THE BATTLE OF WILDCAT MOUNTAIN

THE BATTLE OF WILDCAT MOUNTAIN BY DONEVON STORM COPYWRITE 10/15/2013 Twas the fall of 61. October of Eighteen Hundred and Sixty One. The War of Brothers and Fathers, Men and Boys. Sons of the South and Sons of the North. Some wore Blue and some wore Gray;  their blood ran Red just the same. Colonel Garrard at the Rockcastle River Ford. Outnumbered and outmanned at the dawn of a great Civil War. Gaurding a mountain that contained a road, a Wilderness Road used for nigh a hundred years. That road was carved out by that great explorer Daniel Boone.  In the County of Laurel these men’s fates were sealed. General Zollicoffer also had his eye on that road.  Bringing his Army up through the Cumberland Gap.  His 5400 Sons of the South bore a heavy load. When Old Zolly and his men routed the Homegaurd at Barbourville; Brigadier General George Thomas knew that Wildcat Mountain was where the North must make its stand, or Old Zolly would roll uncontested into Bluegrass Land. That mountain was tall and that forest was thick, but beyond that ford lay open ground.  General Thomas knew if Zolly made it through; the Gray’s would have their way. Garrard outnumbered seven to one. General Zollicoffer picked up his pace, to get to Wildcat Mountain before the setting of the evening sun. Had Old Zolly known what was to come, he would have fought when he reached the vale.  For had he pressed his way up the hill, Garrard’s retreat would have sealed the deal. The North’s retreat would have opened the way for Zollicoffers’ army...

December 2013 news

   Dear Reader:  This year’s December issue will again be dedicated to the holidays celebrated trench-side. Also enclosing last years December (2012) issue. Have a Blessed Christmas!    A Civil War CHRISTMAS WEDDING!    One of the greatest social events in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 14, 1862, was the wedding of  twenty-one year old Mattie Ready, daughter of one of the most prominent Rutherford County families.    Her father, Colonel Charles Ready Jr. has been a United States congressman before the war.    The bride was a girl of rare beauty; tall, dark-haired and blue eyed with a creamy complexion and perfect features. Her bridal dress was one of her best ante-bellum frocks, inasmuch as it was not possible at that time to purchase material for a trousseau.    Three regimental bands provided music for the blessed occasion. They were stationed in the ballroom, the garden and on the porch.    The groom was a classic Southern aristocrat, raven-haired, black-mustached and six feet tall, handsome and a devotee of the Southern code of honor. He had been expelled from college for dueling, had a reputat-ion as a gambler and a libertine.     He was recently widowed.     In his general’s uniform, the groom looked like a hero of chivalry. His name was John Hunt Morgan.      FROM: “GOD REST YE MERRY, SOLDIERS,” by James McIvor, 2006         Holiday Eggnog – Like George Washington made     Blend first: a pint of bourbon, half pint of rye whiskey, half as much Jamaican dark rum and same of sherry. Set back.    Then take a dozen fresh eggs and separate them...

JEFFERSON DAVIS – EXILE AND FINAL YEARS

        After a period of exile in Canada, with his second wife, Varina Howell and children, the impoverished former president finally accepted a post with an insurance company. Contentious and unapologetic, Davis sent years compiling his version of events from his personal view of the war. In “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” a tendentious, self-exculpatory work of little historical value, published in New York in 1881, he re-fought the war, castigating officers like Beauregard and Johnson for the Confederacy’s defeat. On Christmas Day, 1868, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation of general amnesty for all Confederate leaders. Never seeking the restoration of his citizenship, Davis lived out his remaining years at Beauvoir, his plantation near Biloxi, Mississippi, where he died in 1889. It was finally restored by President Jimmy...

LAST DAYS OF ULYSSES S. GRANT

Having negotiated the postwar intrigues of Washington, D. C., Grant was nominated by the Republicans for president and won a close election in l868 – his margin of victory supplied by 300,000 black votes. His two terms were plagues by economic catastrophes – including a stock market crash, created by manipulators who hoodwinked him and caused widespread corruption culminating in the Credit Mobilier scandal that rocked Congress. His failure as a businessman, including the demise of his brokerage firm, Grant & Ward, left him nearly bankrupt, and it was only the publication of his successful Personal Memories of U.S. Grant, dictated while he was dying of throat cancer, that kept his family afloat. It was published, at last, by family friend, Mark Twain. Grant finally succumbed to the disease at Mount McGregor, near Saratoga Springs, in upstate New York in July...

FIVE CIVIL WAR GENERALS from KENTUCKY

SIMON BOLIVAR BUCKNER (C.S.), born on April 1, 1823 in Kentucky and graduated from West Point in 1844. After winning two brevets in the Mexican War, he resigned and became a businessman in Chicago and struggled to maintain the state’s neutrality. An adjutant general of Kentucky when the war started, both North and South offered him rank as brigadier general and in September 1861, Buckner accepted the South’s offer. He commanded the Department of East Tennessee and led a corps at Chickamauga. He transferred to the Trans-Mississippi as lieutenant general and chief of staff to general Edmund Kirby Smith from September 1864 to the war’s end. He died at his estate near Munfordville on January 8, 1914. EDWARD RICHARD SPRIGG CANBY (U.S.) was born in Boone County on Nov 9,1817, and graduated next to last in the West Point Class of 1839. He fought the Seminoles and assisted in Indian removals and won two brevets in the Mexican War. On frontier duty when the War began, he became a colonel of the 19th Infantry Regiment and took command of the Department of New Mexico. While negotiating peace with the Modoc Indians on 11 April 1873, he was wounded by Medoc Captain Jack, then slain by a body-guard warrior. JOHN BELL HOOD (C.S.) was born in Owingsville, Kentucky on June 1, 1831, and graduated from West Point in 1853 and served in California and Texas before resigning on April 17, 1861 to join the south. Then began a meteoric rise, as Hood moved quickly through Confederate regimental, brigade and division commands. On October 10, 1862, he became a major general....

THE POOR ARMY MULE

THE POOR ARMY MULE – Over-worked and Under-appreciated! If one of the most overlooked aspects of the Civil War is logistics, then the most participants of this conflict would be the draught animals, particularly mules. A “mule” is a cross between a female horse (mare) and a male donkey (a domesticated ass). This sturdy animal has a couple of advantages over the horse, even the huskier breeds of draught horses used for pulling loads. For instance, Percherons and Clydesdales. (Does the Budweiser beerwagon team ring a bell?) George Washington (1732-1799), effectively began the mule industry in America at his estate, Mount Vernon. Washington noted by comparison – the horse “ate too much, did too little work and died too young.” That said, the mule can survive on much less and poorer forage than a typical hay-burner. Second and perhaps more important – mules are less injury prone, more surefooted and tougher than their cousin, which enabled them to work longer and harder than horses, and under more difficult circumstances. The disadvantages of army mules are well known. They are famous for violent and unpredictable kicking habits and have an extremely stubborn nature. Because of this trait, they are most effectively used as pack animals or in teams to pull wagons full of...

Wanted: Laurel Civil War Soldiers

Judy Krahenbuhl is collecting the names of all Civil War soldiers, sailors, or other military personnel connected with Laurel County. They might have been born here, enlisted here, lived here before or after the War, died here, and/or are buried here. It doesn’t matter if they were Union, Confederate, or Home Guards. The names of these men will be engraved on a Civil War monument to be placed at the Laurel County Courthouse in downtown London. Since 2011 marked the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War, as well as the Laurel County Battle of Camp Wildcat, Judy is anxious to collect the name of every Laurel man who fought in the Civil War and honor them by adding their name to the monument. If you have the names of any Civil War military person connected with Laurel County, please contact Judy Krahenbuhl at P.O. Box 1192, London, KY 40743. You can telephone her at 606-878-6688, or reach her by email at judyk540@roadrunner.com or at...

Camp Wildcat by New York Times

The fight at Camp Wildcat as Published in The New York Times October 27, 1861 W e have a dispatch this morning from Cincinnati, giving one statement in reference to an engagement on Monday, but we have a fuller report by messenger direct from Garrard’s camp. This messenger is a bearer of dispatches from Col. Garrard to Gen. Sherman. A passenger from Frankfort, who came in the same car with the messenger, gives us the following particulars: On Monday morning Zollicoffer’s forces, numbering as nearly as could be determined, between 8,000 and 9,000 men, crossed Great Rockcastle River, and made an attack on Col. Garrard, who was entrenched at Camp Wild Cat, between Great and Little Rockcastle Rivers, having under his command between 2,000 and 3,000 men and one gun. The first attack was made about 11 o’clock in the forenoon, and Zollicoffer was beaten back, with heavy loss. He rallied and came again, and met with the same stern resistance, forcing him to draw off a second time. He rallied again, and made a third attack, but was again repulsed with heavy loss, and with-drew across the Rockcastle River, leaving the field in the hands of Garrard and his determined little band. Garrard’s loss was 4 killed, and 15 wounded. The loss of the rebels was not certainly known, but was exceedingly heavy. It is supposed that Zollicoffer retreated for reinforcement, with the intention of returning, but he will hardly be permitted to return. All the troops in Camp Dick Robinson, except the Thirty-first Ohio, with three full batteries of artillery, under command of Gen. Thomas, had gone...