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Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
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April 18, 2013     Bath County News - Outlook
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April 18, 2013
 

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2 - April 18, 2013 Your Hometown Newspaper News Outlook Heaven Is A Lot Like By Charles Mattox "1 am now attempting to write from this Look- out Mountain, one of the most picturesque as well as interesting places on the American continent. Near by and round about here some of the greatest episodes in the world's his- tory transpired near the close of that eventful year, 1863. Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, where the lives of sixty-five thousand Ameri- cans were either destroyed or more or less wrecked. A feeling of philosophy and awe prompts me to ask why all this great sac- rifice of human life, mis- ery and suffering? Was the Great God that made man now looking on this awfulscene of carnage and woe again repenting that He had made wicked, rebellious and murderous man; or was it a part of His omnipotent plan for man's inherent folly and wickedness driving him to destroy his fellowman ? Whatever it was it seems to have been accomplished here amid these towering mountains. But so it was and I, one insignificant actor in the grand drama, am stiU per- mitred to live and recount some of the thrilling scenes as they were enacted." Lot Dudley Young, on his visit to Chickamauga in May of 1912, as it ap- pears in his book "Remi- niscences of a soldier of the Orphan Brigade." I'he brigade was ac- tively engaged with the enemy when the sad news was received on the 29th day of April, 1865, near Statesboro, S. C that both Lee and Johnston had surrendered, that the Con- federate Government was overthrown, and its flag, embalmed in the tears of the South, was furled for- ever. Our brigade - that is, what little of it was left - was serving as mounted infantry on the Santee river in South Carolina engaged in battle when the order came from Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, com- manding the department, putting an end to hostili- ties. Immediately, a truce was sounded, yet George Doyle, a member of Com- pany A, Ninth regiment, heeded it not, but mounted his horse, and rode down single handed against the Federal lines of infantry, and perished. I think I am therefore authorized in stating that George Doyle AN was the last Confederate soldier to lose his life on the field of battle - at least east of the Mississippi riv- er- in our Civil war." John S. Jackman, as he is quoted in the 5 Sept. 1894 issue of the Lou- isville Courier-Journal newspaper, and miscel- laneous clippings in Jack- man's Journal, Library of Congress. I love reading and al- ways have. My book collection is immense and the variety of topics confined within my bound volumes is var- ied, though I do admit I have a weakness for his- tory books and anything on archaeology. Those are my favorite subjects. Next to my work sta- tion at home, I keep myself surrounded by books on archaeology and Native American top- ics. Next to my computer is my King James Bible, given to me by members of the Mt. Carmel Bible Bowl Team in 1980. My desk at the Gazette office typically holds 'Tne Life of Daniel Boone," by Pro- fessor Ted Franklin Be- he and excerpted from the Lyman Draper Man- uscripts. Nearby I always keep an original "Remi- niscences of a Soldier of the Orphan Brigade," By Lt. Lot D. Young. I re- main in complete awe of the actions of the soldiers who were part of the Or- phan Brigade. NINA Young was barely 20-year-old when the American Civil war erupted. He had been a member of the militia of Bourbon and Nicholas County and his unit The Flat Rock Grays, quickly became Company H, Fourth Battalion, First Infantry DMsion, Ken- tucky, Confederate States of America. The unit was approxi- mately 4,500 men strong when they went into bat- fie for the first time on April 6, 1862 at Shiloh. In April three years later when they surrendered, a full three weeks after General Robert E. Lee's Army of Virginia surren- dered, they numbered scarcely 529, but were acknowledged by both armies as being among the best disciplined and ferocious to ever enter battle. I can still feel the ex- citement of that first bat- fie when I read Young's words. "We had hardly fired the second volley, when the sharp, shrill voice of Major Monroe rang out amid the roar and din of Battle to 'Fix Bayonets' and the command was repeated by the company commanders," Young wrote about years later in the book "Reminiscences of a soldier of the Orphan Brigade," while detailing the glorious victory the orphans enjoyed that first day of battle at Shiloh. Young and his fellow .soldiers pushed back and forth against the Union Army of General Grant until hostilities ended as the first day of battle fad- ed with the dusk. Young, like the rest of the Confederate sol- diers waited for the final charge, to overwhelm the demoralized Union Army, as the Confeder- ates had routed their foes in the waning hofirs of the day, but the order never came and the op- portunity for total victory was lost as 33,000 Union soldiers reinforced the Union Army that night. The second day of battle, just beyond the Shiloh Church, would be disastrous for the Con- federates. Young and the 4th would face their fel- low Kentuckians and the rest of the Union Army. It would be the men of the First Kentucky Infan- try Brigade; The Orphan Brigade, who would hold the line as the rest of the Confederate Army re-- treated into the neighbor- ing town of Corinth. The Orphans lost near- ly half of their men on that second day, and the exultation felt by them af- ter the first day of victory was crushed with sorrow after the second day's defeat. The survivors limped into Corinth late that night, and over the next 48 hours as torrents of rain fell. Lott Young, like many lying around him who crawled into Corinth that first night, dosed his eyes and hoped for awea- ry sleep that still merci- lessly did not come; the horrid images and pitiful sounds of the wounded could never be erased from his mind. "Yep, we sure went to church this past Sun- day didn't we boys?" Ed Thompson asked quietly with a tone of solemn and wise sorrow they had all shared, to which many sinaply grumbled "Shiloh Church" in understand- hag. And then another among them piped in saying, 'q rell, II! not be going to that church no more, boys. I'm not sure I like the sermons they preach. It was as if Satan himself was doing the preaching to us." "Amen to that, broth- er," Lott Young grunted under his breath, as did many that lay amid the cries of the wounded. Young imagined this yeas surely to be the worst lay of the war, a war that he believed would be over in a matter of a few more months. He was wrong about that of course, dear read- er The war would seem- ingly last forever And the worst was still to come for Lt. Young and the Orphans. By Cecil Lawson Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it George Santayana, American philosopher No man is rich enough to buy back his past. - Oscar Wilde When the past no lon- ger illuminates the fu, ture, the spirit walks in darkness. Alexis de Toe- queville, Democracy in America (1840) Our history is slip- ping through our fin- gers like sand. It never ceases to amaze me that, for people who pride them- selves on their roots, we don't do much to preserve our local his- tory. While historic Main Street in Owingsville may prove me wrong, I'm not thinking of that. In my countryside walks over the past four decades, I've watched as many abandoned homes, barns and buildings tucked away in the woods, in the bottoms, and along the river have crumbled through the ravages of time. There are a string of several older homes along the river in Moores Ferry that I've watch collapse. Drive through White Oak Road some time and see the same thing. I've seen older homes leveled through "devel- opment" and "econom- ic progress." Several weeks ago I went looking for the older Bath County Alms House. A num- ber of people, includ- ing my father, remem- ber its foundations in TH BOAT OF HISTORY, THE SEA OF TIME the woods as well as I a stoned-in well. The I Bath County Poor I House Farm still exists, [ formerly known as the [ estate Myrtle Hill,r but it too is mosfly:crurn: bling on its lonely hill- top in Ke/idall Si/rings. ' The same can be said for any number of homesteads across the county, across the re- gion, across the state. On Tuesday after- noon I took a walk along Slate Creek and located the old bridge abut- ments belonging to the Owingsville and Olym- pia railroad. The O & O is what enthusiasts call a "ghost railroad," of which a few traces are left that still haunt the landscape. The line ran for less than a year between 1915 and 1916. There are those of us who like local history and study it as a hobby, but the majority of peo- ple think of it only in passing. The younger generations tend to not focus as much on local history. I'm not sure there is a remedy for this. It is very difficult to incul- cate or educate a true love of history, of heri- tage. History is one of those subjects that we either love or tend to snooze to when we hear it. Histor can be an an- Here for all your catering needs! Your special occasion Is our Sl~clalty < Reunions Companies * Family Gatherings Small Parties * Banquets Big Parties Weddings Home Cooked Food Call for quot~l We ,we vary profimlonal and have 16 years of experlencel photo by Cecil Lawson Each day pieces of the past that are not remembered and preserved, waste away under the ravages of time. chor around our necks. There are people for whom history is a bur- den, whose traditions unnecessarily weigh them down. Or, as with the world today, the lack of his- tory leaves us float- ing adrift in the grand ocean of time, making us subject to the swells and horse latitudes and never knowing where we are headed. History should be a ballast, keeping us afloat, level, and able to maneuver. When all traces of k history are wiped away, when memories fade, when anything not scanned onto a comput- er and preserved online is not saved, then we lose our ballast, and we are set adrift. Let's not let our com- munity fall adrift in time to the ravages of the present. Let's have something we can truly stand on. e ,