Last evening I was fortunate enough to share a bit of time on Civil War Talk Radio with Bill Penn. Bill was there to discuss his book, Kentucky Rebel Town, and I covered a bit about the Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation and a few battle comments. It was an enjoyable experience and I hope you will take some time and give a listen:
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Well, I have truly decided to put together a guide to the various War Department tablets found at Fort Donelson. I find their story in telling the Fort Donelson story to be rather interesting. My trip in May will help detail some of the locations more precisely, both the existing and the half dozen or so missing tablets (such as the 2nd Kentucky Infantry and some of the brigade markers). Long term it would be grand to work with various organizations (Civil War round tables, reenactment groups, heritage groups, etc.) to raise the funds to have the missing tablets replaced. I've always been a believer in giving more for folks to study and see on a battlefield.
For the guide I am already at forty pages, with about 50% of the tablets left to cover, and this is before adding pictures and location information for each tablet. Once completed I am seeing the guide coming in around 80-100 pages. Then the search for getting it published will begin, most likely going the print on demand method, printing off some to donate to the park. Proceeds most likely will go to the Civil War Trust for any Fort Donelson land acquisitions. Apparently the Fort Donelson Civil War Round Table as well as the Friends of Fort Donelson have both gone by the wayside otherwise I would work with these organizations to see how any proceeds might be donated. Shame about both of these groups; while the area is rural there are enough small cities within thirty miles that should have been able to sustain both entities. The round table had some excellent speakers in the past. Wonder if it is the old classic lack of regional advertising and failure to work with partner organizations that doomed them? A national battlefield should be able to draw enough local support to sustain a friends group at the very least. Regardless, I digress, and living five hours away would prevent me from even considering getting involved with a revitalization of either organization.
More on the tablet project after the Donelson trip!
Friday, March 30, 2018
So, here is what I am thinking for my May pilgrimage to Fort Donelson. Folks are welcome to come along for the full plan, and/or do pieces and parts as they see fit. With some places I want to visit on the way to Fort Donelson, I am leaning away from a backpacking trip from a timing perspective.
Wednesday - Leaving the Cincy airport at 9:30, after dropping off my wife for her own trip, I will be stopping at the Jefferson Davis site between Hopkinsville and Russellville, Kentucky, then hitting the Fort Defiance park and interpretive center in Clarksville, Tennessee. This makes my arrival time in Dover probably around 4:00 p.m. local time. Perhaps visit a few of the tablet sites that I have missed in the past during the late afternoon.
Thursday - Walking the trails and tour route at Fort Donelson and in Dover. This will be a tad under nine miles, will have some good hills to climb, and will be a mix of trail and road walking. This will help locate and mark the tour route tablet sites. Lunch in Dover during the hike, which overall, with stops for pictures and marking locations, will take several hours. Late afternoon will be for checking out the tablet sites outside the park (mostly the Wynn Ferry and Forge Road ones).
Friday - Research at the park office, seeing what the plans are for getting the missing tablets back in place, clarifying any confusion about locations, obtaining any copies of documents that help with the history of the park and interpretation. In the afternoon perhaps head to Fort Heiman and walk that area, early supper and good beers in Murray.
Saturday - Hike at Fort Henry. Starting at the backpacking trailhead, hike north to the current Fort Henry interpretive trail, then back, adding a couple of different trails on the return. Use the afternoon for any other loose ends ends that need to followed up on.
Sunday - Late start heading home (my wife's flight doesn't come in until 7:30 EST), touring the Battle of Sacramento on the way.