Friday, February 12, 2010

General Perry’s Kentucky Contributions

By Nancy Hitt

During the second week of July, 2009 the Glen Dale Center, previously known as the Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home, moved from its historic location in Glendale, Kentucky, to a new facility in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, bringing to an end a long connection to the contributions of CSA Brigadier General William Flank Perry in Glendale.

According to a booklet entitled, “Glendale, Colorful Town has Rich History”, published in 1993, the folks of Glendale in 1865 decided to start a school. Several local families made donations of money and land. On February 11, 1867, a charter was issued under the name of Lynnland Female Institute. The school opened in September of the same year and a Baptist minister headed the school for the following two years. He was succeeded by General William F. Perry of Alabama, a Confederate Brigadier General. Perry was a well-educated gentleman and was greatly loved by his pupils. He oversaw a flourishing Glendale school where Latin, Greek, higher mathematics, modern languages and other subjects were offered.

In 1870 General Perry wrote to General Robert E. Lee, president of Washington College in Virginia (now Washington and Lee University) and asked General Lee to send the school a qualified teacher. In September, 20 year old John Peyton Hobson arrived at Lynnland with a letter of recommendation from General Lee.

General Perry and Major Peter Eppes Harris purchased Lynnland on June 29, 1871. They paid $17,000 for the school which attracted students from other states as well as Kentucky and was one of the well-known institutions of its kind in Kentucky.

A few years later Perry and Harris converted the school into Lynnland Military Institution. However this was not a success, and the school closed in 1879.

Lynnland went through several changes over the following years and was sold to the Baptist Education Society of Kentucky on July 17, 1907. At this time the son of General Perry, Professor George Brown Perry, returned to Glendale for one year and taught at the school he had attended as a child. On June 23, 1915, Lynnland was sold to the trustees of the Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home for use as an orphanage.

Now that the Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home (Glen Dale Center) has been relocated to Elizabethtown, ending the connection to the Confederacy, the future of this historic property - which contains about 500 acres - is uncertain.

William Flank Perry was born in Jackson County, Georgia, on March 12, 1823. His family moved to Alabama and he taught in country schools in Talladega County from 1848 to 1853. He studied law during this period and was admitted to the bar in 1854, but he never set up a practice. Twice he was elected State Superintendent of Education, but resigned in 1858 to become President of East Alabama Female College at Tuskegee.

Perry enlisted as a private in the Confederate forces a year after the War began. He rose through the ranks to become a colonel after the Battle of Antietam. At Little Round Top he took a leading part with the 44th Alabama Infantry and participated in the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. On February 21, 1865, he was promoted to Brigadier General and remained with his troops until they were paroled at Appomattox, Virginia.

For two years after the war General Perry attempted to farm in Alabama, but he was drawn back into the field of education by the call from the folks in Glendale,Kentucky.

After the military school closed, General Perry made a name for himself in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He became a long-term professor of English and Philosophy at Ogden College which is now a part of Western Kentucky State University. It is now known as the Ogden College of Science and Engineering.

When General Perry died in Bowling Green on December 18, 1901, he was buried at the Fairview Cemetery. He is the only Confederate General buried in that city. His Ogden College students placed a marker at his grave which is inscribed with a testament to General Perry’s service in the Confederate military and how it translated into his becoming a beloved professor.

General Perry and his wife, Ellen Douglas Brown Perry, had one son and six daughters. His son George Brown Perry was born July 16, 1854 at Talladega, Alabama. George Perry attended the Lynnland Military Institute. He married a schoolmate, Rebekah Sprigg. Although it was a military school, donors were allowed to send their daughters to the school and they studied in a different department at the school.

George and Rebekah lived for a time in Pewee Valley, Kentucky, and were employed at the newly founded Kentucky College. Rebekah Perry died in Franklin,Kentucky, about 1912. George Perry died at the age of 82 in Waurika, Oklahoma, in February, 1936.

The new Glen Dale Center is located on Commerce Drive in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It was previously located at 2125 Gilead Church Road, Glendale, Kentucky 42740.

There are several brick buildings and a church standing empty on the beautiful Glendale site, but none of the structures appear to date back to the time General Perry spent there. Glendale may be known for the Whistle Stop Restaurant and its antique shops, but there is much more importance and history connected here, thanks to General Perry and those community members with the foresight to establish Lynnland. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pvt. James P. Vance and Company H, Third Kentucky Infantry, CSA

Members of Fort Heiman Camp #1834 conducted a memorial service for Private James P. Vance, a Confederate soldier of Company H, Third Kentucky Infantry, CSA. PVT Vance is buried at Haynes Cemetery on Kentucky Lake. About 30-35 family members were present for the service held on October 25, 2009. Private Vance of Calloway County was severely wounded in action at the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee April 6-7, 1862 and captured on the field of battle. He was transported to Paducah as a wounded prisoner of war, but less than two weeks later he died there in a hospital. His body was then brought home and buried, now lying here amongst members of the Vance family. The new military headstone was acquired with the help of VFW Post 6291 of Murray. Pictured from left to right are: Dan Griggs, David Garland, J.R. Moore, Barry Grogan, John Young and Gary Jones.

By Greg Miller

James P. Vance was born December 15, 1842 in Calloway County, Kentucky, to parents Andrew and Parmelia (Cunningham) Vance. At the age of nineteen years old he would die April 18 or 20, 1862 at Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky, defending the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Vance had reached the fateful conclusion of his life by enlisting with other brave and valorous men from his community on July 22, 1861 in Company H, Third Kentucky Infantry, Confederate States Army.

Company H was enrolled at Murray, Kentucky, in early July 1861 of recruits primarily from Calloway County, Kentucky. The company was officially organized and enlisted at Camp Boone, Montgomery County, Tennessee, on July 22, 1861 becoming part of the Third Kentucky Infantry Regiment, CSA. The unit's first action was at Shiloh, Tennessee, on April 6-7, 1862. The unit received heavy casualties and Pvt. Vance was seriously wounded receiving a bullet wound. Captured on the field of battle, Vance was transported by steamboat as a wounded prisoner of war to a hospital at Paducah, Kentucky, and there less than two weeks later died in the hands of the enemy.

The Third went on to fight other important battles at Baton Rouge, Corinth, Baker's Creek, Jackson, Paducah, Brice's Crossroads, Harrisburg, Franklin, Nashville, and with Selma, Alabama their final action. The last year was spent as mounted infantry in the Kentucky Brigade of Gen. Nathan B. Forrest's celebrated Confederate cavalry. The Third would forever after be known as an integral part of Forrest's Kentucky Brigade.

On May 4, 1865 at Citronelle, Alabama, Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, CSA, surrendered his army to Major General Edward R.S. Canby, USA. The Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Taylor's command were spread out over parts of several states. The Third Kentucky, as part of General Nathan B. Forrest's cavalry under the command of Lt. Gen. Taylor, was at Columbus, Mississippi, for the surrender, and remained there to receive their parole on May 16, 1865. Nine members of Company H were there at Columbus on the 16th to receive their parole, say their goodbyes to their comrades and start for home. Many other men of the company at the time of the surrender were spread out on patrols in the Jackson Purchase of Kentucky, West Tennessee, and Mississippi; others were otherwise too disabled to be in the field fighting with some being medically discharged; a few were in a Yankee prison, while others had died during the war with their passing undocumented.

At least Pvt. Vance's death was documented and his remains brought home to rest in the family cemetery

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Kentucky Monument at Chickamauga

By Joey Oller

   Above: The Kentucky monument at Chickamauga, Georgia during the 2009 anniversray event in September.  Notice that the monument has been vandalized over the years, several of the cannonballs are missing.   
   Up until the 1970s, the monument at Chickamauga was the only one Kentucky had erected on a battlefield.  In 1974, Kentucky dedicated a state monument at the Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.  The driving force behind this monument was started by the Ky. Girlscouts who began raising funds by collecting bottlecaps with the state givernment assisting with the final amount.  In 2001, Kentucky did erect perhaps the most controversal monument at Vicksburg, which has statues of both Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln standing inches apart on a marble platform.
    In September of 1863,   Union and Confederate soldiers met the battlefield of Chickamauga, near the town of Chattanooga: the “Gateway to the Deep South.”   The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was established by Congress in 1890 to commemorate the battle and preserve the area for study by military historians. The site includes more than 1,400 historical markers and monuments, many of which were placed by veterans of the campaigns.   One of the most popular sites visitors tour is the site of Breckinridge’s Assault, an area where the most of the Kentucky brigade were  situated during the battle and  where Maj. General John C. Breckinridge led the first Confederate assaults of the decisive second day of the battle.
    On May 3, 1899, the commonwealth of Kentucky erectd a granite monument at the Chickamauga National Military Park in Georgia.  The ceremony was very imposing, with Kentucky Governor Bradley, along with other prominent citizens  of the state attending, which also included members of the United Confederate Veterans,  Sons and Daughters organizations.  Major Thomas Hayes of the Kentucky Commision, in an address, formally tendered the  monument to Gov. Bradley and the people of the commonwealth.   In the acceptance address, Gov. Bradley said:
            “Kentucky has evinced no partiality in the evidence of loving remeberance.  It carries with it no heart burning, no jealousy, no invidious distinction.  It is not an emblem of honor to the victor and  and reproach to the vanquished, but an equal tribute to the worth of all.  In future, the descendants of chivalrous Confederates may proudly gaze upon it, realizing that the state has honored their ancestors, and although their cause was lost, their heroism is revered and their memories perpetuated.  And the sons of the brave men who fought on the other side may look upon it with equal  pride, feeling that it fitly commemorates the gallant deeds of their illustrious ancestors , who preserved the Nation from destruction.  May it endure forever, standing guard over victor and vanquished, with the statue that surmounts it, in one hand holding the torch of liberity shedding abroad its benign rays, in the other grasping the people, ready and anxious at all times to uphold the integrity of one country, and to drive, wounded and bleeding, from its shores any insolent foe that shall ever dare invade them.”
            The monument was accepted for the US Government by Gen. H. V. Boynton, President of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park Commission.   The monument erected to the memory Kentuckians who wore both the blue and the gray is said to be one of the “handsomest” in the park.