December 31,2010 — Compatriot Carroll closed the 2010 Journal
December 23, 2010 — Compatriot Lochlainn Seabrook wrote to advise the camp of his several pro-South books:
Everything You Were Taught About the Civil War Is Wrong, Ask a Southerner! By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by Nelson W. Winbush (African-American educator).
A Rebel Born: A Defense of Nathan Bedford Forrest. By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by Dr. Clyde Wilson (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, University of SC).
Abraham Lincoln: the Southern View. By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by Clint Johnson (author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the South”).
Nathan Bedford Forrest: Southern Hero, American Patriot. By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by James Ronald Kennedy (author of “The South Was Right!”).
Lincoln Ology: the Real Abraham Lincoln Revealed in His Own Words. By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by Dr. J. Michael Hill (President, The League of the South).
The Mcgavocks of Carnton Plantation: A Southern History. By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by Dr. Michael Bradley (SCV Chaplain and author of “N.B. Forrest’s Escort and Staff”).
Carnton Plantation Ghost Stories: True Tales of the Unexplained from Tennessee’s Most Haunted Civil War House! By Lochlainn Seabrook.
The Caudills: An Etymological, Ethnological, and Genealogical Study. By Lochlainn Seabrook. Foreword by Delmore Caudill (of Letcher Co., KY).
November 25, 2010 – Historian Faron Sparkman reports new numbers
I also have a few new numbers for our website for you:
- East Kentucky Confederate stones set – 1,218
- 13th KY. burial sites located – 875
- Diamond’s 10th KY. stones set – 102
November 20, 2010 – Near Prestonsburg, KY: We had received this headstone a little over 3 months ago, but it seemed much longer. It might have been placed sooner, but it was only about a month ago that the grave was located by a part of the crew that would eventually assume responsibility for its placement. We knew it would be difficult, so, this time, we brought the “A Team”. We got to the head of Sugarloaf Branch, in Floyd County, around 11:30 and got everything unloaded. As we headed toward the cemetery, Willis selected a route up the hill, and proceeded to use his system of ropes and pulleys to pull the two-wheeled dolly with its burden, ever so slowly, up the hill. We were on the north-facing side of the hill; it was steep, wet, and slippery, so Randall and Jim did their best to steady and steer the dolly over and around obstacles along the way. Meanwhile, Carlos and Manton Ray carried the cement and tools ahead to the cemetery and prepared the hole for the headstone. We had figured that the entire operation would take three hours, but, thanks to some excellent teamwork, we were done in two! Back at the trucks, we licked our minor wounds and considered which of the local eating establishments we would patronize. Behind us, high on the sunny ridge, we had left a handsome new Confederate headstone for Private John Branham (1831 – 1890), Company F, Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry. After 120 years, this Confederate patriot had finally received a fitting monument. This excellent challenge was met and successfully completed by Compatriots Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Jim Osborne, and Manton Ray Cornett. A special word of gratitude is in order to “Aunt Becky” Jarrett for the trust she showed in us and for generously allowing us access to her property.
November 10, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Our mission today was relatively simple; to deliver and place two Confederate headstones in neighboring Leslie County. We had outstanding weather and, for a change, our crew outnumbered and outweighed the headstones. These headstones were for two brothers who served in the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantry. Our first stop was at Cinda on the Raccoon Creek – Baker Fork Road. After some minor underbrush clearing, and a moderate uphill tug, we placed the headstone for Private John Joseph (1831 – 1919), next to his wife’s, in the Maggard – Joseph Cemetery. From there, it was a short drive to the Lewis – Joseph Cemetery at the intersection of Cutshin Road and Yeaddiss Road at Yeaddiss. We placed the headstone for Private Reason Joseph (1836 – 1928) next to that of his wife, Rosann. Privates Reason and John Joseph served in Company H of the 64th Virginia. Today’s most pleasant outing was enjoyed by Compatriots Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett.
November 4, 2010 – West Liberty, KY: Harold and Henrietta McKinney were still munching on their Food Court French Fries when we pulled into town. We had left Hazard around 10, and had made a stop in Jackson for a late breakfast, but we were still ahead of schedule. We had four Confederate headstones on board, and Harold and Henrietta would lead us to their intended locations. After some brief greetings and discussion, we fell in behind Harold’s red Dodge pickup and headed off to a farm just off Route 364 near the community of Matthew. We had to wait a few minutes for the farm gate to be unlocked, but proceeded to drive across the large grassy field to the cemetery with nary a slip. Soon, we had finished erecting the headstone for Private John Fannin (1841-1915). He served in Company C of the 5th Kentucky Infantry. Since we were in the right neighborhood, we then spent an hour or so locating the elusive grave of Edward Pelfrey. His GG-Grandson met us on Pelfrey Branch, pointed confidently up a hill, and after making a vigorous climb, we had the grave located and the GPS coordinates recorded for future reference. With this data in hand, any one of us can return to the grave at our convenience, and without the benefit of a guide. Our other three headstones were destined for cemeteries near the community of Yocum. We honored Private Daniel P. Lewis (1837 – 1905) with his new Confederate headstone first. We had to leave County Road 1002 for a brief, uphill drive through the late fall foliage to the cemetery, but it allowed us to unload the headstone very near the cemetery gate. Daniel was a member of Company A of the 5th Kentucky Infantry. Our last destination was very nearby, but was in one of those all-but-forgotten cemeteries that was marked only with fieldstones. There, in the edge of the woods, among seedlings and saplings, we placed headstones for a father and son who served in the Confederate Cause. Private Thomas E. Lewis (1824 – 1898) served in Company A of the 5th Kentucky Infantry, and his son, Private John S. Lewis (1846 – 1905) was a member of Company D of the same regiment. We intended to do more outdoor research on our way home, but after stopping for some chow in West Liberty, the weather closed in on us, bringing rain, wind and a sudden, 12-degree drop in temperature. Needless to say, we headed for home. Today’s successes were made possible by Carlos Brock, Jim Osborne, and Manton Ray Cornett. Thanks to Faron Sparkman for all his research and for obtaining the headstones, and to Harold and Henrietta for being the very best guides available, and for being such good friends to the Camp for so many years.
November 8, 2010 — Historian Faron Sparkman reported new numbers for stone settings and news on this service.
Eastern Kentucky Confederates stones set – 1,215
- 13th KY. burial sites located – 871
- 13th KY. stones set – 654
- 5th KY. stones set – 340
- Diamonds 10th KY. stones set – 101
- Stone Locations:
- Bath County 10
- Breathitt County 133
- Carter County 8
- Elliott County 27
- Floyd County 145
- Johnson County 31
- Morgan County 128
- Perry County 104
- Powell County 15
- Wolfe County 42
- Other States:
- Tennessee 6
- Virginia 112
Things are going well. We had a tremendous bit of luck recently in getting several SCV camp members in Kansas and Oklahoma to work with us on picking up the stone for a Captain in Caudill’s 13th buried in Oklahoma (we ordered it ten years ago) and then setting it – and dedicating it! ”
October 9, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Our trip today was an ambitious one; we left Perry County around 10:00 AM after loading two trucks with 8 Confederate headstones and enough concrete mix and tools to carry out our plan. We would be back at our starting point nearly 12 hours later, having spent the better part of a beautiful fall day in Russell and Scott Counties, Virginia.
It took about two hours to get to Moll Creek off Rt. 604 in Russell County. We drove off the road and up the hill, through and beyond a small wooded area to the Fugate family cemetery. Second Corporal Jeremiah Fugate, his wife and several other family members are buried there. Corporal Fugate (1841 – 1905) was a member of the 13th KY Cavalry, Company G. He and his twin brother, First Corporal Daniel Fugate, from Breathitt County, KY, served together for a time, but Daniel became a POW and died at Point Lookout, MD on 17 July 1864. Jeremiah survived the war and married “Malinda” Carty from Russell County, VA in 1866. He remained in Russell County for the rest of his life, making a living and rearing his family there. The headstone for Corporal Jeremiah Fugate also marks another milestone for the Ben Caudill Camp; it is the 1200th headstone placed by the Camp since Faron Sparkman began the effort about 15 years ago. Congratulations to our former Commander and Camp Historian!
It was a short drive to the part of Castlewood where we placed six more headstones. The Gibson property is just off Routes 615 and 640. A three-story house, built in 1863, stands just above the highway. Behind the house is a family cemetery, and adjacent to the house is a small building where Dr. Gibson treated patients during the WBTS. Across the road from the house is another small cemetery where members of the Bickley family were buried prior to the WBTS. The area around this cemetery is where Confederate dead were buried; many men who died from disease and exposure rather than from battle. Private Samuel W. Goode, a member of Company D, 1st Battalion KY Mounted Rifles, died there on 27 July 1862. Four members of the 4th KY Cavalry died there in 1863; Private William H. Garnett of Owen County, KY on 20 May, Private Leroy White of Owen County, KY on 9 June, Private C. J. Edrington of Shelby County, KY on 16 June, and Private Henry Green of Scott County, KY on 22 June. Garnett, White, and Green were all members of Company B while Edrington served in Company I. Private James W. Johnson was from Pike County, KY and served in Company D of Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry before dying at Castlewood on 1 March 1864. We want to express our appreciation to Mr. Charles Bickley Gibson and to his friend Mr. Patrick and other family members for their hospitality and assistance. We only wish we had more time to spend there, learning more about this historic site.
But, we had another headstone to place before heading for home. So, it was back to the Cox Cemetery at Camp Nash, near Fort Blackmore on the Clinch River, next to Routes 65 and 72. We had a new stone for Private N. S. Berry, a replacement stone for one that arrived in Hazard months ago, broken completely in half. With mosquitoes biting and twilight drawing near, we had to contend with a large dogwood tree that stood on the exact spot where the headstone belonged. It took about an hour and a half to dig and chop away the tree, along with it’s roots, before we could erect the stone, but our determination finally paid off. Private Berry was a member of Company I of the 4th KY Cavalry.
We don’t know when he was born, but we do know that he enlisted at New Liberty, KY on 10 September 1862 and that he died on 30 June 1863. The eight headstones that were placed today, and the six headstones that were placed at Camp Nash on a previous outing, were dedicated today. Carlos Brock read the biographical information, Willis Strong and Manton Ray Cornett placed Confederate flags on each grave, and Randall Haddix read three passages from the Confederate Chaplain’s Handbook. Then, we all observed a moment of silence in honor of the fallen Confederates.
We were back in Hazard a little after 9 PM, exhausted but satisfied that we had done our best to honor these nearly forgotten Confederates.
October 5, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Three Ben Caudill Compatriots ventured into three KY countries today to place three new Confederate headstones. Our first stop was in Breathitt County at the Bradley Cemetery near Decoy. Private Booker Mullins (1832 – 1922) is buried there, a man who served in Company C of the 13th KY Cavalry. We erected Private Mullins’ headstone, placed a Confederate flag on his grave and moved on to Floyd County, where we drove up Buckeye Branch near Blue River. In the Owens-Sloan Cemetery, we placed a Confederate headstone on the grave of Private William Owens (1834 – 1890). He also served in Company C of the 13th KY Cavalry. Our last destination was in Johnson County near Nippa. At the mouth of Well Branch, in the Stambaugh Cemetery, we erected a Confederate headstone for Private John Franklin Grim (1828 – 1897). He was a member of Company K of the 5th KY Infantry. His grave is near the graves of Privates Benjamin H. Grim and Charles J. Grim; they also served in the 5th KY Infantry, Company K. As usual, Carlos Brock, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett consider it an honor and a privilege to give these veterans their long overdue respects.
September 6, 2010 – Hazard, Ky: Historian Faron Sparkman reports the following stone update
- Eastern Kentucky Confederates stones set – 1,194
- 13th KY. burial sites located – 867
- 13th KY. stones set – 649
- 5th KY. stones set – 334
- Diamonds 10th KY. stones set – 100
September 15, 2010 – Myrtle Branch of Abbott Creek, Floyd County, KY: We had the headstone for Daniel Shepherd for nearly two years, but it had been on the ‘back burner’ because the roads to the cemetery had been advertised as “4-wheeler only” roads. But, every once in a while, you get lucky, and it seems that the harder one works, the luckier one gets. Thanks to an excellent scouting trip by Carlos Brock, and thanks to some unusually dry conditions, we were able to drive up the steep hill to the Prater Cemetery and unload the headstone at the gate. We had it finished before lunch! Private Daniel Shepherd (1841 – 1896) was the son of John and Elizabeth Shepherd. He enlisted in Company F, 13th KY Cavalry in Floyd County on 10 October 1862. His grave is located in the head of Myrtle Branch, in a gap that is slightly north and west of the Middle Creek Battlefield. Today’s success was made possible mainly by Carlos Brock, with assistance by Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett.
August 31, 2010 – Breathitt County, KY: A hog-killin’ would’a been easier. I know. I’ve helped do both. On this day, on a sunny afternoon, with temperatures above 90, without benefit of any motorized vehicle or beast of burden, four senior citizens moved a Confederate headstone the “final mile” to a final resting place, at the head of the grave of Private Hiram Collins. It was way overdue. Private Collins (1837 – 1869) was a member of Company C of the 13th KY Cavalry. His final resting place is in the Watkins-Mullins Cemetery in the very head of Hawes Fork, several miles from Evanston in Breathitt County, KY. This was supposed to be a scouting trip, just to relocate the cemetery and plan the best route to deliver the headstone with a 4-wheeler. We didn’t have a 4-wheeler, and the consensus was to bring the stone along, ‘just in case’. Leaving KY 542 in Northeastern Breathitt County, we climbed up Slusher Branch using roads that don’t appear on any ordinary maps. Using predetermined GPS coordinates gleaned from Google Earth, we drove nearly 3 miles North and West, arriving at a gas well and a dead end. From there, there was only a well-worn 4-wheeler trail leading straight down a steep and rocky hill, but in the general direction of the cemetery. To be sure, two of us set out to find the cemetery. Using a hand-held GPS device, we arrived in the cemetery at 12 noon, 2 ½ hours after leaving ‘home’. Now, we had to hike back to the truck and get the headstone, tools and cement mix. We moved the headstone on one dolly and the tools on another. We carried the ropes and the cement. Everybody had his hands full. The challenge was to hold the headstone back as we went downhill; several of us fell down several times, but the stone arrived at the bottom unscathed. From there, we attached a rope to the dolly, secured a pulley to several trees in succession, and hoisted the headstone up a smaller hill and into the cemetery. There was still a considerable hike back to the truck, but now our load was about 300 pounds lighter. Still, it was the hottest part of the day, and the steepest, rockiest part of the hill was exposed to the direct rays of the sun. By the time we arrived at the truck, we had consumed every drop of water and Gatorade that we had, and it was 5:30 PM! This, we agreed, was the most difficult case any of us had yet undertaken. Congratulations and special thanks to Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett for this extraordinary effort.
August 28, 2010 – Grayson County, VA: It took much longer to get this headstone, and it required a bit more effort to get it placed. A loyal son-in-law, Tobyn LaVergne, made it possible by driving up from Charlotte, NC and volunteering to be a most capable assistant. We had visited the Archelous Cornett Cemetery before; the last time was in March of this year when we secured the required signature of the landowner, Randall Sutherland. Mr. Sutherland owns the Christmas-tree farm that surrounds the old cemetery where Mexican War veteran Archelous Cornett and many of his ancestors and descendants remain. The old Colonel had three sons and at least two grandsons who served the Confederacy. In January of this year, we placed a headstone for his son, Private George Bourne Cornett, near London, KY where he lived out his later years. Another son, James C. Cornett, served in the 8th Virginia Cavalry CSA, but his place of burial is yet to be located. Today, we were back on Elk Creek to place the headstone for Captain Stephen Bourne Cornett (1822-1897). Enlisting at Camp Moccasin Gap under General Humphrey Marshall, he was the leader of Company C, 63rd Virginia Infantry, CSA from 6 April 1862 until 27 February 1863, when his resignation was accepted “for the good of the service”. Before Stephen resigned, he had led his company in action more than 15 times, in Virginia, West Virginia, KY and on the Tidewater Campaign in SE Virginia. Stephen’s son Thomas was a 4th Sergeant in the 51st Virginia Infantry CSA and was wounded at Fayette Courthouse on 11 September 1862. He survived the war and appeared on the 1870 Grayson County, VA census, but his burial place is yet to be discovered. In Virginia, there were scores of our Cornett cousins who were proud to follow the Confederate colors. It seems fitting now that another two of them have been rewarded with proper grave markers.
August 14, 2010 – Hazard, KY: We joined forces early with Billy James and Dan King in Wolfe County and headed for Little Bloody Creek. On board was a rare opportunity to place a headstone for a veteran of the War of 1812. The marker was for Private Moses King (1792 – 1871), the GGG Grandfather of Dan King. We had visited the cemetery once before when we placed a Confederate headstone for Private Lewis King, the son of Private Moses King. The weather was cooperative, and the road was clear; this time we wouldn’t need the axe and the chain-saw. We set to work and shortly had the new headstone positioned, slightly uphill from his son’s headstone; and you never saw a more appreciative grandson. Billy James dedicated both headstones by reading from the scriptures and offering prayer. Finally, before we left the cemetery, we placed an overdue Confederate flag on the grave of Private Lewis King, Company G, 13th KY Cavalry. Parting company with Billy and Dan, we headed northward to Stanton. After a quick lunch at the food-mall, it was an even quicker drive to the Hatton Cemetery, located, of all places, on Hatton Creek School Road, on Hatton Creek. There, beneath some very old oak trees, we placed an upright Confederate headstone for Hiram F. Hatton (1816 – 1888). Private Hatton served in Company A of the 13th KY Cavalry, and was a survivor of Union prison camps. A brief graveside dedication was performed; Randall Haddix read from the scriptures and Faron Sparkman offered a prayer of thanks. You would think that our work was over for the day, since we only had two headstones to place. But, instead, we visited the graves of 2CPL William W. Caudill near Campton, and PVT Daniel Noble at Gilmore. Both were members of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry. We also invested a couple of hours around Daysboro, trying in vain to locate another unmarked grave.Throughout the day, much of the conversation was focused on confirming Confederate burials and marking deserving graves. That was appropriate, since today’s crew consisted of members of the Ben Caudill Research Committee; Faron Sparkman, Carlos Brock, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett.
August 5, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Sometimes, you just worry about the wrong things. As our crew members left the comforts of home and headed for the assembly point, our greatest concerns were the many miles ahead, and the above-90 degree heat that was forecast for southeast KY and southwest VA. The cell-phone rang with disturbing news. Randall Haddix’s was stranded with a dead vehicle; he had called for a roll-back and would “try his best” to made it. Jim Osborne joined me, along with his PHD and 2-wheeler, at his house on Troublesome Creek, and we flushed Carlos Brock out of MFG Supply, right on time at 9:30. By then, Randall had his situation under control. We just had to meet him in Lothair, where his understanding spouse had hauled him, along with a trunk-full of his tools. So, we now had it all together, and we were only a few minutes behind schedule. No problem. Jim kept talking about a sausage-biscuit, so we knew he had left home without the benefit of nourishment. After a brief stop in Whitesburg, everybody felt better, and we were only a few more minutes behind schedule. No problem; not yet. The drive to Weber City was uneventful and we pulled into McGee’s Merchandise around 12:30. After exchanging pleasantries with the McGee’s, we loaded the 4 headstones and a bit of gravel mix and set out for Blountville, TN. It was a short drive on mostly Interstates, but we noticed that the outside temperature was 91 degrees. We only had to make two U-turns in Blountville before we found the cemetery. Getting right to work, we had finished digging one hole and had started the second when thunder, lightning, wind and a downpour, chased us into the truck. Now, this just might have been a problem. We had no idea of course, how long the rain would last. After about 30 minutes, the rain became a drizzle, and we went back to work, in the mud. We finished the job, decorated each new headstone with a Confederate Battle Flag, took pictures, picked up our tools and trash, and headed back toward Weber City. There were 5 more headstones at McGees, ready to be placed in Nickelsville. Back at McGee’s, the rain had gone from drizzle back to a modest downpour. We decided to take advantage and have a late lunch, confident that the rain would stop. It didn’t. So, we loaded the headstones, in the rain, and wrapped our bags of gravel mix in plastic. Before leaving, we decided that if the rain didn’t let up by the time we reached Nickelsville, we would drop the headstones off at the cemetery and head for home. It was still raining when we got to the First Baptist Church, standing in the middle of the historic Nickelsville Cemetery. Since it wasn’t raining much, we set to work, without even discussing other options. The more we worked, the less it rained. By the time we finished our clean up, the sun was actually shining. Now, we could have given up a few times during the day, but we were all mighty glad we didn’t. The mud wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it was a small price to pay for the big drop in temperature that we had enjoyed since the Blountville storm. It was the longest day of stone-setting any of us could remember; it was somewhere between 10 and 11 PM when we got back in Hazard, and even later for those of us who call Troublesome Creek home. Back in Blountville, there are four new Confederate headstones for Privates of the 4th KY Cavalry. The men were Albert G. Searcy, William B. Searcy, J. R. Whitehead, all of Company F, and D. F. Stafford of Company A. In Nickelsville, we honored four Privates who served in the 1st Battalion KY Mounted Rifles; John H. Archer and Harvey H. Archer of Company D, John Dunlap Gay of Company C, and Martin Taylor of Company B. We also honored a 5th KY Infantry man; he was Private Harvey Owens, who served in Company D. This determined crew was led by Carlos Brock and supported by Randall Haddix, Jim Osborne and Manton Ray Cornett.
Journal Entry: July 17, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Although the day started out with some disappointment, it would end in an emotional satisfaction that greatly outweighed our physical exhaustion. We met at Manufacturer’s Supply, where the stones had been stored for a few weeks, and as we loaded them for the trip to Virginia, we were able to unwrap and inspect them for the first time. That’s when it was obvious that the stone for Private N. S. Berry was broken completely in half! The other six were fine, so we headed out for Fort Blackmore, about 100 miles away in Scott County. We got there in about two hours, and began to look for the easiest way to get the stones into the cemetery. This cemetery was used by the residents of Fort Blackmore during the pioneering days of Daniel Boone and his contemporaries, and was used by the Confederates when they were at Camp Nash, where Stony Creek runs into the Clinch River. It doesn’t appear than anyone has been buried there in the past 150 years. So, needless to say, there is no convenient access to the cemetery. After looking at all the angles, we decided to rope the stones straight up the 20-foot embankment next to the busy railroad that crosses Rt. 619. The soil was loose and the footing was uneasy, so we had to take each one up a few feet at a time. After about 3 hours of serious labor, we had erected a row of six new Confederate headstones that any Compatriot could be proud of. The honorees were all Privates in the 5th KY Infantry, and they all died of disease while stationed at Camp Nash in 1862 and 1863. They were: Samuel McCoy of Company G, Joseph McGuire of Company C, William Hart of Company H, Stembell Reed of Company F, and Alford Marshall and William T. Clayton, both of Company A. It was pretty warm and very humid; and we were working with a somewhat diminished crew, but our collective determination made it happen anyway. Thanks to Randall Haddix, Willis Strong, Manton Ray Cornett, and especially to Carlos Brock, who completed all the research necessary to locate this cemetery and obtain the headstones to honor these very worthy Confederate veterans.
July 1, 2010 – Hazard, KY: The last half of the year began as it should have; a crew of five heading North with a pair of Confederate headstones. We knew we were in for a long ride, and we were prepared for brush-clearing duty. Our first stop, after breakfast in Jackson, was in Wyoming, in Bath County, KY at the Atchison Cemetery. We could see the old cemetery from the highway, but there was one very large field between us and our destination. We inquired at a nearby house and a very cordial lady informed us that there was indeed a way to drive to the cemetery. Our relief lasted all the way to the cemetery. There we encountered some very old and somewhat elaborate grave markers that were entirely hidden by weeds, vines, briars and bushes. We explored the entire cemetery with the aid of axe, shears and chainsaw and found what we were looking for near the back of the cemetery. There, we placed the new Confederate headstone for Sergeant James W. Markland who served in Company H of the 5th KY Infantry. From Wyoming, we headed East and a little North to Grayson, KY in Carter County. We met John and Nancy Wright Bates there, and after lunch, they led us to our final destination, the Childers Cemetery just outside Grayson, tucked away on some gated property that made their assistance a necessity. We quickly located the proper location for the new Confederate headstone for Corporal David Childers, a member of Company H of the 13th KY Cavalry. David was the son of Goolsby Childers, the grandson of Abraham Childers, and the brother of James and Abram Childers. Abraham was a Revolutionary veteran, James and Abram were members of the 13th KY Cavalry, and Goolsby served in the 5th KY. The Ben Caudill Camp placed headstones for all 4 of David’s family, at Red Fox in Knott County, on a previous outing. We soon thanked and bid a farewell to John and Nancy and set the Tom-Tom for home. One hundred and twenty-eight miles later, Faron Sparkman, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Britt Smith, and Manton Ray Cornett were back in the parking lot in Hazard, satisfied with our accomplishment, but totally unaware of the chiggers that would torment us for the next several days. Thanks to all who served on this long-awaited trip.
June 26, 2010: – Weber City, VA: Blue skies, cumulus clouds, and a generous prevailing breeze greeted the gathering in the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery today. A newly erected flagpole with Confederate colors made the location unmistakable, even for the unfamiliar. The members and friends of the Ben Caudill Camp numbered no more than 40, and perhaps as few as 35. But, the spirit and the intent were pure and suitable for a vast throng. So, a few minutes past 3 PM, the dedication of the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery began.
Ben Caudill Camp Commander Richard Smith welcomed the small gathering and thanked each for their attendance and dedication. After former Commander Faron Sparkman offered the Invocation, everyone saluted the Confederate flag. Commander Sparkman then gave a brief history of the Camp’s relationship with the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery, a relationship that began in 2005, when he and Tim Harp placed the first KY headstone for Private Uriah Bates. Since then, 53 additional Confederate headstones had been successfully placed in the cemetery for Kentucky men who died at Holston Springs and nearby Camp Moccasin. He emphasized that this was made possible through the efforts of many individuals, but especially through the hard work of researcher Carlos Brock. Ganell Marshall, of the local UDC chapter, led the congregation in “Amazing Grace” before Commander Sparkman and researcher Carlos Brock read the names, rank and units of the 54 men being honored.
As each man’s name was called, Compatriot Anthony Hawkins, and friends Carl Smith and Lowell Campbell advanced along the rows, pausing at each headstone long enough to place a small Confederate flag. When given the opportunity to speak, some of those in the gathering gave details about some of the men being honored; others explained how they were related, how they became involved in the project, and how much they appreciated their involvement.
We were honored to have among us today Janice Busic, the second vice-president of the Virginia UDC. She read the fitting poem “Jacket of Grey” to a hushed audience. And then, a group of SCV members who are also re-enactors presented a traditional military salute. First Sergeant John Kuhn commanded the firing line and sent echoes down the Holston valley with his line of muskets. A short distance away, the 5-man crew of “Little Jesse”, an 1841 mountain howitzer, responded with a volley of cannon fire. After Commander Sparkman offered the Benediction, Cumberland Brigade Commander Moses Hamblin gave a chilling rendition of “Taps”. The gathering then lingered for a while, placing flowers next to each headstone, and especially next to the monument to other Confederates who lie there, still “unknown”. Thanks to all who attended and especially to those who took part in the event. We are most grateful for the efforts of Compatriots Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Britt Smith, Quenton Childers, Garland Kiser, and Raymond Isaacs. And, we also appreciate the efforts of our two new Virginia friends, Lowell Campbell and Paul Combs, who have adopted the cemetery and made a remarkable difference in both the appearance and the accessibility.
Finally, we feel certain that there are other Confederates in this cemetery who could be identified, verified and honored in a similar fashion. Most notably are members of the 64th Virginia Infantry, a unit that was mentioned specifically by Captain E. O. Guerrant, Adjutant to Gen. Humphrey Marshall, upon his arrival at Holston Springs early in 1863. From his Headquarters Diary:
“Monday 9th, Feb ‘63”
“Great sickness prevailing among our troops here.
This place has become a perfect ‘Golgotha’.
Smallpox in the 64th.
Erysipelas in the Hospital.
The Grave Digger is busy.”
June 15, 2010 – Hazard, KY: This morning, we were on the road again, headed North with a load of stones, tools and positive attitudes. Near Campton, we met with the Pilgrims, who own the land where we would place our first Confederate headstone. We were also joined by our familiar accomplice, Bill James. He would remain with us throughout the day, serving as our guide and our chaplain. In order to move the headstone for Private William Napier into the Napier-Tolson Cemetery, we had to use 600 feet of rope and a very large pulley to navigate about 750 feet of weeds and bushes, straight up a steep slope. Then we put the ropes aside and zigzagged through the trees and under a barbed-wire fence into the cemetery. Private Napier served in Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry, Company E, survived the war, and is buried with other family members. Staying in Wolfe County, we moved to the Tar Ridge Cemetery and placed the new headstone for Private Benjamin F. Spencer, a member of Company E of the 5th KY Infantry. Nearby, in the Scott-Bush Cemetery, we located the grave of Private Isaiah Spencer. He served in Company C of the 5th KY Infantry. Refreshed, we went a little further north and into Powell County and the Chop Chestnut Cemetery. There, we placed Confederate headstones for two men who served in Company E of the 2nd KY Mounted Rifles; Private George Hatton, and Private William Hatton. We headed back toward Hazard then; but we still had another challenge waiting in Wolfe County. The Pelfrey Cemetery was near a hilltop and in an area that had been logged and victimized by ice storms. The landowner, Wince Mayabb, made our task manageable by providing the services of his well-sharpened chain-saw. We drove as far as we could, he cleared for nearly an hour, and we 4-wheeled the rest of the way to the small cemetery. We placed stones there for a father-son pair of Confederate Privates; Daniel Pelfrey and his son William Riley Pelfrey. They served together in Company I of the 5th KY Infantry. These seven stones were placed by Compatriots Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Jim Osborne, and Manton Ray Cornett. All seven were dedicated with commentary, scripture reading, prayer and singing by Bill James. Our thanks to all who assisted; landowners Pam Pilgrim, Scott Bush, and Wince Mayabb, and to Bill James and his two recruits, who gave 100% effort all day long.
May 31, 2010: Today, several Ben Caudill Camp members took part in living history presentations for local students and community members in Letcher and Perry Counties. At the Letcher County Military Museum, “Yankee Buster” was fired several times, to honor and respect the memory of all area veterans who served.
The appreciative audience consisted mainly of students from Letcher County High School, but also included several adults from the area. The LCHS Band was responsible for the music, and performed admirably. Compatriots Richard Brown, Glenn Brown, David Brown, Wendell Brown, Anthony Hawkins, Garland Kiser, and Larry Kiser were there in support of the activities.
Meanwhile, at Ary in Perry County, 7th and 8th Graders from Robinson Elementary met with Ben Caudill Camp members at nearby the “Homeplace” soccer field for a living history presentation arranged and directed by young Compatriot Britt Smith. Students learned what it was like to serve in the Confederate Infantry or in the Confederate Artillery. “Little Jesse” barked loudly over the waters of Troublesome Creek several times, much to the delight of the youngsters. Britt explained and demonstrated the weapons and tactics of the infantryman, and Commander Richard Smith gave added meaning by discussing the heritage of those Confederates who lived, and of those descendants who now live, in the area. Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, and Carlos Brock fired “Little Jesse” flawlessly; later, Willis and Randall answered many eager questions about the cannon. Before the cannon demonstration, Manton Ray Cornett gave a mini-lecture on the origins and evolution of the Confederate Flags that were used between 1861 and 1865. Before the bus loaded to leave, Carlos made the entire event a personal matter to the students when he gave details about men from Troublesome Creek who served the Confederacy, and what happened to some of them during and after the WBTS.
We would like to express our thanks to the school and community officials who made these events possible, and for allowing the Camp another opportunity to honor our Confederate ancestry.
May 25, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Six members of the Ben Caudill Camp traveled to the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery today; the mission was to honor the graves of nine more KY men who died at either Holston Springs hospital or at Camp Moccasin during the WBTS. It was a fine day, with summer-like conditions, and our undertaking was completed with neither strife nor strain. When we departed the scene, we left the remarkable sight of 54 Confederate headstones arranged in three neat rows, sitting atop a small hill that overlooks the Holston River and the former headquarters of General Humphrey Marshall. The men who were honored today with new headstones were Privates James Ellis (1816-1863), Alexander Edgington (1833-1863), William Brian (1835-1863), Henry Wilson (1834-1863), Moses Canada (1841-1863), Babbitt Crafton (1843-1863), members of the 4th KY Cavalry; Harrison Rattliff (1814-1863), a member of Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry; and James R. Beckett (1838-1862) and John J. Taul (1834-1862), members of the 1st Battalion KY Mounted Rifles. On the way back to Hazard, the crew stopped at Almira, just south of Pound Gap, to place a new Confederate headstone for Private Frank M. Finley (1819-1862), who served in Company G of the 4th KY Cavalry. Compatriots who were honored to complete today’s efforts were Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Britt Smith, Jim Osborne, and Manton Ray Cornett. And now, the Ben Caudill Camp is busily preparing for the dedication that will take place at the cemetery on June 26 at 3 PM.
May 10th, 2010 Camp Historian Faron Sparkman reports:
Here are our new numbers
- Eastern Kentucky Confederate Stones Set – 1,155
- 13th KY. burial sites located – 866
- 13th KY stones set – 644
- 5th KY. stones set – 322
- Breathitt – 131
- Clark – 4
- Floyd – 142
- Knott – 122
- Laurel – 4
- Letcher – 136
- Madison – 6
- Magoffin – 11
- Menifee – 30
- Morgan – 124
- Perry – 103
- Wolfe – 37
- Virginia – 82
May 21-23, 2010-Sacramento, KY: Forrest’s First Fight-The greatness of our American heritage was once again embraced at the 16th annual Battle of Sacramento. The 149th anniversary of the saga of General Forrest’s first fight was held on May 21, through May 23, 2010, with much fanfare. Education Day witnessed approximately nine hundred school children and their chaperones visit the many stations scattered within the confines of the sixty-five acre battlefield. The commanders’ headquarters, surgeon, hospital, blacksmith, flag presentation, farm life, President and Mrs. Lincoln, along with Mrs. Varina Davis and the generals, greeted the students with an overview of life during that time frame, and talked of the forthcoming battles. General and Mrs. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Wade Hampton, Buckner, General and Mrs. Polk were present to honor the community of McLean County, Kentucky. The artillery, cavalry, and infantry camps afforded all present a glimpse of life in the 1860s. Chaplains, a Collision photographer, a Yankee and Rebel Reporter, a tour of the 1836 refurbished log cabin (donated by Mr. and Mrs. Russell Nall), wood crafting displays, food vendors, civilian living historians, sutlers, wagons, and other groups came together to create a triumphant day of education.
Saturday morning promised to be grand not only for the event but also the weather. A carefully planned scenario was developed and discussed at the 9:00 Officer’s call. The grand Heritage Parade proved to be even more spectacular, as several hundred participated in the procession through town. The Cavalry offered a grand exhibition of skills and provided different demonstrations. The Ladies Tea and Fashion Show was held at the Sacramento united Methodist Church, with over one hundred-ninety ladies participating in period attire. The site was spectacular. Mrs. Lee offered words of enlightenment to the audience. A delightful luncheon was held in honor of President and Mrs. Lincoln, General Grant and Mrs. Grant, and General Robert E. Lee at the historical Janey’s Tea House.
Opening ceremonies began promptly at 1:00 P.M., with Rick Revel being the host and narrator of the battle. The opening ceremonies included recognition of the Mollie Morehead pageant winners, and remarks by President Lincoln and Mrs. Varina Davis. They were escorted by the generals. Father Murphy offered the invocation, which was immediately followed by Rick Revels’ unique style of honoring God, Country, and our heritage. The national anthem was played and followed by Dixie. Then the narration began and before long the crowd was mesmerized by Rick’s ability to offer a ‘play by play’ account of the action, with period music in the background. The crowd roared its approval whenever the Rick Revel asked them to yell like Banshees! In the words of narrator, the following description captured the essence of the battle unfolding in front of the audience. “The opening of small arms fire soon brought the big guns into line and a valiant duel between Confederate and Union artillery began to rage. The ground shook as battery fire bellowed through the country side and the dense smoke made the terrain look as if a fog had rolled in from a storm. The fact was, a storm had rolled in and his name was Forrest. Just as the Federal cavalry was being overcome by Forrest men, a brigade of Union infantry marched onto the field. The Confederate cavalry was now sorely outnumbered and was having to give ground to the superior number of enemy before them. The Union infantry began to sweep the field, but soon their advance was checked when two battalions of Confederate infantry breached the rise of a small hill.
“The battle was in full rage for nearly an hour, with wave after wave of Confederate assaults across the green fields of Kentucky. The Union line held until Forrest’s cavalry began to roll the flanks of the boys in blue. With their left flank in peril and casualties so high, a flag of truce was flown. It was clear to see that both sides had obtained heavy losses; a truce was called so that surgeons could remove the wounded from the field of carnage. Both commanders would withdraw their men from the field and retire to camp. For the next twenty four hours both armies would nurse their wounds and clean their guns. Then on the next day, as if destiny had so planned, Forrest and Murray would march out on to the same fields to do battle. Neither army would give way, there would have to be a final victor before satisfaction could be had. The numbers in the ranks had been thinned by the previous day’s battle, but all present were ready for victory or death.
“Knowing he had inflicted heavy casualties on the Confederates on the previous day, Eli Murray took the initiative and launched a strong assault on Forrest position. Union infantry, cavalry and artillery in concert, played a chorus of death as they rained hot lead toward their enemy. Forrest skirmishers were pushed back and the day looked bleak for our boys in butternut and gray. The Union advance went unchecked and from the outside looking in, all looked to be lost for the Confederates on this day. “Just as the Union infantry took position on the rise of a small hill to secure the fate of the South, in mass Forrest’s cavalry burst from the woods to attack their left flank. Union cavalry charged forward to check Forrest’s men, but it was too late. The Union cavalry was being raked by enfilading artillery fire and constant waves of Confederate mounted and dismounted cavalry. The Confederate infantry emerged in force once again to confront the Union Infantry and it was clear to see, the battle was not yet over. At almost the same instant, Forrest launches an attack on the Federal right and begins to threaten the Union artillery line. Murray cannot respond quick enough to ward off the flanking maneuvers. With Confederate infantry pressing his front and his flanks melting away, his only choice is to fall back. As the Federals withdraw to new position, Forrest takes advantage of their dilemma and presses the attack. The trap has been sprung and the prey is about to meet its fate.
“Federal cavalry on the left flank are soon overwhelmed and the Federal artillery on the right are captured, that leaves the rear of the Federal infantry open and Forest smells blood. As his artillery begins to grow silent and his cavalry cover dissolving, Murray finds refuge behind a split rail fence to make a last stand. With heavy casualties, the Confederate infantry has continued to press the Union center and now they are poised to strike the death blow. The Rebel Yell can be heard for miles as the rag tags charge through Death Valley and up the ridge to the split rail and the awaiting Billy Yanks. A rout is taking shape and Eli Murray knows escape is his only resolve to a bad situation. The order to fall back is given, but Forrest’s cavalry is quickly securing his rear flank, so without haste a full retreat is ordered. Federal line officers try to maintain good order, but panic has its grip and fear gives feet the desire of flight. Small companies of Union infantry try to make a stand, but they soon wither away under the constant hale of Confederate volley. As the field of battle begins to calm and only a stray shot can be heard, the ghastly view of war’s destruction is on display. Let this day remind us all of war’s aftermath and let us pray we learn from the days of old. As resurrection is called, warriors rise to their feet and the spectators cheer in resounding approval. In a year’s passing, these two great armies shall meet once again on the battlefields of Sacramento, Kentucky.”
The renowned dinner on the grounds for the reenactors did not disappoint anyone, as all nine hundred seventy-three who ate went away filled with food and gratitude to the kindness of the citizens of McLean County. The ball was well attended and the music divine, as the Southern Sons played for the enjoyment of all.
Sunday held promise of a hot and humid day but the spirit of all was refreshed. The day began with Officers’ call and a 9 o’clock dedication at the Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery. Once again the Mollie Morehead United Daughters of the Confederacy honored the memory of Mollie with a moving memorial service. Church services were held at the covered shed with a large crowd participating. Chaplain Kenny Powers (5th TN), Father Murphy, and Chaplain Binion came together in a nondenominational service. Compatriot Larry of the 5th TN gave a stirring sermon which moved the hearts of those present. The highlight was the baptism of young Noah.
A dedication at Memorial Gardens was held to honor those men who fought at Sacramento and those who gave their full measure while fighting for their cause. Several guest speakers were present, including KY UDC Division President, National Society of Union Daughters, Sons of Union Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans, state representative and senator. The monument was dedication to all participants of the battle. The obelisk monument points to the heavens with the names of those who lost their lives inscribed, Mollie remembered and is placed on a granite foundation (concrete base).
The opening ceremonies began promptly at 1:00. President Lincoln (portrayed by Jim Sayre) offered a very moving tribute, as this was his last presentation as President Lincoln after 13 years of service. He plans to retire from reenactments after this year. Mrs. Varina Davis (Joan Howard) also bid farewell in a loving tribute to her late husband, Cliff Howard, who portrayed President Davis for so many years.
The weekend scenario followed the traditional lines of the original battle. It began with the traditional ride of Miss Mollie Moorhead, an eighteen year old girl who found the Federal forces and rode bareback to warn Lt. Colonel Forrest and his men. On that cold December 28th day of 1861, Forrest had three hundred of his own men with him and had been reinforced by Captain McLemore’s forty man unit, Starnes’ Eighth TN. and Captain Merriweather’s First KY Cavalry. Based on the information given to him by this brave young lady, Forrest introduced his ‘charge’ tactics that made him famous. The battle became a running engagement over two miles in length. The end result was that Nathan Bedford Forrest had his first victory and entered his name into the hall of fame as a true fighter for Southern Independence.
The reenactors (868 registered representing sixty different units, along with 15 states), under the commander of Ron Orange (Federal) and Jeff Glaza and Steve Glaza (Confederates), were brilliant as the performed superbly in the execution of the battle. Their cavalry charges and engagements were up close and personal. The thirty artillery pieces bellowed smoke and sound, as they paid tribute to the bygone era; the infantry held and yielded their ground with the cavalry charged the flanks seeking a weakness. The battle was once again picture perfect with the crowd leaving the area with the knowledge they had been privy to another historical event. Next year’s event holds great promise; being the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Sacramento.
May 15-16, 2010-Charleston, South Carolina: A wonderful event was held in Charleston to celebrate the history and heritage of our Southern heritage. The torch was passed from the older generation to the one rising to fill their shoes. The event included the convention/reunion, tour of the Citadel, a wondrous dinner with Keynote speakers General Stuart, General Lee and Mrs. Flora Stuart making her debut. The spirit of the Children of the Confederacy Convention was nothing less than breath taking, as youth from all over South Carolina came to honor their ancestors and learn more of the heroic deeds of those gone before them. Special thanks to Ms Wendy and the UDC for their unselfish sacrifices in making this year a total success.
April 30-May 2, 2010-Columbia, S.C.: The Battle For Columbia-If you took the time to look and listen as you traveled on Interstate 26 heading to Charleston, South Carolina, you were probably set back by the sights and sounds of the past. Just off the Sandy Run exit, at mile marker 125, a historic event was being recreated. The 145th anniversary of the Battle of Columbia was celebrated with the honor and glory it so richly deserved. This was the weekend set aside to remember the horrors of war and the march of Sherman through the Carolinas and especially his siege of the City of Columbia.
Friday was Education Day. The day was immaculate with a light breeze blowing through the trees. Close to one thousand young people, parents, teachers, and educators descended upon the beautiful farm to be a part of the Living History Experiences the SCV Wade Hampton Camp #273 had planned for them. With a brilliant display of craftsmanship by the artillery, the astonishing Hunley presentation by John Dangerfield, the Relic Room discussion and demonstration of cavalry saber skills of Joe Long, the Cayce Museum artifacts, period photography, a Confederate Post Office, wood carvings by Ike Carpenter, and several vendors/sutlers, the audience realized they were in for a real treat. The stations consisted of a uniform display by Butternut (Roger Kelley), with period dresses (created by Ms Susan) beside his station. Across the road, the cavalry discussed their role and the importance of cavalry during the war. The children loved the horses and the information shared by Dan Gregory. There was a station with period music, engineers demonstrating the skills of the era, Generals Jackson (Danny Buckner), Lee (David Chaltas), Stuart (Wayne Jones) and Pendleton (Ken Creswell) discussing their personal lives and roles during the War Between the States. The 27th South Carolina Volunteers Infantry offered a volley to the delight of each group of children and infantry drill. Old South Cookery gave a presentation on the cooking and history of Cherokee fry bread. A moving presentation of a soldier returning home to Lexington was offered. The children visited different camps and learned about camp life from those living historians known as reenactors. Featured were the Federal and Confederate reenactors discussing the various aspects of life and hardships experienced during the War Between the States. As in their noble tradition, the ladies from the “South Carolina Society Order of Confederate Rose” read the “Roll of the Dead” beginning on Friday, April 30, 2010, while on the steps of the South Carolina State House. Each of the eighteen thousand names listed in the book “Broken Fortunes” was read aloud and then honored by the ringing of a bell. Saturday morning witnessed the promise of a great event, as hundreds of men and women came to honor their ancestors. Officer’s call was held at 9:00 A. M., and the scenario was discussed. At 10:30 A. M. the annual memorial service was held at the Elmwood Cemetery. The United Daughters of the Confederacy has been doing a marvelous job in organizing and conducting the event for several years. After the dedication, the men and women began the long march from the cemetery to the capital for the Statewide Confederate Memorial Day ceremonies at the State House in downtown Columbia. Their ranks swelled to approximately three hundred, with an estimated crowd of one thousand watching the presentation and listening to the speeches. Back at the battle site, meeting the Generals was a grand success. General Hampton (Eddie Rogers), Grant (Ron Perrin), and his lovely wife (Marty Perrin) joined the other generals for two presentations, one at 12:30 and the other at 2:30. The battle began sharply at 4:00 P.M., with the Federal forces assaulting the fortification and the Confederate artillery that was just as determined to keep them at bay. Colonel Claude Sinclair of the Palmetto Battalion was the overall commander for the event.
Reenactors from the Palmetto Battalion, 3rd SC Infantry, 22nd NC Co. “K”, 17th NY, 5th Georgia Cavalry, 2nd South Carolina Cavalry, 27th South Carolina, Hampton’s Legion and several artillery units endured ninety degree plus heat in a fierce contest that will not soon be forgotten. The Federal artillery consisting of seven cannon, under the command of Captain Vernon Terry, and the Confederate artillery protected by breastworks and consisting of seven cannon and four mortars, under the command of Major Ken Moore, began the conflict firing repeatedly at one another without either side gaining an advantage. As the Federal Infantry emerged from a forest behind the artillery, the right flank formed a skirmish line and steadily advanced their way across the battlefield. The skilled horsemen of the Confederate Cavalry, under the command of Major Terry Gatch, attacked the Federal right flank at about the midpoint of the field when they charged out of a forest inflicting great loss upon the surprised Federal troops. The center and left flank of the Federal army fought bravely but also were repulsed after repeated attacks from the cavalry to their rear and flank and infantry to their front. Eventually, the remaining Federal infantry was forced to fall back to a position out of range of fire.
After a heated battle, the troops paid their respects to those men and women of yesteryear via a volley from their muskets and the artillery pieces. The evening continued with the Ball that was held under a star lit Carolina Sky; offering a wondrous social gathering for all to enjoy. The music was spectacular and all went away with a sense of satisfaction, in a day spent remembering their heritage; stepping back in time to honor their ancestors.
Sunday’s church service afforded an opportunity for the congregation to reflect upon God’s goodness in His tabernacle. The service was held inside the fortification on the hill and the service was conducted by the good Chaplain Mike Short and Reverend Ken Moore. Another Meet the Generals presentation was held at the amphitheatre on Sunday afternoon prior to the battle. Sunday’s battle began with the sound of Confederate artillery announcing the arrival of the Federal forces. The 2:00 afternoon battle was once again intense and the crowd was pleased at the results of the reenactors’ efforts. The pass and review offered another opportunity for honoring America’s heritage and acknowledging those who make an effort to keep our history alive by living it. Our special thanks to the remarkable efforts put forth by the SCV Wade Hampton Camp #273 and the Sandy Run Community Association in preserving our heritage. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision the people perish”. The vision and mission of those dedicated men and women is obvious by their endeavors in maintaining sacred principles honoring God, Country and honor. Together we can preserve our heritage and pass the torch of knowledge to the rising generation. For information regarding the 2011 Battle for Columbia. Submitted by the Old General, JEB, and Larry Bates.
April 28, 2010 – Hazard, KY: Today, a giant stride was taken toward the eventual completion of the Wolfe Cemetery project. A crew of six Compatriots left town at the uneasy hour of 9:30. Our destination was more than a hundred miles south and east; the Wolfe Confederate Cemetery on Yuma Road just outside Weber City, VA. All we knew for sure was that we had 15 headstones waiting to be set and a cemetery to mow and weed. But, there were surprises ahead; and mostly, they would be of the pleasant variety. After a two-hour drive across the mountains, we got to the cemetery and found sunny skies and drying conditions. We were disappointed to find a new fence, which appeared to be electric, around the field that surrounds the cemetery. Inside the new fence was a beauty of a horse, which was obviously very special to someone. At first, we thought we had met an obstacle that might be hard to overcome.
As we approached the fence, we realized that we had some new help. Two more Compatriots had made their first visit to the cemetery and were waiting for us to get things started. They even disconnected the fence for us and let us through. The hill was still a little slick from recent rains, and one vehicle failed to make the climb. Another required two tries before getting up, but the third had no trouble whatsoever. We unloaded, got through the cemetery fence, and quickly mowed the area where we would be setting the 15 headstones. Then, we made the short trip to McGee’s General Merchandise, where the headstones were in storage. That’s where we got our next pleasant surprise.
As soon as Malina McGee saw us, she was delighted to let us know that 5 more stones had arrived that very morning. In fact, she reckoned that they had gotten to their business after we had gotten into the cemetery!
We loaded the 20 headstones and 10 bags of gravel mix onto our two trucks, drove back to the cemetery, and set to work.
When 7:30 PM rolled around, we had erected 20 new headstones next to the 25 already in place. We also mowed and trimmed the entire cemetery, leaving it in better condition than any of us had ever seen. As the sun sank deep into the western sky, each Confederate headstone cast a long shadow toward Holston Springs and the place where Camp Moccasin once stood. The men who were honored today were from the 5th KY Infantry, the 4th KY Cavalry, and Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry. They were William Hamilton, William Brock Jr., Henry D. Wheeler, William Rose, Robert Kincannon, Compton McCoy, Richard Holbrook, Noah Lyons, Jonathan Justice, John M. Wells, John Schultz, John W. Bray, Michael Plum, Matthew Salyers, Joseph Fight Sr., Robert S. Calhoun, Thomas Carter, Leander C. Abernathy, William W. Hawkins, and Samuel Miller. These men all died of disease while in Camp Moccasin or in the hospital at Holston Springs, VA, as they waited for orders that would allow them to return to their native state and engage the enemy.
The last of our crew was back in Hazard around 9:30 PM, experiencing a unique mix of exhaustion and elation. The men who completed the mission today were Compatriots Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Jim Osborne, Britt Smith, Manton Ray Cornett, Quenton Childers, and Garland Kiser. We appreciate all the assistance and support from Jimmy and Malina McGee, who have graciously accepted receipt and provided storage of the headstones, thereby relieving us of the burden of hauling the stones all the way from Hazard. We are also thankful for all those who kept the home fires burning today, making it possible for us to make the trip and finish the job.
April 24-25, 2010-Cumberland Gap, TN: The Battle under the Pinnacle; The uniqueness of the Battle of Cumberland Gap is apparent at your first glance of the terrain. Nestled in a beautiful valley filled with heritage, the quiet town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, lies as it was so many years ago. As you walk the streets, you can look up and see the historic Cumberland Gap, which was the gateway into the Wilderness of Kentucky. It was founded on an old buffalo trail, traveled by the Shawnee, Cherokee, and other tribes of the region and finally ‘discovered’ by Daniel Boone and the early settlers. The majestic Pinnacles look down upon the valley and was a major point of observation during the War Between the States. Martin Station and the National Park surround the area and is steeped with history. A visitor can follow the old path and tour the Soldier’s Cave, listen to the pioneers and experience the civil war by seeing it come alive. Visit the historic buildings surrounding Cumberland Gap and delightful town of Harrogate. Such is the setting for the annual Battle of Cumberland Gap. Such was the setting for the annual Battle of Cumberland Gap.
The Battle of Cumberland Gap originally began in 1983 when the scenario followed one of the numerous battle plans. The soldiers camped on the other side of the mountain and during the morning mist began their trek up the trail, across Saddle Gap and invaded the unsuspecting town. The next day they would march to Lincoln Memorial University and have yet another battle at Harrogate. Since 1985, the battle has centered on the town of Cumberland Gap.
In an interview with Major John Varnum, the event coordinator for years, several factors were disclosed. One of the most endearing factors of the event is that it is not a reenactment per say, but a family reunion and those in attendance are treated as such. Also, it is one of the few places in which you actually fight within the confines of the town. For all practical purposes the morning skirmish and the main battle at 2:00 although revolves around a scenario that is a tactical filled with surprises. Each company is given their orders but they are subject to change and must depend upon their overall commander. Major Varnum stated it is a ‘battle dance’, with the audience getting to ‘see the elephant’ up close and personal. The Federal forces were commanded by Steve Limbaugh of the 8th Tennessee, and Confederate forces by John Varnum of the 63rd Tennessee.
The afternoon rain did not dampen the spirit of men from at least 6 states or the black powder, as once again the reenactors gave their all for the sake of God, Country and Honor during the battle. The pass and review honored all veterans and paid tribute to those who have gone before. Saturday’s agenda followed standard protocol with officer’s call, eight education stations, and an unannounced grand skirmish began around 11 o’clock. Then in the afternoon there was a fabulous ladies tea and social at the pavilion (General Jackson and Lee were the key note speakers to over fifty ladies dressed in period attire). The afternoon activities culminated with great, fiercely fought battle at 2:00 ending in the rain. The clouds cleared for a while, but the rain returned in the evening. However, this could not deter our group of dedicated reenactors and visitors from gathering for the Ball in the evening where everyone danced and celebrated the Reunion until late in the evening.
The rain from Saturday night managed to wash away the clouds; Sunday brought clear skies and a beautiful day filled with activities. The soldiers from both Armies were up early getting their equipment dried out and preparing for the activities of the day. Church services were held in the various camps to share their prayers of thanksgiving for another safe night. Chaplain Binion conducted services at the main pavilion where Patricia Sarah Cornelius was dedicated. After a joint non-denominational service, sacrament was offered to those in attendance. The morning service gave everyone a time to pause and reflect on the importance of message they had been given and the lessons they were attempting to share with the visitors that would come out to observe the activities of the day.
It was apparent by the movement and actions in town during the morning that the Federal Army had taken over the town during the evening and night. However, about 12:30 the Confederate Forces under the leadership of Major Varnum with assistance of General Forrest (Stan Dalton) and a small contingent of his troops came in roaring through the Gap to restore the town to Confederate control. The fighting was fierce and the action very spirited. Both sides offered stiff resistance and intense action. You could hear the sounds of musket, pistol, and cannon fire echo off the wall of the surrounding mountains. After almost an hour of give and take, the Federal forces were backed into a corner and forced to relinquish control. The Federal Colors were removed, the Confederate Flag was restored to the place of honor it deserved, as the Army and the crowd joined in the singing of Dixie. Once again, the pass and review honored all veterans, past and present, and paid tribute to those who have gone before.
Though we call this the Battle of Cumberland Gap, we have come to know this as the Reunion at Cumberland Gap. For as you watched the events of the weekend unfold, you could see that this truly was a reunion of sorts. Reenactors from all walks of life came out to pay tribute to the men, women, and children that lived during an era that found brother fighting against brother. Many had ancestors that fought and died in this area. However this weekend, we all came together to share their life, legacy, and history in a glorious reunion. If you have not had the opportunity to attend this event, you need to put it on your calendar for next year. You need to visit a place that will allow you to step back in time. For here in Cumberland Gap you can see not only an area that is steeped in history of the War Between the States, but you can also discover an area that was part of the development of our country, the place where our ancestors first traveled to find the West. This is a small place where Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky come together and brothers are reunited once more.
April 17-18, 2010 – Paintsville, KY: A beautiful, unspoiled setting was provided to re-enactors for the first annual Battle of Hager’s Farm. It was a photogenic opportunity for camera enthusiasts, with no power lines or roads to spoil the view, and abundant period structures, complete with farm animals. The Caudill Camp was represented by “Little Jesse” and crew, consisting of Willis Strong, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett. We fired our rounds from an elevated position, alongside “Gideon”, with R. C. Kuhn and Crew, and Buckner’s Battery, with Captain Leonard Lay acting as line commander. This event is destined to grow due to the unique setting and accessibility for area re-enactors.
April 16-18, 2004-Charleston, South Carolina: A historical event occurred in which the 3rd crew of the Hunley was laid to rest at the beautiful Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina. Six years to the day, another historical event occurred on John’s Island. It was the 6th annual Battle of Charleston.
The spectacular event was held on four hundred+ acres of land on John’s Island owned by the Legare family. The land has been in the family since 1725. The mission of the annual event is to honor, educate, and witness history; as comes alive through living it. All the planning, promotion and preparation was for honoring the memory of our ancestors who lived during the War Between the States and education of the rising generation. The event was hosted by the 27th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry and the Legare family. Friday witnessed a crowd of approximately one thousand students, teachers, and volunteers walk through a living history program and taste of life during the War Between the States. Traveling on towards sutler row, the youth was in awe of the field hospital, period cooking demonstrations, candle making, children games of the era, infantry drill, artillery demonstrations, Cavalry, drills and presentations by General Lee. Friday also gave witness to students going through Sutler Row, visiting with the Blacksmith, woodworking, Ole South Cookery, Britton’s BBQ, and over five sutlers selling their wares. Legare farms had some of their delicious products for sale as well. That evening the troops came in and by morning light found over one hundred soldiers encamped around the battlefield. Approximately twenty Cavalry were present with at least ten artillery pieces on the field.
Saturday’s breeze from the river snapped the flags to attention, as Charleston once again embraced her heritage. The posting of the colors set the stage for the innovation by General Robert E. Lee. Colonel Clark (Confederate forces) and Colonel Claude St. Clair (Federal forces) addressed the assembled soldiers and expressed their gratitude for their participation and asked them to dawn the colors of yesteryear for the remainder of the reenactment. The ladies fashion and social was a complete success with a guest speaker portraying a slave. A special presentation of a replica flag presented to the Hampton Legion by Cubans supportive of the cause was given in the camp. General Lee explained that the flag was made from the silk garments of Cuban women and smuggled via blockade runners to give to General Hampton and his legion to show their support of their efforts. The flag was then given to the men and placed with honor upon the pole. The stars on the flag are formed in the shape of an M. One of the most interesting events was the rolling pin throw. Over twenty-five ladies participated in the activity. The rules were as follows: Each participant walks to the line and can toss the rolling pin overhand or underhand in an effort to send it hurling as far as possible. The distance is marked by a number corresponding to the thrower. The winner is the farthest tossed. This year’s winner was Mrs. Kali Leonard.
As the battle approached, the artillery, commanded by Matthew Locke, provided the crowd with the sound of shot after explaining safety procedures. The cavalry executed brilliant maneuvers of the period after a splendid introduction by Compatriot Dan. Arms were inspected and then the battle began when the cannonade sounded across the low country. General Lee, General Grant, Mrs. Grant, and General Hampton offered comments to those attending the battle. An excellent narration was offered to the crowd and a solemn pass and review was offered. All witnessing the event were moved, as the event honored the Veterans of all wars.
The battle scenarios followed closely the actual events of 1861-1865, when the Federal forces were determined to retake Charleston, S.C., the very seat of succession. Skirmishes, engagements occurred on many fronts, as the Union attempted to find a way inward to the city. Hampered by the swamps, mud, sandy soil, gnats, humidity, heat, alligators, water moccasins, and the stiff resistance of civilian militia and regular Confederate troops they continuously searched for a port to host their attack. Another major factor of coastal defenses was that General Lee had arrived on November 7, 1861, and for almost four months exhausted himself in fortifying the coastal citadels and the Charleston and Savannah Railroad.
The setting of this battle revolved around the historical battle around Stono River. During one of their scouting missions they were surprised by four artillery pieces that was moved to a small island around Stono River. The Union quickly retired to Folly Island but returned to find that all the cannons were gone except for one which had fallen off the causeway. As they tried to secure the cannon, Confederate troops came to retrieve it resulting in a three hour battle with the victory being indecisive. Over four hundred men were listed as casualties. Such conflicts occurred all through the war.
Saturday evening, General Lee, General Grant, Mrs. Grant, and General Hampton were taken to the beautiful Hopsewee Plantation, circa 1740, as guest of the plantation owners. It was the birthplace of Thomas Lynch, Jr., signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hopsewee is located on the North Santee River And is a typical low country rice plantation dwelling of the early eighteenth century. It was built forty years prior to the Revolutionary War and is steeped in history and heritage. The owners of the two hundred seventy year old estate were gracious in the southern hospitality and offered a grand tour of the historical site. Sunday morning’s peace was shattered with the sound of Reveille, roll call, followed by church service. The service was conducted by Brother Jim as he shared the sermon with the faithful. General Hampton and Grant, along with the ladies, met with the crowd prior to the battle. Again the sound of shot and shell disrupted the tranquility of the area, as men and women offered a continued battle resulting in the Union withdrawal. Another tribute to all men and women from ALL wars was offered in a final salute to the audience. Next year’s event, which this writer considers a must attend event, will take place on. Sunday also witnessed General Lee on board the Yorktown at Patriots Point for the Blue Angel Show. The show proved to be everything and more that it was advertized to be. After the airshow, the old general toured the historic aircraft and paid homage to the Medal of Honor winners honored in the ship. He toured the submarine and the Vietnam Navy Base that is on the point.
April 10-11, 2010 – Royalton, KY: The first annual Battles of Puncheon and Half Mountain was held this weekend under sunny skies on a generous but sparsely populated battlefield. Members of the Caudill Camp who were in attendance consisted primarily of the crew of “Little Jesse”, including Willis Strong, Randall Haddix and Manton Ray Cornett, along with infantryman Britt Smith. Lt. R. C. Kuhn and crew were on the field with “Gideon”, but were called upon to galvanize on both Saturday and Sunday. The Commonwealth Battery was there with two pieces and helped us bombard the Unionists on both days. We were either killed or captured on Saturday, but the victory was clearly ours on Sunday. This battlefield has lots of room for growth, and is expected to do so in years to come.
April 9-11, 2010-Royalton, KY: General, it is my distinct pleasure to report that Chaplain William McKiven was more than I hoped for. Everyone took an instant affection for him and his family. So much so that by acclamation of our committee I asked him to return this October 1-3, 2010, for the reenactment of the Ivy Point Skirmishes and he has graciously assented to do so. General, words fail to convey my thanks to you on behalf of myself and my county. You assured me this would be successful and it was. We had a huge public turnout and they were satisfied with what they were presented with. The reenactors who came could not have put on a better show. I just hope we were able to provide them a reason to return and bring a friend for our next event.
One success that sprang from this event is the acknowledgment of the Pound Gap/Mt Sterling Road. Another that is well on the way is the creation on this reenactment and battle site a Civil War Park dedicated to the history of The Battle Of Puncheon/Half Mountain. A greater asset to our community for such little cost could not be had. Another road is in the process of being acknowledged; that being a leg of the Rebel Trace from Garrett, KY to Salyersville, KY. So yes it was a success, yes we were green and made mistakes, yes I hope to see a lot more reenactors next year, that being said I think we did the best possible this year and you Sir we owe a lot for that, thank you so much, Randall.
After Action Report Submitted by William McKiven: Good Day to you Sir, I pray all is well with you this fine day. I just wanted to say “Hello” and give you a report from this past weekend. Everything went quite well. The numbers of reenactors was low, but the reenactment went well. The spectators really enjoyed it and their numbers were impressive especially for a first time event that has only been put together in a short time. We were fed well and treated with a great deal of respect and courtesy. We had a blast!
The church service was well attended and people reported being moved by the message and renewed in their faith. The Lord truly had His way and blessed this unworthy servant with the words to speak to a very attentive congregation. Me and my family were treated as “guests of honour” the whole weekend. It was truly a humbling experience. I was asked to return and preach at their next event in the fall.
I want to thank you for recommending me for this assignment, it was a real blessing. I hope I have represented our ministry well as I would not want to do anything that would bring reproach upon the ministry and especially our Lord Jesus Christ. We must move forward with this ministry and take the gospel to the people. The Lord bless you sir. I am your obedient servant, William McKiven
April 1-4, 2010-Del Rio, TN: Easter weekend saw General Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, General Thomas (Cherokee Battalion), and Butternut as guests at a unique event. They were invited to set up a display in the 1800 camp where all the action would take place. The weather was picture perfect and the event proved to be all that is was billed.
Nestled in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee, within fifteen miles of the North Carolina border, rests a sleepy little town known as Del Rio. Except for this weekend, which witnessed nationally known cowboys, medicine show acts, East Meets West Go Native American Indian Performances, and SASS shooters to the Wild West Days at the French Broad River Dude Ranch.
The weekend kicked off with an awesome performance, featuring Michael Martin Murphey, cowboy’s number one music singer His hit ‘Wildfire’ set the stage for a great weekend.
Friday brought in several different acts, including Johnny Hot Shot, a world class performer with his trick shooting, bull whip, and gun action. Skits, featuring the killing of Wild Bill Hickok and Gunfight at OK Corral, were performed by the Oak Ridge SASS. They also demonstrated their riding and shooting skills along with a SASS activity up range of the sutlers and vendors. Belinda Gail presented the crowd with her amazing vocal talents and yodeling skills, as she performed classic cowgirl songs. On Saturday night Grammy winner, Asleep at the Wheel, performed for the audience. The medicine and magic show of Professor Farquar was a hit with the crowd, and especially the children. Several legends of the silver screen walked the grounds as well. Hot Shot, Wild Bill Hickok, Joe ‘Hoppy’ Sullivan and the Duke, ‘John Wayne’ made an appearance. Internationally known cowboy poet, Waddie Mitchell mesmerized the crowd with his renditions of poems reflecting the many facets of cowboy life.
Steve Porter, from South Carolina, offered experiences through poetry of the old west. A wondrous educational experience and extremely entertaining opportunity was presented by Little Big Mountain (Southern Plains Comanche) and Jim Sawgrass (Southeastern Creek). Their unique show of East Meets West offered the crowd an opportunity to see history come alive and actually learn of the differences between eastern and western Native Americans Their show is to be considered a must see for all ages.
Our compliments to the owners (Shawn thank YOU) of the ranch for being such a gracious host and for your efforts in bringing the wonder of the Wild West East! General Lee speaking…
March 26, 2010-Whitesburg, KY: We had a good turnout of Caudill men for the dedication, as there were seven of us. They had a big crowd for the dedication as well. They named the road that leads off of Hwy 15 down to Whitesburg by the military museum Specialist Jay Travis White Memorial Avenue. The brochure that the Transportation Department gave out were really nice, they thanked the Colonel Ben Caudill Camp. We opened the dedication with the firing of the cannon, Yankee Buster. After several speeches by Transportation officials, The DAV gave a 21 gun salute; played Taps. Several people came by to thank us. Camp members helping were: Glenn Brown, Okie Blair, Garland Kiser, Quenton Childers, Raymond Isaacs, Jason Adams and Richard Brown.
March 13, 2010-Whitesburg, KY: The rescheduled Lee/Jackson Tri State Family Reunion was held at the Pine Mountain Grill. It was a grand event with music by the Butterworth Brigade, The Rector Family (featuring Hannah May), Jack Adams (a 12 year old banjo sensation), and Moses Hamblin. The keynote speakers were General Stuart (Wayne Jones from Aiken, S. C.), General Jackson (Danny Buckner from Newport, TN), and H. K. Edgerton from Ashville, N.C. Special appearances were made by Mrs. Davis, Pauline Cantrell (Our 100 year young Matron of Honor), General Armistead, General Kemper, Mrs. Lee, UDC, OCR, General Grant (who offered kind words of encouragement, Mrs. Grant, General Polk, Mrs. Polk, General Lee and one hundred seventy six guests. The presentation of the flags by the color guard was picture perfect, with the agenda including awards, door prizes and a silent auction. All went away with a deeper appreciation of the cause and the commitment to it.
March 6, 2010-Wilmington, N.C.: Commander Chaltas visited Fort Fisher in an effort to meet the officials at that location and to discuss a possible living history event. Fort Fisher witnessed the largest shelling of the war with 55+ Union ships firing upon the earthen fortification. Over 10,000 Union troops finally dislodged approximately 2,900 Confederate soldiers mainly from North Carolina. A small contingency was from South Carolina.
March 4, 2010-Corbin, KY: Commander Chaltas was the keynote speaker for the Arthur Camp. He spoke in the persona of General Lee and offered a stirring rendition of Lee’s choice, the cost, and the consequences of choosing the side of his native state instead of accepting the offer of commanding the Army of the Potomac. Thirty people attended the event which was held at David’s Steakhouse. My compliments to Commander Hamblin on an outstanding evening.
February 27, 2010-Whitesburg, KY: The Appalachian Winter Authors’ Showcase was offered in the banquet room of the beautiful Pine Mountain Grill. Sixteen authors from Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia and Kentucky converged on the location to offer their books to the public. The day was filled with snow and UK vs UT ballgame but the authors went away satisfied in the turnout and attempt. The event was hosted by the Letcher County Tourism Commission and the Fiscal Court. Anthony Hawkins, Tabby Back, Glen Brown, Richard Brown, and David Chaltas represented the Caudill Camp.
February 19-21, 2010-Aiken, South Carolina: Again the drums of war summoned the old general to South Carolina to participate in the Battle of Aiken. The sounds of shot and shell echoed through the valley, as South Carolina’s largest outdoor drama lived up to its name during the annual Battle of Aiken reenactment. The weekend of February 19-21, 2010, witnessed several hundred reenactors descending upon the fair city of Aiken, South Carolina. The weather was picture perfect, as thousands took advantage of the sun to come and watch history once again come alive. The battlefield is nestled within a mile of Interstate 20 from exit 18 and has over one hundred acres, which is owned by the Barnard Bee Camp # 1575.
Education day offered several self-guided stations for the four thousand students to visit. This included an Engineer group, several medical displays, Mr Osteen’s relics, general’s quarters, South Carolina Sharpshooters, sutler row, vendors, camp life, demonstrations by the South Carolina Relic Room, and the ladies aide society demonstrating the life of ladies following the soldiers. One of the highlights of the event is the tribute to Veterans of All wars, as representation for each war is present with authentic equipment on display. Sutler/vendor row was impressive with over fifty participating in this year’s extravaganza. The modern day vendors were available in a separate area to meet the culinary tastes of the spectators.
On Friday evening the old general was the keynote speaker at the prestigious Green Boundary. The hall was filled with dignitaries from across the country that comes to Aiken during the winter to live. They were very receptive and the President of the club and his wife was most gracious. An invitation to return with other generals was given.
The gates opened on Saturday at 9:00 with the posting of the colors on the field. General Hardy and staff reviewed the Confederate troops commanded by General Parsons and the Union soldiers, commanded by General Goodrich. Crowds of spectators came pouring in and walked over the grounds on a self-guided tour. The cavalry soldiers answered questioned regarding their equipment, uniform and of course, their horses. The artillery batteries were busy talking to the spectators about the procedures and protocol in making the piece ready to fire and safety precautions. The crowd enjoyed strolling through the camps and visiting with the living historians, who gave of their time to come and share with the people the rich history and heritage of our country.
The battle began with the sounds of shelling by a well coordinated cannonade, courtesy of the sixteen artillery pieces on the field. The cavalry offered breath taking period tactics up close and personal, to the crowds delight. The contrasting forces of infantry began meandering through the haze of a smoke-filled battlefield to engage each other on the field of honor. Both sides fought with tenacity of spirit resulting in a Union victory for Saturday. The audience was privy to a stirring pass and review; as all the troops lined up in perfect formation to pay homage to the audience, the ancestors represented by all, and to our American heritage.
The pass and review honored ALL Veterans and paid special tribute to those men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq who are currently fighting for the very freedom we embrace so unreservedly. Mr Osteen was selected to offered command of the first volley to represent to old guard. A young child by the name of Allison (General Lee promoted her to general while in the field) was chosen to offer a salute for the rising generation. The final volley was the hallmark of the event, as all paid tribute to God, Country, and Honor.
Sunday was privy to record crowds that visited the encampments. The audience was offered skits by the bummers, cavalry demonstrations, along with meeting General Hardy, Goodrich, Grant, Barley, Hampton, Longstreet, Hill, Stuart, Pendleton, Armistead, Kemper, Polk, and Lee. , A moving tribute was given to Herman Boland during one of the church services conducted by Bishop Polk. It was through Herman’s vision over the years has made the event possible. A building is planned to be built that will be named after him in honor of his contributions.
The battle was well executed, with the scenario being in phases. The battle began with skirmishers, a cavalry engagement, an artillery bombardment, and then the Confederate soldiers coming through the silenced artillery pieces. Upon a given signal, three companies came through an opening and supported the attack upon Kilpatrick’s forces. The Confederate were able to save the city of Aiken.
The original battles took place on February 11-12, 1865, around the outskirts and then within the perimeters of the city of Aiken. Upon receiving word that Union General Kilpatrick was marching on Aiken; Confederate General Wheeler devised a clever plan of entrapment. He positioned his men in a V shaped pattern and instructed his officers to allow the Kilpatrick’s union soldiers to enter town. Upon entering the mouth of the V, the Confederates would encircle the troops, thereby eliminating any route of retreat, and capture the entire force. Unfortunately an overzealous confederate soldier opened fire before the trap could be sprung. After a hard fight, the end result was that the city of Aiken was spared and General Kilpatrick was ordered to rejoin General Sherman on his march to Columbia.
Dear reader, consider 2011 Battle of Aiken reenactment as a must see; as those who truly love history will once again descend upon the battle field to pay their respects to a bygone era. The event has earned the coveted Winner of the Governor’s Award for Carolina’s Best Tourist Event and the Dr. James Butler National Award for the Best Living History Program.
February 18, 2010-Historian Faron Sparkman reports this update on stones:
- Eastern Kentucky Confederate stones set – 1,132
- 13th KY. stones set – 642
- 5th KY. stones set – 304
- 13th KY, burial sites located – 865
- Breathitt County – 129
- Elliott County – 26
- Floyd County – 141
February 8, 2010-Whitesburg, KY: Commander Chaltas received word that 2 articles he wrote have been published in the Civil War Courier (national newspaper) and Gazette (national magazine). He was humbled by the announcement but honored for the Caudill camp. Great things await in the year of 2010.
February 6, 2010-Greeneville, TN: General Lee (David Chaltas) was given the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Lee/Jackson Dinner for the John Hunt Morgan Camp. General John Hunt Morgan (Stan Dalton) and the honorable H. K. Edgerton offered words of encouragement to all, with H. K. giving a stirring rendition of I AM THEIR FLAG. Our compliments go to all who made the event a complete success. The old general returned home in awe of his reception and humbled by those who truly love their heritage and history.
February 4, 2010-Aiken, South Carolina: Once again Commander Chaltas braved the elements as he traveled to South Carolina to offer a presentation honoring the ladies of the South. He was the Key note speaker at the Lee/Jackson Dinner held at the Aiken County Museum. Accompanying him was General JEB Stuart (Wayne Jones) and General Wade Hampton (Eddie Rogers). General A. P. Hill arrived in the niche of time, as was his usual custom. Several UDC members were present, along with the Scarlett Rose Society and Order of Confederate Rose. The event was sponsored by the SCV Bee Camp. They were most gracious and afforded the old general accommodations at the historic Aiken Hotel. With sincere gratitude, the old general made the trip back to his mountain home tired but satisfied that the heritage and history of the Confederacy is alive and well in Aiken, S. C..
January 26, 2010-Thornton, KY: Compatriots David Chaltas and Richard Brown were guests of the 103.9 Bulldog Round Table Talk Show. They discussed the future events/projects of the Caudill Camp, along with a schedule regarding reenactments, upcoming dedications, research on Veterans of all war, and the App. Winter Authors’ Showcase.
January 22-24, 2010-Columbia, S.C.: Commander Chaltas was the Lee/Jackson Dinner keynote speaker and was held at the beautiful Seawell Restaurant and Convention Center across for the USC coliseum. The event was hosted by the Hampton Camp with over one hundred in attendance. The camp was most generous in affording two night accommodations for General Jackson (Dan Buckner), General Lee (David Chaltas) and Butternut (Roger Kelley) at the historic Mary Chestnut Cottage. On Saturday, the generals, escorted Butternut, went to visit the Hunley, where Commander Chaltas met several of his compatriots from Charleston. They were given the privilege of speaking. They then went to Magnolia Cemetery to pay their respects, visited the battery, and finally to Fort Moultrie. Supper was provided by Compatriot Larry Bates and Rusty Rentz of South Carolina, at Maurice’s. A wondrous time was had by all. Our heartfelt thanks go to the men and women of Columbia.
January 23, 2010-Johnson County, KY: the Colonel Ben Caudill Camp set a tombstone and conducted a dedication for Private Joseph Branham of Company C, 7th Confederate Cavalry, in the Ward Cemetery in Offutt, Johnson County, Kentucky. The soldier was born in Dickenson County, Virginia, raised in Pike County, Kentucky, and moved to Johnson County not long after the war. The Caudill Camp was joined by members of the Marshall and May Camps. Sam Hatcher took photos and hopes that they will appear in the Confederate Veteran. More than two dozen family members of the old soldier attended the dedication. After information about Private Branham was read to the crowd, three volleys were fired in his honor. The lonely sound of Taps was played by Glenn Brown to end the dedication. A picnic on the ground was provided after the event closed. Camp members who took part were Lawrence Cook, Glenn Brown, Anthony Hawkins, Okie Blair, Jason Adams, Quentin Childers, and Richard Brown.
January 19, 2010-Tracy City, TN: The Old General was the keynote speaker at the Lee/Jackson Dinner; The sleepy little town came alive with excitement, as several loyal southerners came to the town located on Monteagle Mountain, to hear Commander Chaltas ‘s persona. He received a standing ovation for his rendition. Our compliments go to Camp for their generosity and kindness.
January 15-17, 2010-Aiken, S.C.: Once again the road to Aiken South, Carolina, called upon the old general as he attended a wondrous living history at the Aiken County Museum. The day began with a beautiful Prayer Breakfast that was hosted by the Bee Camp, living history tours of the museum, skits designed by Mike, Gabe, Steve, and the South Carolina Sharpshooters and a question/answer session with the generals. The generals present were General A. P. Hill (Ed Mann), Wade Hampton (Eddie Rogers), JEB Stuart (Wayne Jones), Stonewall Jackson (Danny Buckner), General Lee (David Chaltas), and Butternut as the sharpshooter. The Lee/Jackson Dinner was held at Up Your Alley and the food was divine. The waitress made a grand impression with her love for Dixie and manner in which she waited on everyone. The dance was fantastic and the musicians top notch. Accommodations were given at the prestigious and historical Green Boundary for two nights. The general went home in awe of the true southern hospitality and friendship demonstrated by the fair city of Aiken’s sons and daughters.
January 16, 2010- Wise, KY: Lee/Jackson Dinner with the Keynote speaker being compatriot Anthony Hawkins, Contact: The General Henry A. Wise Camp, Commander Mullins.
January 14, 2010 – London, KY: After years of research and months of waiting patiently, our efforts were rewarded today when we erected a new Confederate headstone for Private George Bourne Cornett (1827 – 1886). Private Cornett served 2 ½ years with Company C of the 63rd Virginia Infantry. He was a successful 35 year-old farmer with a wife and 8 children when he enlisted at Moccasin Gap, qualifying him for a $50 bounty. Before he would come home to harvest crops in the fall of 1864, he had been engaged with the enemy in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. His unit saw action at Princeton, Rocky Gap, Middle Creek, Saltville, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Dalton, Ringgold, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta, and about 30 other less well-known locations. He never rejoined the 63rd from furlough, but apparently was carried on the rolls and was eligible for a Confederate pension, for which he never applied. A year after the war ended, he brought his large family through the Cumberland Gap and settled in Laurel County. He taught school and farmed, moved to several farms in Laurel County, and was living near Clay County, at the head of Muddy Gut when he died. He and his wife, Lydia Adams, and one of their sons, are buried in a small family cemetery on what was once their farm. The nearby Pine Hill cemetery is the final resting place of at least 4 of their sons, and at least 14 other male descendants. Assisting in today’s effort were Compatriots Carlos Brock, Willis Strong, Randall Haddix, Britt Smith, and Manton Ray Cornett. Special thanks are in order to Jim Osborne for his presence and assistance, and to George Caudill, the current landowner, for his cooperation, his hospitality, and for helping complete the application process.
January 9, 2010-Whitesburg, KY; 3rd Annual family gathering Tri-state Lee/Jackson Family Reunion Dinner at Pine Mountain Grill; POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER: rescheduled for March 13, 2010.
January 1, 2010-Journal opens