Friday, May 6, 2011

Dozens of Markers, Monument Dedicated at Sandlick Cemetery

On Memorial Day, May 28, 2007, the Colonel Ben E. Caudill Camp No. 1629 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans hosted a military salute and dedication at the recently placed monument and restored graves of more than four dozen Confederate soldiers. The cemetery, located in Whitesburg of Letcher County, Kentucky, had remained hidden under thick foliage of undergrowth that prevented anyone from viewing the graves.

In January of 2006, members of the camp began to clear the brush and debris from the cemetery. After two weekends of backbreaking labor, the military style rows of graves began to appear. Now clear of the dense foliage, camp members grubbed out the stumps and roots plowed the area and then sowed grass.
Four soldiers already had Confederate tombstones and eight more were identified. The camp obtained tombstones for these eight men and placed thirty-six more unknown tombstones. A monument honoring the graves was designed by camp members and purchased by money raised in the community. A granite bench, flagpole to fly a Confederate flag, two informative stones, and a Confederate soldier statute were purchased as well.

The majority of these soldiers had died in a military hospital that was established near the cemetery in the fall of 1861 by orders of General Humphrey Marshall. The general’s army was referred to as the Army of Eastern Kentucky and consisted of the 5th Kentucky Infantry, 1st Kentucky Mounted Battalion, 21st, 29th and 54th Virginia Infantries, Jeffress’ Battery and several independent cavalry companies. Disease such as mumps, measles and dysentery ravaged the Confederate army, resulting in dozens of deaths. The majority of the men were buried in the Sandlick Cemetery though some were taken by loved ones back to be buried in family cemeteries. The Yankees burned the hospital in the fall of 1862, resulting in the loss of most records. Ongoing research by the Caudill Camp and historical societies in Virginia is being conducted in an attempt to identify the unknown soldiers.

Other News Items

The Letcher County High School’s Junior ROTC students conducted the presentation of the flags. Dozens of Confederate re-enactors from Kentucky and Virginia marched to the cadence of a drum corps into the cemetery. After opening remarks by David Chaltas, the commander of the Caudill Camp, Kentucky State Representative Leslie Combs and Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward both gave speeches commending the Caudill Camp on their efforts to honor these southern heroes. Local musicians from Kentucky and Virginia performed period music throughout the program. After presentation of wreaths supplied by the VFW and the OCR was completed, the Confederate re-enactors and a battery of cannon fired three volleys in honor of all soldiers buried in the cemetery. A Confederate re-enactor performed the mournful tune of Taps to close the program. Our special thanks go out to our brother camps that came from Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida to assist with this historical dedication.

96 More Acres To Be Added to Perryville— The area known as as Sleettown will be added to the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site. The $431,000 purchase was done with money from the Civil War Preservation Trust and a Transportation Enhancement grant. The cost includes an archeological study. Sleettown was an African-American community that ceased to exist after 1931. While preserving information about the Sleettown community is important, there is obviously a fear that political correctness will turn the new acquisition into some sort of “diversity” site that doesn’t include Confederates. In a release, state Parks Commissioner J. T. Miller said “We plan to use the property to tell the story of the Battle of Perryville as well as the history of Sleettown”. The area was a staging ground for Confederate forces.

Two More KY Camps Chartered—Two more Kentucky camps were chartered on June 17th, the Col. Alfred Johnson #276 and Kentucky Secession Site #2125.

Bad Yankee Shooting—The National Rifle Association is a powerful organization today; it was formed in 1871 by 15 New York National Guard officials who were all Union veterans. They formed the NRA “ promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” It turns out they thought the NRA necessary to correct the poor marksmanship of yankee troops during the war. Source: fwdailynews (Fort Wayne, IN)

Flag Finally Returned—Nebraska Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry and Adrian Smith returned the flag of the 1st Regiment Alabama Volunteer Infantry CSA to the state of Alabama in May. The flag had been in yankee hands since the regiment was surrendered at Tiptonville, TN in April of 1862.

From the Floyd County Times—June 29th, “Charges Filed” section: Ned B. Pillersdorf (the lawyer who lied about basketball incidents when his team played Allen Central - see our article on the Allen Central hoax), 52, of Van Lear, drinking alcoholic beverage in public place. We hope Ned knows a good lawyer. Note to Ned: if you move to rural Kentucky, a lot of the counties are dry. Most folks are also proud of their Confederate heritage. If you want to drink in public and curse the Confederate Battle flag, Floyd County is the wrong place to live. Go home. New York needs you.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader—A defendant represented by Ned Pillersdorf was recently not only convicted but received the maximum sentence in a scheme where the defendant—a prison guard—was smuggling drugs into the federal prison. The defense that Pillersdorf had presented was that the prison guard only did it because she had been threatened by an inmate if she didn’t smuggle the drugs, and not because of the thousand dollars she received each time she smuggled the drugs in. We repeat: hope Ned knows a good lawyer.

Pvt. Henderson Whisman, 5th KY Infantry Co D CSA will had a new gravestone dedication on Sept. 2nd, 2007 in Rowan Co. KY at the Whisman Cemetery located on Island Fork Rd. The 5th KY Camp # 2122 and the 5th KY Infantry Co's D E & F, Arthur Camp and Ben Caudill Camp assistied in this Confederate soldier’s long overdue ceremony.

Originally printed in the Fall 2007 publication of The Lost Cause

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