Friday, May 28, 2010

New Mural Highlights Hart County’s CSA Heritage

by Joey Oller

A new mural, commissioned by the Tourism Council, on the town square in Munfordville depicts the WBTS history of Hart County. Although the mural attempts to be fair to both sides, it clearly is over-shadowed by the rich Confederate history of the county. In September the General Ben Hardin Helm camp will host a booth during the Hart County CW Days which highlights the 1862 battle where union forces surrendered to Gen. Simon B. Buckner. Robert Cull, Lt. Cmdr. of the GBHHelm Camp will also conduct the annual memorial service at the Confederate Cemetery, where over 28 Mississippi soldiers are buried. The Hart County CW Days is one of the Helm Camp's major activities for the year.

Originally Published in the Summer 2004 The Lost Cause

Friday, May 21, 2010

2003 Castorina Report

The Castorina v. Madison School Board case was settled in our favor over a year ago now, and we have had dealings with more than two dozen school systems in its wake. Some school systems have—after initial resistance—realized that the 6th Circuit case law is unavoidable and have complied with this basic constitutional tenet: students do not shed their rights at the schoolhouse doors, and singling out Southern students for different treatment is unconstitutional. So far 9 school systems have done complete turnarounds in Kentucky on their bans of Confederate symbols. Others are still pondering their responsibilities in the matter, and a few have chosen to challenge the 6th Circuit ruling. One school system in particular—at this point to remain nameless, but not for long– has chosen to belligerently challenge Castorina and are likely to be the next school system to find themselves in court. The Kentucky division has already spent money on legal retainer for the case. Many school systems will be watching—did we just “get lucky” in Madison County, or have we truly created a powerful legal tool? As always, money will be our greatest need if and when “Castorina II” becomes a reality.

The news is mostly positive, though, as we are seeing the “ripple effects” of CastorinaCastorina to change a school system’s improper behavior. continue. In some cases we’ve simply given instructional and legal material to parents and they have been able to take the situation successfully from that point. We are also heartened to hear reports from elswhere - Ohio, Tennessee and even Illinois and other states not in the 6th Circuit where camps and parents have been able to use

We have 3 tools available for these school situations:

¨ “Castorina Kit” - this is the 6th Circuit decision, legal filings and letters which—if given to a school system and their attorney—show them just what Castorina is and what it means for them. Very powerful.

¨ “Approaching School Systems About Respecting the Rights of Southern Students” - a “how-to” guide available only to SCV camps dealing with these situations. It gives much of the story behind Castorina and what works best in dealing with school systems based on our experiences.

¨ 2003 Kentucky Heritage Report Video—this is about 12 minutes of TV news reports, mostly on Castorina and the Jefferson Davis statue (it is the video that was shown at the division reunion in Georgetown). It is on a CD which plays on your computer using Windows Media player. Educational and entertaining (it is especially fun to watch one school superintendent whine on camera about the courts “forcing” her to comply)

To request these materials, send $2 for postage to: Don Shelton, 110 Apple Grove, Nicholasville, KY 40356

Originally Published in the Spring 2004 The Lost Cause

Friday, May 14, 2010

Details for the 2010 Kentucky Division Reunion

Sons of Confederate Veterans
Corbin, KY
Moses Hamblin, Commander, Cumberland Brigade

The Cumberland Brigade of the KY Division invites you to the 2010 KY Division Reunion.

The Reunion will be held at the Corbin Technology Center on June 18 & 19.  Registration for the event is $25.00 per person (includes the 2010 Reunion Medal).  Please have your registration in the mail no later than 1 June 2010; make your check payable to Pvt. E. F. Arthur Camp 1783 SCV and mail it to:  Jimmy Hendrickson, P.O. Box 1351 Corbin, KY 40702.  Late and/or walk up registration fee is $30.00.  Additional medals can be purchased for only $5.00.

Lunch on Saturday will be “on your own” at any of the fine restaurants in the area.  Friday evening gathering for early arrivals will be held at a location to be announced later.

Lodging is available at several area motels:  Those located at Exit 25 of I-75 are – Best Western, Holiday Inn Express, Country Inn and Suites; at Exit 29 you have the following choices – Baymont Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn, and Fairfield Inn.  Please contact one of these establishments to arrange accommodations (sorry no special discounts available).

Directions to the Tech Center are as follows: 
                   I-75 exit 25, North on US 25W to Appleby’s Restaurant then turn right, proceed to the tech center on your left (first building).

Questions should be directed to acting Brigade Commander Moses Hamblin (606-528-5333) or email Chaplain J. W. Binion at

2003 Division and National Reunion Reports

By Don Shelton

The 2003 SCV national reunion in Asheville is now history, and finding a single word to describe it remains elusive; “interesting”, “conflicted” and even “amusing” fall far short. However, Kentucky’s praises were sung repeatedly in national and department reports for successes in Castorina free-speech cases, and in implementation of the Kentucky Military Heritage Act.

The Kentucky Soiree’ was a huge success; with three rooms, there was enough space for everyone, and for an enormous 10 x 15 foot 3rd National flag provided by John Bersot. We had visits from such SCV luminaries as CIC Ron Wilson, past CIC's Ed Deason and Rick Griffin, and many, many others.

John Bersot’s magnificent collection of museum-quality flags (with a large number of KY flags, naturally) was on display through-out all the business sessions and dinners.

Kentucky received numerous awards – the most prominent being that the Gen. Ben Hardin Helm camp, for the FOURTH time has won the newsletter award. Congratulations to Joey Oller! Here are some other Kentucky winners: Bronze Medal Dixie Club (Recruiting) - Jimmy D. Reed of the May camp, Dan C. Taylor of the McGuire camp; Dixie Club - Richard M. Smith of the Caudill camp; Commander-in-Chief's Award (presented to those individuals for performing exceptional duty on behalf of the C-I-C during his term of office) Jerry Wells Jr. of the Caudill camp; Distinguished Service Medal (presented for outstanding service to the SCV) William A. Lyons of the Arthur camp, and R. Burl McCoy of the Breckinridge camp.

Kentucky had more camps than ever (9) attend this year’s convention. We had representatives from the John C. Breckinridge, John Hunt Morgan, Andrew Jacksonl May, Pvt. Edward Arthur, Eli M. Bruce, Gen. Roger Hanson, John P. McGuire, Eastern KY Partisan Rangers, and Capt. Thomas Henry Hines camps. Next year’s convention is in Dalton, Georgia, and Kentucky should make every effort to be well represented again. Thanks to our delegates for giving of their time and money to make sure that Kentucky’s voice was heard.

As for the convention business itself; normally the opening session is greetings and reports – important, but rather predictable and ho-hum. This year was different. Instead of glossing over some of the internal strife our organization has experienced this past year, the CIC gave a detailed report on exactly what happened concerning his suspension of ANV commander Charles Hawks, the disloyal group calling itself the “Save the SCV”, and for the first time showed proof of an attempt by some past commanders-in-chief to boycott GEC meetings in order to prevent a quorum so that business could not be done. Obviously, this is probably the first time many members have heard about some of the internal political gamesmanship which goes on at the national level of the SCV. This report was delivered in typical straightforward Ron Wilson style. The report received a standing ovation, and the next day the convention voted that the report, and the actions of the CIC, be approved and took the unprecedented action of voting that the report be published in the Confederate Veteran.

The rest of the business sessions were disappointing, wherein most of our business didn’t even get voted on. Fortunately the evening ball on Saturday restored our spirits. Mort Kunsler was there, and very interesting to meet, but the highlight of the entire convention was to have Ron Maxwell, writer, director and producer of Gods and Generals and Gettysburg speak to us. This is a man who understands Southerners, and understands what truly motivated our ancestors in their quest for a nation of their own. It was tremendously refreshing to hear this voice from Hollywood. Afterwards, this writer was able to speak briefly with Mr. Maxwell. Upon our confession to him of the movie bringing tears to our eyes, Ron Maxwell said that the production staff kept crying as they were editing the movie, even after many viewings. Mr. Maxwell said this puzzled him, since usually by that point they are pretty familiar with the movie. He said that they finally concluded that it continued to make them cry because it was real. Southerners have a dear friend in Ron Maxwell. The ball concluded with our traditional singing of “Good Ol’ Rebel”, “Bonnie Blue Flag” (including the Kentucky verse), Dixie and Auld Ang Syne. While disappointing in some respects, the convention allowed for the renewal of old and dear friendships, and for the making of new ones. It is a unique experience every member should have.

Originally Published in the Spring 2004 The Lost Cause

Friday, May 7, 2010

Confederate Images

By Atlas D. Hall

Nathaniel Cook, a resident of Cynthiana, in Harrison County, Kentucky, was born about 1835, and was killed in action in January, 1862, being approximately 26 years of age. He was the father of a daughter named Dixie, who was born prior to the War Between The States, and a son named Nathan Humphrey Cook, who was born in March, 1862, approximately 2 months after he was killed in action. Family members believe that this son was named in honor of General Humphrey Marshall.

Nathaniel Cook was enlisted by Lieutenant R. B. Thomas, at Prestonsburg, Kentucky, on October 20, 1861, into Company A, 1st Kentucky Cavalry, Confederate States Army, which at the time of his enlistment was under the command of Captain John Shawhan, who was later promoted to Major, and killed in action near Morehead, on October 3, 1862. His commanding officer was Colonel (later General) John S. "Cerro Gordo" Williams.

The 1st Kentucky Cavalry was organized and saw service during the Mexican War, under the command of Colonel Humphrey Marshall. During the War Between The States, Company A of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry was partially organized at Cynthiana, and later increased at Frenchburg, Hazel Green, Salyersville, with formal completion at Prestonsburg, Kentucky on October 1, 1861.

Private Cook was engaged in action at the Battle of Ivy Mountain, near Pikeville, Kentucky on November 9, 1861, retreating to Pound Gap, Virginia, and thence to Lebanon, Virginia. Following the Battle of Ivy Mountain, the members of his unit were issued rifles to replace the double-barreled shotguns which they had used at the Battle of Ivy Mountain.

His service record indicates on an Appraisement Roll dated November 22, 1861, in Russell County, Virginia, as having personal equipment and a chestnut horse valued at $135.00, and that he was last paid on December 30, 1861.

Company A of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry was encamped at Salyersville and West Liberty on January 1, 1862, observing movements of Federal Colonel James A. Garfield's troops at Paintsville, Kentucky. On January 10, 1862, Private Cook was involved in the Battle of Middle Creek, near Prestonsburg, Kentucky. At some point during the Battle of Middle Creek, Private Cook was seriously wounded. Confederate forces (including the seriously wounded Cook) retreated through David and Brush Creek on what is now Kentucky Route 404, to the confluence of Brush Creek with Right Beaver Creek, at what is now known as Midas, near Garrett, Kentucky, and camped on the Joseph Gearhart farm for 2-3 days, before continuing their retreat into Virginia. Confederate forces left the mortally wounded body of Private Cook on the camp ground as they retreated, and the Gearhart family prepared his body for burial on a knoll adjacent to the Gearhart farmhouse, and later at least 2 Gearhart brothers who were Confederate cavalry veterans were buried near his final resting place.

Let us cherish the memory of this gallant soldier of the Confederate States Army who was unknown by the Gearhart family at burial and who remained unknown for nearly 140 years, and whose final resting place was many miles from the place of his nativity. He has finally been made known, and has today received the military rites which he so richly deserves. He now rests with many other Confederate veterans, known and unknown, awaiting the final roll call of the Eternal Commander.

Originally published in the Spring, 2004 The Lost Cause