Friday, July 10, 2009

The 2009 Kentucky Division Reunion in Bardstown, Kentucky

By Dr. T. Y. Hiter, Commanding 
      Once each year, the Kentucky Division assembles en masse to conduct such business as has come up during the year, and to prepare for future event as best we can.  This meeting, which we call a “reunion”  after the reunions that our parent organization, the United Confederate Veterans called theirs, is held in a different location in Kentucky each year, in an effort to make it possible for our members in the far eastern, western and northern parts of the Commonwealth to take part.  This year, we met in the Bluegrass Brigade, in Bardstown.  Our hosts were the men of John Hunt Morgan Camp, in Louisville.
      The festivities began on Friday evening, the 26th of June, when we assembled in the Bourbon bar at the Old Talbott Tavern, on the square in Bardstown for social purposes.  Several of us remained at the tavern for supper.  The Division Commander introduced Army of Tennessee Commander Kelly Barrow to Burgoo, Hot Browns and Derby Pie, as well as several varieties of Kentucky Bourbon.  The Old Talbott Tavern opened in 1779 and served food and drink for more than 200 consecutive  years before a fire almost destroyed it, late in the 20th century.  Now lovingly restored, it served as a fitting location for the kickoff of the Reunion.
      The following morning, Saturday, we assembled in the historic Kurtz Restaurant, just across the street from Kentucky’s signature “My Old Kentucky Home” state park for our first business session.  During the morning session, we had membership and financial reports from the Division Adjutant, Dr. Bill Wells, and reports from the Heritage, Lost Cause, Vicksburg Monument and Tilghman house Museum committees, as well as the status of the license tag effort.   Several wives and other family members who were there took the opportunity to tour Federal Hill, the setting for Stephen Foster’s writing of “My Old Kentucky Home”.  After lunch at the restaurant, the afternoon business session was conducted, and it included time for Brigade meetings and Brigade elections.  Division awards were also presented during the afternoon session.
      At two-thirty, we adjourned the business meeting and travelled a couple of blocks to tour the Bardstown “Civil War” museum.  It’s an excellent museum, and all present learned a great deal.  In the evening, many attendees and families attended the outdoor musical, “The Stephen Foster Story”, at the park.  It’s one of the longest-running outdoor musicals in the country.
      On Sunday morning, we assembled at the Bardstown Cemetery for a memorial service at the Confederate section of the cemetery.  Among other things, we were able to examine the beautiful Confederate Soldier monument there. A few years ago, a large oak tree of (apparently) yankee persuasion took aim at the statue and, collapsing on top of it, broke it into literally thousands of pieces.  The men of Morgan Camp worked tirelessly to restore the statue and to emplace Confederate stones at the sixty-seven Confederate graves around it.

No comments: