Sunday, September 25, 2011

Volunteers!! Join the 9th Inf. Reg. Ky. Vol.

This weekend, the Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site and the 9th U.S. Kentucky Volunteer Infantry reenacting unit marked the sesquicentennial of the formation of the 9th Kentucky Regiment (U.S.) with a host of events and activities. Of course, this is dear to Dudeboy and me as our ancestor Joel "Top" Simmons was a member of that organization . . . more specifically, he fought with Company K. It was nice to be among people who had a shared interest in this organization. We were able to converse and share info with other descendants, enthusiasts, members of the re-enactment group, and Abraham Lincoln.

Dudeboy wielding an Enfield rifle . . . one of the most widely used weapons of the Civil War.

The medical officer offered Dudeboy a number of opportunities to experience the tools of his trade, but Dudeboy just preferred the photo op.

In camp with the 9th . . .

Draw Sabers!

Dudeboy enjoying some of the 9th Kentucky birthday cake . . .

This is the land where Camp Anderson was situated, at least where the historical marker locates it (or used to, for the marker keeps getting stolen). Just up the road a bit is another site where it was probably actually located. Camp Anderson is where the 9th Kentucky originated. Later they were formally mustered in at Columbia, Ky.

This is the gravesite of John Fraim. Camp Anderson was established on the Indian Creek farm owned by John Fraim. He also helped pass out some of the famous "Lincoln guns" to Companies E and K. Apparently Fraim stated in a letter that in order to join you had to "pay one dollar each gun, and take an oath." Dudeboy and I are directly related to John Fraim's brother William.

From an old newspaper clipping comes this story pertaining to the character of John Fraim . . .
About the middle of summer '64, Frame (sic) was sitting on a fence enclosing an immense field of corn on his farm when seven guerillas surprised him, shot him and pursued him into the field whither he ran. Finally a well-directed shot brought him down and he simulated death while they searched him for money and valuables. They left him lying on the ground and went to the fence about forty yards off and held a consultation. Each of the band was personally known to, and was a personal enemy of Frame, and their councils were dived (divided?). Some wanted to return and make sure of their work, but the leader decided that the man was dead, and that the best thing that could be done was to cross over into Tennessee, which they did.

In relating the circumstances afterwards, something that he rarely did, Frame always closed with a significant glitter in his eye and the words 'There is not a single one of them fellows living to-day.' He had slain every one with his own hand and without assistance.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Backyard Bugs . . . Goldenrod Soldier Beetle

This friendly fellow is a Goldenrod Soldier Beetle (a.k.a. Pennsylvania Leather-wing). They are closely related to lightning beetles. Soldier Beetles are commonly seen late summer and early fall . . . right on time, as this is the first day of Autumn. Oddly enough the Goldenrod Soldier Beetle feeds on goldenrod flowers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

150 Years Ago Today . . .

One hundred and fifty years ago on September the 18th, Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner and approximately 4000 troops occupied Bowling Green. Because of its location along the L&N Railroad and Barren River, Bowling Green was seen as very strategically important. Fortunately, for all loyal, non-traitorous-type people, the line held in Kentucky by the Confederates was very tenuous and was soon abandoned to the Federals who occupied Bowling Green for the duration of the war. So, to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the war coming to our region, there were a number of Civil War-related events around our community called 150 Years . . . Bowling Green, Remembering the Civil War. And, of course, Dudeboy and I were able attend a few of the events. In the morning we saw a lecture entitled "L&N and the Civil War" by WKU Geography professor, Dr. Trapasso. Followed by a tour of the new exhibit Civil War and the Railroad at the L&N Depot/Railpark.

Dudeboy then engaged in several activities at the Kentucky Museum on the WKU campus, where we also got to listen to a very interesting lecture by Robert Bell on "Kentucky's African American Soldiers During the Civil War."

Later that evening, our tour concluded with the Fountain Square Players portraying Spirits of the Civil War, which included a stop to a nearby cemetery. While nothing of significant import happened in Bowling Green during the Civil War (well, comparable to other places), there is still much to see and do. Hopefully, in the near future, Dudeboy and I will go on a more in-depth tour of the Civil War sites in our area. So, check back if you want to be bored outta your gourds.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Local Hero"

Wednesday, Dudeboy and I travelled to Cookeville, Tennessee and the campus of Tennessee Tech University to take in Tennessee's Sesquicentennial Signature Event: Civil War in the Borderland. We saw many opening remarks (much to Dudeboy's consternation) by various political type people and Kix Brooks (?), before getting to the nitty-gritty with three lectures pertaining to the Civil War in middle and east Tennessee. We were most interested in hearing Dr. Brian McKnight's talk "Champ Ferguson and the Civil War." Unfortunately, to paraphrase Dudeboy: "We had to sit through five hundred thousand hours of other stuff to see 15 minutes about Champ Ferguson!" So, to make it up to Dudeboy, we took a side excursion to visit Champ Ferguson's grave-site along the Calf-Killer Creek.

Ferguson is buried in France Cemetery, White County, Tennessee. It is a very fitting place for Ferguson, because the graves are so unusual. It looks like something out of Transylvania (well, at least a Hollywood-ized Transylvania). I have seen a few of these "tent graves" in my travels. They are clustered in the Upper Cumberland region of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The grave of the notorious Champ Ferguson. He was one of two people who were tried for war crimes after the Civil War (the other being Captain Henry Wirz of Andersonville). Ferguson was tried for the murders of 53 persons, but he claimed to have personally killed over 100 people during the war. In his own words . . . "I killed a good many men, of course, but I never killed a man who I did not know was seeking my life."

A matter of perspective . . . the marker at the cemetery exclaims that "Cap't Ferguson, and his co-fighters were the only protection the people of the Cumberland and Hickory Valley area had against the Federal guerrillas during the Civil War." As one local we talked with at the cemetery put it, "He was our local hero." Counter that with this historical marker near his birthplace in Albany, Kentucky.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

da Vinci, Samurai and Civil War Brass Bands

Friday, Dudeboy and I drove up to Louisville to the Frazier International History Museum for their homeschool program Da Vinci's Workshop, which was held in conjunction with the exhibit Da Vinci: the Genius.

While we were there we got to see a couple extra interpretations including this one called Arming the Samurai.

The next day we drove to Frankfort to take in part of the Cornets & Cannons Civil War Sesquicentennial Festival. We only got to watch two of the bands, but they were well worth the trip.

The Wildcat Regiment Band from Pennsylvania . . .

Olde Towne Brass from Alabama . . .

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Backyard Bugs . . . Burrowing Bug

The Pangaeus bilineatus, or Burrowing Bug. He was about 6mm long. Apparently, this little guy likes peanuts.

Kingdom of Fife Film School . . . August

Here is the thirteenth installment of the Kingdom of Fife Film School. These are the films Dudeboy watched during August with his ratings.