Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Hike - A Few More Pics

I was able to stop by the battlefield on Sunday morning before heading back to Cincinnati to take a few more pics with the better half's camera.  I especially like the picture running along the fence, which is a reproduction of the fenceline that Maney's brigade stopped along during their advance towards Terrill's position.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Hike

Joni House describes a bit about the park

Despite tornadic conditions the previous night, and the threat of thunderstorms, about a dozen hardy souls made the first history hike at Perryville.  Hikers were introduced to Perryville by Joni House and park manager Kurt Holman, and the hike was joined by Chuck Lott, a local Perryville volunteer who's knowledge of the battle added greatly to the event.

Here are a few pictures.  To be honest, I didn't take many simply because I forgot to pull out my camera very often.  However, I did stop by the battlefield the next day and snapped more photos which I will post within a few days.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Random Thoughts/Updates

I was recently contacted by a Kee Rodgers, a Cleveland born decendant (now living in Lima, Peru) of Captain Ephraim Kee's grandfather (Company B) of the 105th Ohio, a regiment that played a large role in the Perryville battle.  He has been kind enough to share with me a poem written by the captain that calls to arms those men who did not join the army in 1861, but were now needed to put down the bloody rebellion.  I am hoping that he gives me permission to post the poem here.  It is filled with that type of patriotic fervor that this country hasn't seen since World War II.

Captain Kee was a close friend of Albion Tourgee, who wrote "A Story of a Thousand", which is the regimental history of the 105th.  Tourgee called Kee "the most intellectual life of the regiment", a pretty strong compliment considering Tourgee's own mental prowess.  Captain Kee died at the age of 26 and his funeral was the largest in Trumbull County.  He passed away in early 1863 of sickness at Murfreesboro.

This "connection" with Mr. Rodgers is one of the results I had hoped for from starting this blog.  Bringing awareness to the Buckeye State's contribution to Perryville (let alone as a general awareness to this pivitol battle), sharing details on Buckeye participants, and honoring those men with an Ohio memorial or interpretive sign are just parts of what I hope this blog will become.  Sharing information about individuals adds the human element, and makes the story of Perryville come to life.  I try to share human interest stories about Perryville on this hiking tours I lead, and having more stories about those men like Captain Kee makes my "job" on those hikes that much easier.

Speaking of the hike, looks like we will be having a large group in attendance.  There are 20+ folks coming from the Louisville hiking group, and I have received emails from various other folks in the general area asking about the hike and stating their intention to participate.  The better half and I are heading down to central Kentucky tomorrow, spending time in Danville, seeing some sites and enjoying a few brews.  Saturday she will be dropping me off at the battlefield and then she'll head to Shakertown to take pictures of spring flowers (I've bored her on my hiking tour previously - grin) then pick me up in the afternoon.  We'll take in some more of what Danville has to offer Saturday evening, and perhaps see Fort Harrod in Harrodsburg on the way home Sunday.  I will be certain to share my thoughts about Danville (where to eat and enjoy beer) here on the blog so that others who plan trips to Perryville have an idea of what else is in the area to enjoy.

More posts coming soon (Perryville pics and other assorted tales).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hiking Tour Just a Few Weeks Away!

Cincinnati (headquarters of this blog) had some beautiful weather yesterday, and it really made me want to get down to Perryville and do some hiking (I spent the day cleaning up a parking lot and shelter area at a state memorial in Ohio).  It is just a few short weeks until the first hiking tour, and if the weather cooperates, it should be a really great time.  The Louisville hiking group added this event to their calendar, and have several folks planning to attend.  Add that PR to the mentions on the Historic Perryville Facebook page and the Danville visitor's website and I expect to see at least thirty folks join me on this first of what will hopefully be several hiking tours at Perryville.  I will be pulling out the Perryville books tonight, particular Kenneth Noe's definitive work, to refresh myself on the facts and human interest stories I want to share with the group.  Hopefully these folks will find the tour interesting enough to visit and support Perryville Battlefield in the future.  In these times of budget cuts, the direct involvement from the general public can go a long way to supporting an entity such as Perryville.  Perhaps a few will join the Friends of Perryville Battlefield as well.

This first tour will be a rehash of the tours I have given in the past for hiking groups.  Ironically enough the tour I give is very similar to the one I attended during the Civil War Trust's annual conference and led by Ed Bearss.  We will cover Cheatham's attack in decent detail, while touching on the Confererate pushes towards Loomis Heights.  We will walk Tour Stops 1 through 22, which should give us about four miles of walking and three hours on the battlefield.  Because my audience is made up of hikers and the general public, I will spend a bit of time going over Civil War tactics and the Perryville Campaign in general to give folks a base of knowledge as to why Perryville and Kentucky was so important.  Ed Bearss mentioned that the Antietam and Perryville Campaigns were more significant than Vicksburg and Gettysburg in terms of the South being able to win the war.  I tend to agree, but then again I am rather partial to both Perryville (close to home) and Antietam (pristine national park where Buckeyes played a large role).

Hike starts at 11:00 on Saturday, April 23rd.  Meet at the Visitor's Center by 10:45.  Bring sunscreen, a hat, water (at least two liters) and something to snack on.  Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended.

Pictures of the spring hiking tour will be forthcoming, just to show you what you missed!


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