civil war

Jacob Ryan/WFPL

Louisville’s Confederate monument is heading to Brandenburg.

The Meade County seat is about 40 miles east of Louisville and home to a historical Civil War site.

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

A non-profit organization is preserving part of Kentucky’s Civil War history.

Kentucky’s Civil War battlefields are in need of some spring cleaning. 

The Civil War Trust, a national non-profit, is looking for volunteers to help clean and restore ten landmarks in Kentucky on Saturday. 

"People do everything from picking up trash, lawn work, and minor repairs," said Meg Martin, communications manager for The Civil War Trust.  "They might clean signs, clear trails, things that will allow the sites to be better interpreted and provide better educational and recreational opportunities for the parks."

Matthew Brady / National Archives and Records Administration

If you're familiar with the American Civil War, you likely know the names Ulysses S. Grant, James Longstreet, and William Tecumseh Sherman.  They were among the men whose decisions and strategies charted the course of the war and ultimately, that of American history.  Charles Ferguson Smith is arguably no less important, but considerably less well-known.  And Plano, Texas history professor Allen Mesch is out to change that.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Well told from the American Civil War are the stories of battles and heroic leaders. Among the lesser known stories are those of the farm families and their homesteads who found themselves struggling to survive in the midst of conflict. "It was a trying time," says Land Between the Lakes Homeplace Lead Interpreter Cindy Earls. She speaks with Matt Markgraf on Sounds Good about what life was like for the farm families of western Kentucky and northwestern Tennessee ahead of their reenactment event "Civil War Comes to the Homeplace" this Saturday.

Swim around enough in the oceanic photo archives of the Library of Congress and you will spot some strange things — including old doctored photos of two-headed humans and a man-monster superimposition.

But perhaps nothing as bizarre as this photo — labeled General Grant at City Point.

Look at it closely. Notice anything amiss?

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

A little over two weeks ago, we spoke with two professors of Murray State's history department who were among the 72 Kentucky history professors who signed a letter calling for the removal of the statue of Confederate president and Kentucky native Jefferson Davis from the capitol rotunda in Frankfort. The letter went to Governor Steve Beshear and to the Kentucky Historical Properties Advisory Commission, which earlier this August voted 7-2 to keep the statue where it is. But that doesn't mean the debate is over. On Sounds Good, Todd Hatton speaks with Dr. Tom Hiter, former Director of Heritage Defense for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and longtime SCV member Dr. Don Duncan.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Seventy-two history professors in Kentucky have signed a letter to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission of Kentucky calling for the removal of the statue of the controversial Jefferson Davis in the capitol rotunda in Frankfort to a museum. Todd Hatton speaks with two history professors at Murray State University who signed the letter, Dr. Duane Bolin and Dr. David Pizzo who argue for a contextual understanding of Davis and explain Kentucky's distinct position as a state on both sides of the Civil War.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Henry Wildy Harding Sr. was among the first settlers to Calloway County after Kentucky's first governor Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson negotiated the Jackson Purchase with the Chickasaw. Back then, this land was mostly untouched wilderness. Homes, barns and fences had to be built by felling trees. Harding settled on approximately 1,000 acres of what is now the northwestern part of Murray and Calloway County. Between two wives (his first died before moving to western Kentucky), he fathered 18 children, five of whom fought for the Confederate Army in the Civil War.

Later in his life, he oversaw the local school district, donating a portion of his land for one of the school houses and also founded First Baptist Church of Murray. David Reed of Gilbertsville is his great great grandson, semi-retired District Court Judge and co-author of a book The Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Wildy Harding Sr. with his cousin. They have a family reunion this weekend and Reed speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about Harding Sr.'s remarkable legacy.

An estimated 1,000 African-Americans who fought for the Union in the Civil War are being honored in Owensboro.

The Daviess County Bicentennial Committee is unveiling a historical marker on the courthouse square Friday evening for the Daviess County men who fought in what were known as “colored” infantries and cavalry units during the war.

The marker will be unveiled at 6 p.m. at the northwest corner of the courthouse.

Committee Co-chair Aloma Dew was one of the driving forces behind getting the marker established. She says the black men who volunteered for the units took great personal risks.

“We know of a couple of men who walked from Pleasant Ridge, which is about 15 miles outside of Owensboro, into Owensboro to sign up. They were slaves and they knew that if they were apprehended there would be a high cost to pay,” Dew said.

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