numbers for the web: Total set – 796 13th set – 546 13th burial sites located – 774 Perry County – 90
June 3, 2006-The following after action report submitted by PVT Darrell Crawford: Recently we attended the re-enactment of the Battle of Jonesville, Va. On Sat. morning about 200 Confederate re-enactors performed a Confederate Cemetery Dedication in Jonesville. We were all lined up at the edge of the cemetery. We (5th Ky Inf. Co.E) knew that we were standing behind a Confederate Soldier’s Grave, but we could not see the name on the stone. After the ceremony we were asked to put some wildflowers on the Confederate Graves. My Wife and I walked up to the stone we were standing behind, she noticed immediately that it read…5th KY Co E. All of us from Co E Honored, Saluted and shed a few tears for this Confederate Hero, Woodford Cull. It was such an Honor to have been there by his side. I know that he knew we were there, because, how ironic that we were standing directly behind his Grave. He meant for us to be there.
June 2-4, 2006-Compatriots Danny Wright (along with his wife Sandy and 2 daughters), Leathen Whitaker, Tabby Back (Rosetta), Richard Brown, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Roger Hall, John P. Back (and Ms. Debbie), Darrell Crawford (and Ms. Amy) and David Chaltas (Ms. Melissa) participated in the 14th annual reenactment of the Battle of Jonesville. They fought with the 5th Kentucky ‘Orphan Brigade’ in which they are members. The Caudill Camp members remembered their ancestors that fought on January 3, 1864 that was one of the coldest days of the war, being from 0 to -6 degrees. Yet 100 men led by Captain David J. Caudill made the march to support the 64th in their efforts to push the invaders from Virginia’s soil. Our own General Lee along with General Jackson, General Forrest and General Longstreet offered presentations. General Lee was chosen to be the narrator of the battle to the large audience. He offered a step by step narration of the events unfolding upon the battlefield. The dedication to the unknown Confederate was well attended on Saturday, though the Sunday dedication saw only a few remembering those men in blue that are buried in the sacred soil in which Confederate soldiers are also buried. But where two or more are gathered, He is in the midst of them and our ancestors smiled. The 14th annual Battle of Jonesville was a complete success and is considered to be one of the best ‘reenactor friendly’ events in the tri-state region. Great job Colonel Parsons and all those that worked so hard to offer a true historical weekend. Looking forward to next year!
June 1, 2006-Compatriot Mike Tyree and his wife Debbie were the recipients of the coveted General Lee Service Award presented to them for their selfless dedication to the cause of preserving the good name of our ancestors. They have donated 3 beautiful quilts over the last two years that enabled us to raise funds for the Pound Gap Memorial and other projects for the our people’s education. congratulations to Mike and Ms. Debbie for your efforts!
May 29, 2006-The Colonel Ben E. Caudill Camp #1629 had the honor of placing 2 wreaths at the Whitesburg Veterans Memorial to pay homage to all of our heroes that were willing to offer their lives on the altar of freedom. God bless our veterans!
May 27, 2006-Glenn Brown, David Brown, Richard Brown and Faron Sparkman set 5 tombstones at the following locations: two at the Sandlick ‘Civil War’ Hospital Cemetery, one at Wise, one at Big Stone Gap and one near Pennington Gap. This puts the total of stones set by the Caudill Camp at 795! Congratulations men for the outstanding service to the cause of remembering our ancestors!
May 27, 2006-Commander Chaltas was honored at the Coal Miners Memorial Service (Jackhorn, KY) by receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for his research contributions regarding Letcher County Miners killed while attempting to make a living for their family. He was also privileged to read the names of the 349+ miners known to have been killed in mining accidents from Letcher County, as the crowd walked silently around the monument with candles in the twilight hour preceding nightfall. It was a very moving experience for all.
May 23, 2006-Richard Brown and Glenn Brown mowed the reclaimed Civil War Whitesburg Hospital Cemetery. It is looking great! Adjutant Brown reported that Compatriot Jerry Wells donated $500 towards the 3×6′ monument that will be placed on that location. We are appreciative of his contributions and proud that he is a brother. Adjutant Brown, Glenn Brown, David Brown, Ross Fleming, Leathan Whitaker, and David Chaltas met at the Pound Gap Monument and placed 66 additional rails along the apex of the hill leading down to the future Welcome Center. They also cut the grass, weeds and picked up the trash. Our thanks for The Letcher County Work Release Program will mow the area by Route 23.
May 19-21, 2006-Our camp ambassador took the Caudill Cause to Sacramento, Kentucky for ‘Forrest’s First’ reenactment. Friday was education day and the general served as escort to President Davis, President Lincoln and the first ladies, speaking to the children, parents, teachers and audience about the Christian virtues of General Lee. Rick Ravel did a wondrous performance and entertained the crowd with his persona of a civil war soldier. Mean Mary and Frank walked the battlefield singing and playing for the crowd of people with haunting melodies that mesmerized the masses. Saturday’s prelude to the battle saw speeches on stage, meandering through Sutler Row and the Vendors, singing by Mean Mary and Frank as they serenaded the audience with their unique style (they will be appearing at the 2006 Leatherwood event!), General Lee setting the stage for the main attraction, as Rick expertly narrated each phase of the battle. The actual battle performance was flawless and the men performed in the manner worthy of their ancestors. Sunday was a reflection of Saturday with each event running smoothly. Overall, the Battle of Sacramento is a fabulous event worth placing on your calendar!
May 15, 2006-The check for $500.00 was delivered for the abatement on the cleanup campaign at the Gap last month. It was deposited into the general fund. Thanks men for the outstanding work on the mountain.
May 12-14, 2006-The 1st annual reenactment of Bean Station was a complete success. The educational day was flawless with several hundred student and teachers attending. The event kicked off with an orientation followed by a wagon ride to the 10+ stations that were present. Each group was escorted to their respective stations and a pistol shot indicated that it was time to wrap it up and the second shot was for the groups to rotate. The highlight for our commander came when a portrait was unveiled honoring the image of General Lee kneeling in prayer. It was truly a moment that our general was moved to tears with gratitude and was speechless. The portrait is by Marie Marlette and can be purchased and/or viewed at the following address: Saturday’s dawn was greeted by over 250 reenactors encamped upon the Ritter Farm anticipating the battle. The weather cooperated fully. The audience walked through the stations, vendors and sutlers anticipating the forthcoming battle. The engagement began at 2:00 and followed the scenario of the actual battle of Bean Station. A crowd of 2,000 witnessed the event that had transpired over 143 years ago and left satisfied with the days action. Lt. Commander John Back, his wife and Doctor Breeding’s girls were in attendance along with Bob Bathis. The Ladies Aid Society was well represented by Ms. Brenda Nease, April Nease, Debbie Fugate and Ms. Lilly (Janet Cornett). Sunday saw another grand day with 2 church services offered by Chaplain Andy McGinnis (known as Doc) and Parson James. Chaplain Chaltas shared his thoughts. The large congregation was appreciative and honored Mothers by saying their names and telling what mothers meant to them. The following After Action Report has been submitted by Chaplain Back. On May 13th, 2006 the first engagement of the Battle of Bean Station was held after an absence of over 130+ years at Ritter Farms. Confederate forces led by General Longstreet engaged Union forces on a long rolling meadow on the Ritter farm. The action was very intense. A unit made up of 5th KY troops and 37th Va. troops commanded by Col. Jerry Parsons came under heavy fire and received many causalities. All drummer boys were lost to enemy fire along with a large part of the officer corps. Finally even the surgeon and chaplain were killed in the line of duty. However under the gallant command of our surviving officer Corp our brave boys managed to rally and carry the day.
May 12, 2006-David Brown and Glenn Brown went to Lowes and picked up the rails for the expansion of the fence at the Gap. A working will be held this week in order to place and the extension. Thanks compatriots!
May 11, 2006-After final revision, Adjutant Richard Brown met with Appalachian Monument and submitted the wording for the Whitesburg Hospital Civil War Monument. It will be 6′ tall by 3′ wide and have a bench with Laus Deo and Deo Vindice on each side.
May 10, 2006-Commander Chaltas submitted a proposed future cost budget to the Fiscal Court. It entails the 3 year plan of having a walkway to the Welcome Center, parking area expansion, a scenic overlook, maintenance and night light for the Pound Gap Project.
May 7-9, 2006-Our own General Lee had the honor of being chosen as the Masters of Ceremony at the Battle for Columbia during school days. He spoke to over 1,000 school children and offered a stirring presentation on the flags of the Confederacy. The Caudill Flag waved proudly beside the Army of Northern Virginia’s symbol and 8 other. He introduced the artillery dual and hosted the duel between north and south. At the 1:00 presentation, a naval jack was presented to H. K. Edgerton from the Caudill Camp by Commander Chaltas to honor H. K.’s work for the true history of the south. On Saturday the day began with talking to several reenactors and the audience with a 10 til 1:30 dedication at the Elmwood Cemetery and the final reading of the 20,000 war dead (the reading of the names began at the capital steps on Friday morning) and the laying of the wreath. The Palmetto Battalion offered the military salute for the UDC. The SCV dedication began at 12:00 and the guest speakers were Lt. Commander Sullivan, S. C. Commander Burbage, UDC President General of South Carolina offered words of encouragement and pride. The Battle for Columbia was exceptional as the pyrotechs exploded in air and threw pine trees several feet into the air as the cannon duel mesmerized the audience. The men fought gallantly at the breastworks and fields as the audience cheered and waved flags in approval of the grandiose reenactment. That evening, the filming of Firetrail continued as it reached its apex of burning the city of Columbia with a full crew of reenactors from both sides and citizens attempted to defend or burn the city. The audience was entranced at the sounds, smells and sights of the twilight burning. A grand Friday and Saturday. Sunday was greeted by the church service with approximately 100 people in attendance. Four chaplains assisted in the service as Chaplain Miller offered a sermon. Then our general drove 70 miles to Manning, South Carolina to participate in the Confederate Memorial Day and offered a passionate presentation on General Order #9. Gene Hogan, Lt. Commander of the South Carolina Division and Commander Burbage spoke on the history and heritage of the south. Thanks to all for their outstanding hard work and for taking such great care of our general. He offers his compliments and deepest devotion to you all with nothing but praise for your pride in our heritage.
April 30, 2006- Cumberland Gap, Tennessee; as submitted by 5th Ky Lt. Williamson-This past weekend we pushed the Northern invaders from our beloved Gap. We were given orders to be pushed all the way to the Iron furnace. I say with pride that we were the ones who did the pushing during the battle. With Confederate officers not being present we as the 5th Kentucky decided to take matters into our own hands and win the battle. Captain Adkins looked at me and the men and said, “Let’s do it” and we did. It was a proud day. On Sunday the battle at LMU was shaping up to be the same thing. Cpl. Wrinn and 2nd Sgt. Bowling took out a Yankee sniper at about 1000 yards. Major Ravanam of the 63rd yelled, “It is no use, the Yank is out of our range!” I yelled back to him, “No he is not we’re Kentuckians” this came to much of the delight of the crowd. We kept our colors safe. The dedication of Sgt. Major Gaddis’s colors was the highlight. I know Luther was proud. The “Cross Flag” that Luther loved flew over the battlefield for the first time Sunday and was given the honor of flying in his memory. Everybody had a great time and we mustered a record number for us at the Cumberland Gap event with a total of 28 muskets.
April 30, 2006-Braving the wind and rain of Chicago, Commander Chaltas attended the services of those men that are entombed at Oakwood Cemetery that died while imprisoned at Camp Douglas during the War Between the States. Newly elected Illinois Division Commander Barr was a gracious host and though troubled by bad weather, offered words of reflection regarding those 6,000 men that did not return home. Camp Douglas (known as 80 acres of hell by the prisoners) is the largest mass grave site of Confederate prisoners north of the Ohio River. Commander Chaltas sprinkled soil from Kentucky and Virginia to honor all Kentucky and Virginia men that died at Camp Douglas. He stated he now knew that his boys didn’t die from disease, torture or other impairments but rather they died from a broken heart. He also stated that he came to pay his respects but now was confident that the fallen heroes’ spirits would follow him home.
April 29, 2006-With a Confederate Gray sky, the annual memorial service at Crown Hill (Indianapolis) began with opening comments by Indiana Division Commander Mertz (his speech can be viewed here). Dignitaries were recognized and wreaths were placed around the plaques containing the engraved names of over 1616 men buried in a mass grave. Mr. Barrows (SCV Historian in Chief) offered a passionate speech followed by a military salute. Commander Chaltas (in the persona of General Lee) was given an honorary membership by the Indiana Division for his contributions to the cause. Sacred soil from Kentucky was sprinkled around the plaques by Compatriot Ray Kenneth Amburgey as General Lee read the names. Over 30 people went to a local Applebee’s to share a few moments together prior to departing to parts unknown. Indiana Division Commander Mertz once again honored the general in buying his lunch. Read Commander Mertz speech attached:
April 24, 2006-Our General Lee represented the camp as he spoke to children that attend the Providence Elementary School located in Winchester, Kentucky. He was escorted to the Bluegrass Museum and Guerrant Mountain Mission that was founded by E.O. Guerrant. The museum staff was very cordial and offered a private tour for those assisting in the presentation. At 7:00 he had the honor of being the keynote speaker following the opening statements of KY Division Lt. Commander Rucker, W. Guerrant opening prayer with comments, General John Hunt Morgan (Bill Nordan), author Curt Steger reading a poem about Lee and followed by a passionate address from the general. Approximately seventy people attended the event. The Guerrant Museum and Mountain Mission with Bed and Breakfast is located on 21 Valentine Court, Winchester, Kentucky.
April 23, 2006-Gary Begley, Danny Wright, Tabby Back, John P. Back, Danny Taylor, and David Chaltas met at the old Stuart Robinson (Calvary College) campus for a photo opportunity. Several ladies graced the campus as a professional photographer took several hundred promotional pictures for the upcoming events. After the session, a wonderful dinner was served and the Leatherwood Reenactment Committee convened to discuss progress.
April 22, 2006-General Lee attended the Ramsey House event out of Knoxville and was selected to entertain the crowd prior to the battle and to moderate the battle. The event went well and the tour of the house was exceptional. The Ramsey house was built in 1797 and was owned by a Confederate soldier during the war.
April 20, 2006-The Letcher County Work Release Program cut the grass and weeds at the Pound Gap Monument. Gary Cornett and his officers have been very supportive and we do appreciate their commitment to our monument honoring our ancestors.
April 13, 2006-Compatriot Darrell Crawford submits the following After Action Report: Darrell Crawford assisted by Karen Prater (genealogist in Fleming County) has rediscovered 51 original Confederate Pensions and have located 20 gravesites to date! . The pensions were found in a corner of the courthouse inside an old box. Some of the Confederate soldiers information belonged to the following units: 5th KY. Inf. / 3rd Ky Batt. Mtd. Rifles / 9th KY Mtd. Rifles / 4th KY Mtd. Inf. / 2nd Batt. Mtd. Rifles / 9th KY Regt. Cav. / 24th VA Inf. / 60th VA Inf. / 36th VA Batt. Cav. / 54th VA Inf. / 45th VA Inf. / 29th VA Regt. / 22nd VA Regt. Mtd. Inf. and a Col. Ben Caudill’s 13th Regt.KY Cav. Soldier. They are confident that more gravesites discovered as the team continues to research this tremendous treasure. Our hats are off to the men and women dedicated in preserving the heritage of our ancestors!
April 11, 2006-Compatriot Raymond Isaacs built an extremely nice sign in podium that he attached to the gazebo. It is made of oak and is capable of holding a 8 1/2 x 11′ signature notebook. He also rearranged the brochure holders to make the center more pleasing to the eye. Well done Sir! Also the electric pole and night light is scheduled to be placed behind the gazebo next week which will afford lighting on the flags and adjutant parking area.
April 10, 2006-The following entry was submitted to the Staff Journal: Caudill Camp member Richard Smith has taken a part-time position with Kentucky Valley Educational Co-Op, teaching War Between the States history at adult education centers in the eight-county region they serve. His focus, a local view of the War, is being used to help students prepare for the history segment of the GED exam. The attempt is being made to use, to the student’s advantage, the fact that most people who are native to the region are related to at least one WBTS veteran. Students are encouraged to make the connection, through family research, to veterans who served in the 1861-1865 conflict, providing them reason to buy into, not only family history, but the history of the area and nation, as well. Hopefully, for the student who recognizes the significant contributions of their ancestors, the acquisition of the GED will become not just an end in itself, but a stepping-stone to life-long learning.
April 7-11, 2006. Mark Carroll reports that he and Bill James of the Cox Camp traveled to Richmond to march in the annual Confederate parade. En route they stopped at Lexington to visit the Lee Chapel, and while there said the Litany from the same version of the 1789 Prayer Book that Lee used in his family pew and also paid respects at General Jackson’s grave. Unfortunately it was rained out the next day, and so they visited Stratford, the birthplace of Lee, Washington’s Birthplace, Fredericksburg, and many battle sites around Front Royal and Winchester.
April 6, 2006-Several members of the Ben Caudill Camp braved the wind on the mountain to kick off their annual Adopt a Highway Campaign. The band cleaned around the monument and over the hill, gathering 5 bags of trash and 13 old tires that had been discarded years ago. Another group descended the mountain making a 5 mile sweep of trash. The total number of bags of trash gathered was 40 and 13 tires (3 on rims). Our thanks goes out to the following people: Richard Brown, Glen Brown, Willis Strong, Quinton Childers, John P. Back, Debbie Back, Garland Kinzer , Jeremy Jones, Charles Stanley, Shane Bentley, and David Chaltas. Raymond Isaac came by to discuss the gazebo project (a visitor sign-in podium) that he is building and Danny Wright, Sandy Wright, Brooke Cowden, and Katie Cowden assisted at the monument.
April 5, 2006-Lt. Commander Back and Commander Chaltas worked on obtaining a night light at the Pound Gap Monument, developed a rough draft promotion flyer to give to businesses, met with Appalachian Monument to discuss future panels to be engraved and worked on a memorial service. Denny and John of Appalachian Monument accompanied Commander Chaltas on the mountain and set the 5th panel on the base with the sides. The panel and base are courtesy of Kincer Drilling Company. Forty-eight more men are now remembered in stone including Stonewall Jackson, E.O. Guerrant, The Bates, Halls, and Hibbard. Also a post office box was secured for the camp. The following is the new address: Colonel Ben E. Caudill Camp #1629—-Box 1102—-71 Highway 119 South—-Whitesburg, KY 41858
April 3, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown, Glenn Brown, Past Commander Faron Sparkman and Commander Chaltas had the honor of setting a marker for 2nd Sergeant Andrew J. Green of Company K, 5th Kentucky. The military markers for PVT. Fountain Goodpaster of Company A and PVT John Alfred Hewlett. Company C (also of the 5th Kentucky) were set by Richard Brown and Faron Sparkman last week. The markers are inline with Lt. Fitzpatrick. They are buried at the old WBTS hospital cemetery located in a section of the Westwood Cemetery, Whitesburg, Kentucky. Plans are being developed for a 6′ monument, 20′ flag pole and rail fence to honor the location of the resting place of the soldiers that died in the Whitesburg hospital.
April 1-2, 2006-The celebration of Confederate Memorial Days began with a rousing successful event at the Bleak House in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Bleak House (Confederate Memorial Hall) was the headquarters of General Longstreet during the Tennessee campaign. It is located on Kingston Pike off Alcoa Highway. An encampment featuring living historians was set up next to Kingston Pike affording several thousand travelers a brief glimpse into the past. Several hundred people stopped and toured the grounds and house. Presentations in the very room that Longstreet used as his office was given by General Forrest, General Jackson, and General Lee cemented the tour. Channel 8 interviewed General Lee along with others involved along with an impromptu skit featuring General Jackson, Forrest and Lee. General Longstreet made a brief appearance as well as General Cleburne. On Sunday Kentucky Division Chaplain Chaltas held services outside under the shade of the trees. Marshal Andy (host of the PBS series Riders of Silver Screen and well known big band and cowboy singer) performed a stirring rendition of Dixie and the most wondrous rendition of the Theme of Gone with the Wind. He was accompanied by the talented guitarist, Mr. Luke. He is one of the best guitar players in the nation. Ms. Colleen sang the theme from Gods and General and recognized the men that were in the movie that were attending the event. Several reenactors met with the public and the United Daughters of the Confederacy were gracious hosts for the kick off Confederate History Month campaign.
March 25, 2006-Richard Smith met with Michael Blackburn and assisted in discovering his heritage. Mr. Blackburn was very appreciative and submitted an application to join our endeavors. Richard recommended him as his lineage is extremely strong and he is proud of his ancestry. Well done Smith and welcome Mr. Blackburn to the brotherhood…
March 22-26, 2006- Commander Chaltas had the honor of representing General Lee during the Battle of Charleston held on the 300+ acre Legare Farm located on John’s Island. Over 1200 students heard the presentations of several living historians on Friday. Saturday and Sunday proved to be a very productive period as the general met with the people in the audience, offered a stirring presentation on the tenacity of South Carolina’s fighting spirit and worked the audience during the battle. The battle scenario went well and stayed historically accurate. The ladies fashion show was outstanding and the sutlers were well represented. Our compliments to all that made this event such a success. The hosts were extremely complimentary and gracious. Pastor James Smith was in charge of the church services. The Pound Gap monument information was given to local SCV camps and over 500 cards were passed out directing others to the Caudill website. You can view the forthcoming pictures on the 27th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry website (it is linked to our website).
March 22, 2006-Our own General represented the interests of the camp during an interview on Riders of the Silver Screen filmed on the PBS station out of Knoxville, TN. Marshal Andy discussed upcoming events with General Forrest, Ms. Namuni Young and General Lee (Commander Chaltas). The interview was will received and Marshal Andy was an inspiration on his knowledge of the WBTS and support for our endeavors.
March 21, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown, Lt. Commander John P. Back, Secretary Danny Taylor and Commander Chaltas attended the meeting of the SCV Wise County Partisan Rangers held at Fish Tails in Norton, Virginia. Each officer offered a brief presentation and the commander discussed the Pound Gap Project. The Wise County Partisan Rangers are discussing the possibility of purchasing a flagpole for the ever expanding project. Our salutations to our brothers from the Wise County Rangers. They were gracious hosts.
March 18th, the Elliott County High School Junior R.O.T.C. assisted the Colonel Ben E. Caudill Camp in setting a Confederate headstone near Newfoundland, Kentucky off Rt. 32 in Elliott County. The marker was for Private James Monroe Fugett, Co. B, 10th KY. Cavalry. Henrietta McKinney had worked with several other area historians to determine the unmarked grave of Private Fugett was located in the Hillman Cemetery situated in a dense thicket on a farm where he once lived.
Faron Sparkman along with Mark Carroll and Harold McKinney made several trips to scout out the location and find the best access into the abandoned cemetery in the woods. After determining the location and access Sparkman contacted 1SG Vonda Wooten with the Elliott County Junior R.O.T.C. On Saturday morning 1 SG Wooten, accompanied by Billy Maxey, Angela Maxey, Taricka Flannery, Trey Naquin, Ronald Vaughn, Tim Stevens, Jordan Fannin, Johnny Stevens and Loretta Maxey, joined in the effort to the get the stone past a cornfield, up the hill and into the cemetery. Harold McKinney cut a path through the brush and fallen trees with his chainsaw. The Caudill Camp is very appreciative of the Elliott County JROTC great help in seeing this project through. They made what would have been a difficult task go smoothly and quickly. Our sincere thanks to 1SG Vonda Wooten and all the fine young people who worked hard to help out in this worthwhile historical project.
March 16, 2006-Glenn Brown and Richard Brown re-plowed the recently rediscovered Confederate cemetery located at Whitesburg, Kentucky (Graveyard Hollow-Westwood) and covered it with two bales of straw along with fertilizing the area. From the road the hill looks great.
March 14, 2006-Executive Meeting was held at the Letcher County Education Center. The agenda is documented in the March 2006 newsletter.
March 12, 2006-Commander Chaltas, Artilleryman Wayne Whitaker and Pvt. Ross Fleming gave an update presentation on the status of the monument, cemetery articles published this month in Kentucky Explorer, Appalachian Quarterly, Lost Cause and Kentucky Life. The presentation was well received and $1000.00 was allotted for the Leatherwood event. The Parks and Recreation Committee’s proposed budget has assigned $1000.00 toward the continued progress/improvement/maintenance at the Pound Gap Monument
March 12, 2006-Commander Chaltas submits the following dispatch: The month of March has seen 5 articles published in local and state periodicals. The Kentucky Explorer has an article on the Pound Gap dedication, Appalachian Quarterly has an article on the Battle of Mills Cliff, a letter from Private Sam Smith, a article on the Whitesburg WBTS cemetery cleanup and the Lost Cause has graciously written concerning the rediscovery of the cemetery and the camps’ effort in preserving the site. The poem concerning General Forrest entitled, To Catch the Devil, has been well received. Gentlemen we must continue keeping the public area of our ancestors and their achievements and I commend the work of all in that endeavor
March 11, 2006 – Faron Sparkman report new number for graves: 781 – total set 539 – 13th set 14 – Rowan County
March 9, 2006 – Faron Sparkman, Mark Carroll, and Herald McKinney of the Cox Camp set the stone of 1st Corporal Powell Morris of Company C, 13th Cavalry in a relocated cemetery overlooking the Cave Run Lake, with the aid of honorary member Henrietta McKinney we continue to locate graves in this section of Kentucky. Located the grave of a Fugate soldier in Elliott County. Took GPS readings on several stones in the area.
8 March 2006 – March 8, 2006-Pvt. Darrell Crawford submits the following After Action Report: Members of the Ben Caudill Camp #1629 and the 5th Kentucky Infantry, Company E.attended the Fleming County Covered Bridge Festival meeting held at the Fleming County Extension Office in Flemingsburg,Kentucky. Pvt. Mark Patrick, Darrell Crawford and Mrs. Amy Crawford.(5th Ladies Aid Society) represented the 5th and the Caudill Camp. The committee asked for our participation at the August (26th) Fleming County Covered Bridge Festival. They were looking a Civil War Living History encampment at the famous Goddard Covered Bridge and Church. The Festival is a one day event located in a beautiful rural area. Further inquiry will be made by the committee in seeking assistance for a Living History day.
March 8, 2006-Adjutant Brown submits the following After Action Report (AAR): David Brown and Glenn Brown took the bear proof garbage container to the Pound Gap Monument and chained it down to dampen the spirits of any person or bear attempting to carry it off into the unknown. The new flags upon the mountain saluted their approval of the continued work being done. They swayed briskly as the wind persuaded them to so their colors. Another job well done.
February 26, 2006, Lt. Cdr John Back reports the Leatherwood Reenactment had its monthly meeting. Members present were Gary Begley, John Back, Danny Taylor, Randall Haddix, Ronnie Robinson, Paul Taulbee and Anita Noble. Miss Eileen from the Cornettsville Post Office presented the committee with the information needed to design and order custom stamps to promote the Battle of Leatherwood. Art work by Richard Smith was presented to the committee for consideration. One design was chosen for the envelopes but the stamp design is still being considered. Faron Sparkman will be asked to write a short description of the Battle to place in the envelopes. It has been agreed to purchase 500 stamps and 500 envelopes. Other items discussed were an ongoing dispute with the Cornettsville Fire Dept. over what the Reenactment Committee feels is an overly inflated charge for building rental. It was agreed to meet face to face with Fire Dept. representatives at the next meeting in March. The next item discussed was the Grand Military Ball. The Ball will tentatively be held at the Old Stuart Robinson Campus. The selection of a band is still pending. Our own General Lee was also present at the meeting to give some tips and insights into preparations for the upcoming event. He presented tips on vendors, registration and publicity. The committee has also asked the Old General to assist committee members in contacting Letcher County officials to see if they would be willing to participate in the reenactment. This would make the committee a true (2) county event. This would give a boost to tourism in both counties. The committee then adjourned and agreed to meet again on March 26, 2006 at the Miniard Farm. The Meeting time will be 1:00 pm. This is an hour earlier so committee members can meet with Fire Dept. Representatives. The regular meeting will be at 2:00 pm.
February 25,2006-Glenn Brown, Chad Brown and Wendell Brown used a tiller to plow the newly found cemetery. This is to prepare the ground to be seeded with grass. A few more stones were found during this plowing. The ground will be plowed one more time at the time of the grass planting, probably sometime this week. Richard Brown have already purchased some creeping red fescue and winter wheat to plant. Glenn stated that we needed to add some Perennial Rye as well. After Action Report Submitted by Adjutant Richard Brown
February 25, 2006-General Lee had the honor of addressing the men and women of the Bradford Rose Camp # 1638 on Saturday night. He attended the meeting with General Forrest, his lovely wife Angie, Pastor James Smith and his lovely wife Ms. Sherry. Commander Michael Beck presented both General Lee and General Forrest a complimentary copy of the commercial (in which they are featured) for the SCV. It premiered during the presentation of Lincoln on the History Channel in Tennessee. The promotional clip will be shown at the next Ben Caudill Camp meeting on March 16, 2006 along with Sharpshooters (John Hitt) and Southern Truths Through My Eyes (H. K. Edgerton).
February 24, 2006-The long awaited trash can and new flags arrived today. The trash can will be is of granite stones with a beautiful brown top protecting it from the elements. It will be anchored on the mountain. Appalachian Monument reports to the commander that the panels for the 4th monument have arrived and that the names will be engraved by mid March.
February 24, 2006-Willis Strong submits the following update on the cannon project: The axle is ready to be bolted together with all the hardware. All hopes and expectations are that it will be ready for this season’s dedications and reenactments.
February 23-25, 2006 – Pigeon Ford Tennessee Shoot Out. Compatriot Richard Smith gives an after action report on event and the appearance of David Chaltas in the persona of Lee and Stan Dalton as Forrest. see Presentations and Publications for After Action Review.
February 18, 2006-Willis Strong submits the following canon project update: Richard Smith, Randall Haddix, Tim Blair, Doc Adams, Curt Combs and Willis Strong worked on the axle, getting it to size and laying it out. This past week Willis finished it and attached the wheels. They are now ready to bolt the tree and axle together and fit and mount the hardware. We have a work day scheduled for March 18th. anyone wanting to help is welcome, you can call Willis for directions at (606) 378-2981.
February 18, 2006-Despite the bitter cold wind and flying snow, over 150 people ventured out to witness the dedication of the first free standing monument dedicated to the USCT in America. The dedication took place in Nashville National Cemetery located in Madison on the Gallatin Road. Commander Chaltas was invited to attend by Bill Ratcliff, the man chosen to be the model for the statue. In the spirit of General Lee our commander went to assist. He was accompanied by several other reenactors from Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. Both blue and gray were represented with all companies forming one battalion with a delightful drum corps leading the procession. Dignitaries from Washington D. C., the National Parks Service, Congressmen, and Nashville’s Vice-Mayor spoke. The choir performed with perfection period spirituals that brought tears to the eyes of all. Frederick Douglas (Michael Crutcher) offered a rousing speech and Bill Ratcliff recognized the contributions made by the SCV and spoke very kindly regarding General Lee being a true Christian man of character. For a brief interlude, there existed no North, no South nor black or white, only present day Americans paying tribute to Americans of yesteryear that have gone across the elusive river and rest in the valley of contentment as Christ walked within the Camp.
February 10, 2006-This week has been productive in a special project undertaken by the Caudill Camp. Lt. Commander John P. Back was fortunate when he communicated with a local postmaster that told him the steps needed in designing a postage stamp and envelope. He brought the idea to the Executive Council and in turn council members asked Richard Smith if he would be interested in designing said stamp. Richard was very receptive and he (along with Danny Taylor, John Back) went to meet with the postmaster to discuss the details. He has been working on a design to honor the Battle of Leatherwood and soon the design, upon approval, will be displayed. The Letcher County Day Treatment students will assist in creating lettering graphics via the computer as part of their community service projects. If you have a special project or some idea that you wish to see worked on, feel free to send it to our webmaster or myself and we will do our best to honor your idea. Remember, this is YOUR camp and distance does not matter. We are all brothers in the cause of our heritage. I remain your obedient servant, The Old General
February 6, 2006-Commander Chaltas and PVT. Ross Fleming presented a written statement to the Jenkins City Council regarding the status of the monument and the Pound Gap Reenactment tentatively taking place on Aug. 11-13, 2006. (See report here)
February 4, 2006-A Kentucky State Division SCV Executive Meeting was held at Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The agenda included the following items: heritage report, Vicksburg Monument status, Paducah Museum Status, Division reunion planning, nominating committee for the forthcoming elections, adjutant report, vision for the future, new brigade boundaries discussion, camp growth discussion, utilization of internet and website. The Caudill Camp was represented by Commander Chaltas (Ky. Division Chaplain), Lt. Commander John P. Back (East Ky. Brigade Chaplain) and Webmaster Mark Carroll (Ky. Division Webmaster). The meeting was very productive and proved to be beneficial in the future direction of our cause.
January 29, 2006-The following after action report was filed by Lt. Commander Back. The Leatherwood Reenactment Committee met at the cabin belonging to Dr. Miniard. Items discussed were paying postage on Black powder cans, outstanding bills owed to the fire dept., and advertising for the 2006 event, and the location of the 2006 Grand Ball. All persons who shipped black powder containers were paid. The fire dept. had submitted a bill for 2000 dollars for use of their building for the square dance which was held at the 2005 event. Board Chairman Gary Begley attended a meeting with the fire dept. on Monday night to discuss this matter. The fire dept. offered to drop the bill to $500, but the matter has still not been settled. Advertising for the 2006 event was discussed and a 24 page booklet similar to the one passed out at Camp Wildcat. Ads will be sold to offset the printing costs. A flyer is also being developed for distribution at points such as the Pound Gap Monument. Locations for the 2006 Grand Ball were also discussed. Among the proposed locations were the Whitaker Athletic Center, a tent on the Miniard property, and the Calvary Campus (Stuart Robinson). The Ladies Auxiliary will meet on the Calvary Campus on February 12, 2006 at 2:00 pm to look over the site.
January 29, 2006-Commander David Chaltas and Adjutant Richard Brown met Rhonda Robertson and Tim Kelly of the Wise County Historical Society at the Wise County Courthouse. Tim graciously offered the use of his vehicle to visit several graveyards and other historical sites. The first place visited was the location of the graveyard where soldiers from the 5th Kentucky Infantry were buried. These soldiers died in the old Wise County Hospital. Unfortunately, the old abandoned graveyard has now been razed and new homes built over the graves. It does not appear likely that the Caudill Camp will be able to set tombstones for these soldiers at the old graveyard. Rhonda suggested placing a memorial stone at the newer cemetery nearby. The old hospital is now gone and is replaced with a shopping center.
The burial location of two 13th Kentucky Cavalry soldiers were discovered during the trip. John J. Kelly, Sr. is buried in the Richmond Cemetery at Turkey Cove in Lee County while his son, John J. Kelly, Jr. is buried in the Wise Cemetery in the City of Wise. This information will be supplied to Faron Sparkman so that he can order tombstones for both men. Buried near John J. Kelly, Sr. is General Jonathan Richman who was commander of all southern militia troops in southwest Virginia. The Caudill Camp will also attempt to obtain a tombstone for him as well.
The group then visited the River View Cemetery at East Stone Gap in Wise County. In this cemetery rest the remains of at least 40 Confederate soldiers. Richard Brown discovered the grave of his great- great- great uncle, Benjamin F. Richmond, who was a sergeant in the 50th Virginia Infantry. The Caudill Camp will attempt to help Richard obtain a tombstone for his uncle.
Several other old graveyards were visited as well as the location of William Richmond’s house at Big Stone Gap. William is the great-great-great grandfather of Richard Brown and had several sons in the Confederate army. Also during the trip, Rhonda Robertson provided the Caudill Camp with the name (Wayne McConnell) and telephone number of a member of the Scott County Historical Society that has offered to help with the setting of the tombstones of the 28 soldiers of the 5th Kentucky Infantry that died at Moccasin Gap (Holston Springs) in Scott County.
January 28, 2006-A day filled with sunshine greeted the 35 volunteers that came to assist in the cleanup of the abandoned portion of the Westwood Cemetery. The workers used chainsaws, machetes, weed eaters, rakes, picks and shovels to remove several years of underbrush, briars and other debris concealing the resting place of our ancestors. Several more gravesites were located and marked with a red flag. The Caudill Camp will continue in its research to confirm that this is the location of the old hospital cemetery that was used during the War Between the States. All evidence to date supports that hypothesis, as the location is on the very land owned by John Caudill (Colonel Ben Caudill’s father-a staunch support of the Confederate cause), the rows laid out in military order facing east, and other graves dating back to the early 1800s. The following individuals are awarded the General Lee’s Service Award for their endeavors: Dale and Cindy Wright, Richard Brown, Danny and Sandy Wright, Brook Cowden, Dwayne Whitaker, Wayne Whitaker, Tabby Back, Chris Back, Willis Strong and Beulah Strong, Manton and Lorraine Cornett, Raymond Isaacs, Willie Cornett, Jeff Sexton, Pete Quillin, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Glenn Brown, David Brown, Wendell Brown, Wayne Whitaker, Richard Smith, Danny Taylor, Lydia Brock, and SGT. Wayne Watts accompanied by his JROTC students-Scottie Sexton, Sherman Blair, Jessica Parton, Justin Davis, Chris Taylor, and Katie Cowden. Ladies and gentlemen, a job well done!
January 26, 2006-Adjutant Richard Brown and Commander Chaltas met with Susan Howell from the Kentucky State Dept. of Transportation to explore the steps needed to obtain additional parking spaces at the Pound Gap Monument. The necessary steps will be worked on and submitted to the Pikeville Regional Office.
Jan 26, 2006 – Darrell Crawford reports the newly formed Company E with the 5th Ky Infantry CSA Photo in 06 album (coming) taken at The Lee/Jackson Dinner at Corbin, Ky. Pictured L to R Mark Patrick (Morehead, Ky), Brian Chastain (Cincinnati, OH), Darrell Crawford (Hillsboro,Ky), Terry Kidd (Morehead,Ky), and John Henry Kidd (Morehead, Ky)). Company E is based in Morehead,Ky.
Jan 23, 2006 – Richard Brown, Adjutant, reports that camp members joined Honorary Member Pauline Cantrell, Kenny Cantrell’s mother, at her 96th birthday party. She was presented with the Robert E. Lee Award. Camp members Jason Adams, David Chaltas and Frank Jowls are pictured with her in a camp photo (photo to appear in 06 yearbook)
January 21, 2006-Dressed in their finest Confederate Grey and the ladies in their beautiful hoop skirts, over 200 people attended a Lee/Jackson Dinner that was hosted by the Edward Arthur Camp #1783 at the Corbin Convention Center, including camps from across the state and Colonel Jerry Parsons and our friends from Virginia. The agenda included the posting of the colors, speeches by Ray Adkins, the outgoing Arthur Camp commander, Adjutant Les Williamson who acted as Master of Ceremonies, Commander-in-Chief Sweeney on the state of affairs of the SCV, East Kentucky Lt. Commander Taylor on the flags of the South, Erin Hayden on Lee/Jackson, Parson James Smith on the Christian character of Lee/Jackson, induction of new Arthur camp sons, and several presentation/awards. The highlight of the night was a moving tribute and slide presentation to our fallen compatriot Luther Gaddis. The induction ceremony was conducted by East Kentucky Brigade Commander Don Poynter. Music was provided by Mike Grimes, Ralph Marcum and others as the night ended via a dance. We tip our kepis to our brothers and sisters from across the states that cling to their heritage and remember their ancestors. Gentlemen of the Arthur Camp, we salute you for your kindness and warm hospitality. The Caudill Camp was represented by the following men and women; Danny Wright, Sandy Wright, Dale Wright, Cindy Wright, Tabby Back, Rosetta Back, Mark Carroll, Darrell Crawford, Amy Crawford, Danny Taylor (who offered a superb presentation), David Chaltas, John P. Back, Debbie Back, Gary Begley and Mr./Mrs. Mark Patrick.
January 14, 2006-Eastern Kentucky Brigade Lt. Commander Danny Taylor and Kentucky State Division Chaplain Chaltas, in the persona of General Robert E. Lee, attended the Lee/Jackson Day in Lexington, Virginia. Commander Chaltas was asked to offer a presentation at the luncheon and was given the honor of marching in front with his friends, General Jackson, General Pickett (Niles Clark) and General Lee (Chuck Eberle) after the memorial service at the gravesite of General Stonewall Jackson, where Chaplain R. G. Williams gave a stirring presentation on the life of Jackson. The procession moved down main street and ascended the hill to Virginia Military Institute where General Jackson offered up to the troops his famous ‘1st Brigade’ speech. The men and women moved to the Lee Chapel where once again the two General Lees were honored by sitting in the pew that Lee used when attending his devotionals. Chaplain in Chief Ron Rumburg introduced Reverend Kenneth Studdard who eulogized Jackson and Lee as Good Solders of Christ and then Virginia Division Commander Brandon Dorsey reminded the audience of the dinner and guest speaker (Commander Chaltas as General Lee) immediately following at Sheridan’s Livery. General Lee offered a twenty minute synopsis of the influence of the Christian character of all citizens of the south that followed Christ and the cause. The day ended in a fury of visitations to sacred sites and salutations to all that afforded the boys from Kentucky such grand hospitality.
January 11, 2006-Commander Chaltas led several of the Letcher County Education Center students to the new UK Extension Office as a community service project. The Ben Caudill Camp projects was discussed by the Extension Office employees and a discussion of supporting a 30′ flagpole for the new building was generated. We were presented with 2 WBTS tree ornaments and a map depicting the areas of interest regarding the war within our state. Sadly noted was that the monument, Leatherwood, Whitesburg, and Pound Gap were not included. We will attempt to rectify this for the 2007 maps.
January 9, 2006-Commander Chaltas presented the graveyard cleanup project to the Letcher County Fiscal Court. He discussed the 2 new monuments along with the beveled flag markers that have been erected upon the mountain. He also requested to submit a Purchase Order for 66+split rail fencing, wind resistant flags for the Gap and assistance in obtaining electricity in order to spotlight the flags. The court was very receptive, complimentary and supportive of the work completed by the camp.
January 7, 2006-Sixteen men and women braved the cold to cut, clear and remove underbrush in a section of the Westwood cemetery located at the mouth of Sandlick, in Whitesburg, Kentucky. The cemetery was on the property that belonged to John Caudill (Colonel Ben Caudill’s father) during the war. The hospital mentioned in several journals and reports (Guerrant, 29th Virginia, 5th Kentucky, Deeds, Official Records) was also located on his property. Several unmarked gravesites (72) were found along with a few forgotten stones marking the resting place of someone’s loved one of yesteryear. The graves were in six military style rolls, three feet apart with the rolls running through a new section of the cemetery back into the other section that has been abandoned. Seventy-two flags placed marking their location with more clearing and research planned. Tons of underbrush was cleared and removed to a side road. County Executive Judge Carroll Smith stated that he would have the debris hauled off to another location. Adjutant Richard Brown organized the cleanup and worked beside the following individuals to confirm three years worth of research. David Brown, Glenn Brown, Chad Brown, Danny Wright, Sandy Wright, Katie Cowden, Brooke Cowden, Okie Blair, Tim Blair, Tabby Back, Willie Cornett, Willis Strong, Debbie Back, John P. Back and Richard Brown worked feverishly in cutting, clearing and hauling off the material. The mission terminated with congratulations and a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for the rediscover of our ancestor’s gravesite was offered by Kentucky Division Chaplain Chaltas. The following data (names, dates and GPS) was written down and given to Mrs. Creda Isaac, President of the Letcher County Historical Society.
This commander salutes the endeavors of all that gave of their time to support this worthy project and may we all realize the significance of this find. As commander, I have never been as proud of the men and women as this day. Submitted with pride for the sacrifices of the men and women of the Caudill Camp, I remain your obedient servant, Commander Chaltas and Adjutant Richard G. Brown. (see pictures here)
1st Lt. James Fitzpatrick (Confederate Stone set by Caudill Camp)
37 degrees 07′ 301N
82 degrees 50′ .094W
Joseph E. Cornett (Confederate Stone set by Caudill Camp) Co. F, 5th Ky
37 degrees 07′ 301N
82 degrees 50′ .103W
Rachel Spencer (Tim and Okie Blair reset her stone but this 6 year old needs a new one)
March 31, 1832 June 13, 1838
37 degrees 07′ 299N
82 degrees 50′ .104W
Pheriba Day (stone is in poor condition, needs replaced) Dec 9/1/51
37 degrees 07′ 302N
82 degrees 50′ 103W
Mary A. (Broken stone is deteriorated and in need of replacement-Tim and Okie Blair
reset the stone) Wife of S. C. Caudill Sr. (Sam was the brother to John Caudill
that is buried at Hurricane Cemetery-13th Kentucky man)
1838-1862 “Mother We Hope To Meet You In Heaven’
37 degrees 07′ 296N
82 degrees 50′ 108W
Stephen J. Caudill PVT (Confederate stone set by Caudill Camp) Co B
37 degrees 07′ .284N
82 degrees 50′ 116W
Isage Williams (Marker is in good shape but still hidden by underbrush in upper section
of cemetery going toward the point Feb 18, 1823 July 13, 1913 ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’
37 degrees 07′ 316N
82 degrees 50′ .086W
G. W. Billings Mar 1, 1863 Mar 20, 1911
37 degrees 07′ 318N
82 degrees 50′ .66W
January 5, 2006-Camp Member Darrell Crawford files the following report: Terry Kidd, Mark Patrick, John Henry Kidd of the 5th Kentucky, Company E reenacting unit, along with Missy Kidd and Amy Crawford (5th Ky. ladies Aid Society) and I presented to the Rowan County History Society. Terry gave a most outstanding speech about the 5th Ky Inf. Co’s D,E and F. He explained where each Company is based. Literature was left regarding the 5th. Rowan County is celebrating their 150th year in 2006, [Chaltas, David] and they indicated they wanted to have a large parade without any motorized vehicles . They are looking for all types of horse drawn wagons (no tires), Horses, Cavalry units, Infantry units from both sides. Also, they are wishing to have a living history and encampment. Terry will be keeping in touch with Ms. Jent from the Historical Society. They were very impressed with what we had to say. They seemed very interested in the Reenactments and the History. Ms. Kent is a descendant of Col. Ben Caudill. There are a lot of Caudill’s here. I believe she said that one of Col. Caudill’s Brothers moved to Rowan Co. Also they were wanting to have a reenactment of the Battle of Triplett’s Bridge that took place six miles west of Morehead on June 16, 1863. Terry told them it really took planning and some funds to put one on and they talked like they would want to have one in 2007. Maybe we can start moving our battlelines a little closer to the north. Submitted by camp member Darrell Crawford
5 January 2006 – Faron Sparkman reports stone settings and updated numbers: There was one more stone set by the Caudill Camp in 2005! On December 18th, 2005 we set a stone for Private William Campbell, Co. A, Diamond’s 10th KY. Cav. at the Goble Cemetery at Woods, Kentucky in Floyd County. And already, the Caudill Camp has set a stone in 2006. Steve Bowling and I set a stone on January 4, 2006 for Wiley McQuinn, (Co. B, Consolidated 5th KY. Inf. & Co. G, 13th KY. Cav.) at the Hayes Cemetery at Quicksand in Breathitt County.
New Numbers: 779 total set 538 13th soldiers set 741 13th graves located 116 Breathitt County 69 Floyd County
January 1, 2006-The New Year brings great tidings as Adjutant Richard Brown reports to Commander Chaltas that Kinzer Drilling from Allen, Kentucky, will donate $800 towards purchasing the panels and base for another monument for the Pound Gap Project. This will be the 3rd set of markers that will be placed on Pound Gap (located on route 23 on the KY/VA border). The 36×36 stone with the etchings are not included in this amount and is covered by donations by those honoring their ancestors. The price is still $20 to have your ancestor honored by having his name engraved upon the stone panels. Contact any of the officers/webmaster for details or see the website for an application.
We are also honored to report that an original picture of Colonel Ben Caudill has been graciously donated to the camp (later it will be on display at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Whitesburg, KY) and will be shown at the January 19 camp meeting. We will be having a cemetery cleanup on January 7, 2006, starting at 10:00 at the mouth of Sandlick as we search for location of the WBTS hospital Potters Fields. Please make an effort to attend this significant event. We will be cutting brush and marking gravesites as we locate them. Metal detectors and other tools are needed for the cleanup. Respectfully submitted by The Old General. LAUS DEO!
1 January 2006 – Opened Journal – Happy New Year – Webmaster/Quartermaster Mark Carroll