Submitted by Nicky Hughes for Capital City Museum
The news of the surrender of General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865, signaled the effective end of the American Civil War. The 150th anniversary of this historic event will be observed across the United States on April 9, 2015 much as the original event was in pro-Union communities in 1865 – with the ringing of bells.
The National Parks Service is sponsoring this observance, called Bells Across The Land. The bell-ringing will begin at Appomattox, Virginia, where Lee surrendered to General U.S. Grant, at 3:00PM. Fifteen minutes later, bells in other communities will join in. The bells will ring for four minutes – one minute for each year of the Civil War.
Frankfort will be part of this commemorative event. The bells of First Presbyterian Church, the old Good Shepherd Church, the Church of the Ascension, and the Franklin County Judicial Center will peal beginning at 3:15PM, Thursday. Other downtown churches may join in too.
In 1865 in Frankfort, the news of Lee’s surrender was greeted with a noisy artillery salute. Cannons on Fort Hill and at the State Arsenal fired 300 blank rounds. This salute will be re-created on a much smaller scale as part of Bells Across The Land. A reproduction Civil War cannon will begin the Frankfort observance by firing a blank round from Leslie Morris Park on Fort Hill at 3:15PM. Asked how many shots will be fired this time around, a member of the cannon crew replied, “Fewer than 300.”
From the wonderful group of knowledgeable scholars on Frankfort history comes a new book for the Civil War junkies. Poor Richard’s Books in downtown Frankfort was the perfect place to have a book signing and release on Friday night for the new Frankfort Heritage Press release of Embattled Capital: Frankfort, Kentucky in the Civil War. This is an extensive book on how Frankfort played a role in the American Civil War written by James Prichard.
Nicky Hughes, former curator of the Capital City Museum, says of this book, “This book, the product of six years of thorough, ground-breaking research by one of Kentucky’s most respected archivists, tells the complicated, unique, and fascinating story of Frankfort, Kentucky’s small-town capital city, in the Civil War. Even the most experienced Civil War history buffs and scholars will find much here that is new.”
If you or someone you know is a Frankfort history buff or even local Civil War history, you’ll find this book is for you! Signed copies of the book make great Christmas gifts for yourself or someone else and can be found at Poor Richard’s Books on Broadway or at the Capital City Museum. I got my copy!
PERRYVILLE, KY – Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site will commemorate the anniversary of the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky during the weekend of Oct. 4-5.
The weekend will include military demonstrations at 2 p.m. both days. There will also be speakers, living history interpreters, interaction with the soldiers in camp life demonstrations, antique and period vendors and food vendors. A special program on the “Life of the Soldier,” focusing on camp life, will be conducted both days. The park museum will also be open.
Admission for this event is $10 per person; children 10 and under are free. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days. Guests should expect to walk and may want to bring chairs.
Spirit Hunters of Central Kentucky (as seen on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”) will conduct a paranormal investigation on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Call the park at 859-332-8631 for tickets. The cost is $20 per person; not recommended for children under 12.
The Battle of Perryville on Oct., 8, 1862, was the largest and bloodiest engagement of the American Civil War fought within Kentucky’s borders. Thousands of soldiers were engaged in a desperate battle that left nearly 7,500 men killed and wounded. The significance of the battle was considerable and not only affected the state, but also the nation. The engagement was a Confederate victory. However, Southern forces were unable to maintain a military presence in the state and eventually withdrew into Tennessee. The initial battlefield victory ultimately turned into a tactical loss as Union forces occupied the state thereafter.
Perryville Battlefield is 45 miles southwest of Lexington. Take U.S. 68 West to U.S. 150 West. For more information about Perryville and the events planned for Oct. 4-5, visit www.perryvillebattlefield.org. For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges — more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov.
PERRYVILLE, Ky. – A group of Ball State University students have completed a project that allows visitors to Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site to use their smartphones to tour the park and learn about the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky.
The free phone app explains the battle with actors’ voices while guiding visitors through the park. It also includes period music and photos of the park.
“This app will give a better understanding of what happened here during the battle,” park manager Kurt Holman said. “It will tell the story of not just the generals, but will enhance the understanding of the experiences of the common soldiers.”
The undergraduate students worked closely with the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site and the Friends of Perryville through the Building Better Communities Immersive Learning Program at Ball State University. The project began in January and wrapped up in May. The students conducted a demonstration in April at the park for the public to see some of the results.
Perryville is the scene of the most destructive Civil War battle in the state with 7,607 soldiers killed, wounded or missing. The park museum tells of the battle that was the South’s last serious attempt to gain possession of Kentucky. The battlefield is one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation; vistas today remain virtually those soldiers saw on that fateful day in 1862.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges — more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov
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