Sunday, January 15, 2017

Introducing the Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation

2nd Battle of Cynthiana
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have joined a new group and will serve as secretary for it, the Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation.  (Click on that link for the group's website. You can also visit our Facebook page right here.) Memberships are already available through the website, with several options available, including a "Founders" level during 2017. Please consider signing up to support us. Other ways to help or become involved are also listed on the website.

This group will focus on publicizing and interpreting and the battles of Cynthiana and, hopefully, even preserving  the land where they took place. These battles were important to the Civil War in Kentucky, yet are not very well-known. We want to help change that and help others understand what took place on this ground and how it fits in the story of the war, nationally and locally. We as an organization are just getting started but are preparing to do what we can to bring attention to the fighting that occurred in and around this town. We do have become  meeting coming up soon and I'm sure we'll start making more  plans for 2017 and even beyond.

It is less than a year old, having been born in the spring of 2016. I learned of it a couple of months later and decided to become involved in it and see if I could contribute.

Exactly how and why this opportunity came to  my attention, I do not know. Location - it's about a one-hour drive from my house - is certainly important. If this was much further away, would I make the effort to be this involved? I don't know. I do know that I am very interested in Kentucky's role in the war, so this fits in extremely well with that interest. Being so close to home only increases that.

The green star marks the location of Cynthiana

Also, the involvement of Darryl Smith, operator of Walking With History, publisher of the Ohio at Perryville blog and whom I have met on various tours at Perryville impressed me. I'm certain he was the one who posted about it somewhere. Had I not read about it and found out it existed, I, of course, could  not have joined it. 

I also think my lack of great knowledge in the battles helped influence me to get involved. I knew of the battles and of the involvement of famous (perhaps legendary) Confederate General John Hunt Morgan, but this seemed like a good opportunity for personal growth in my knowledge and obsession about the Civil War.  I.have read a little bit about it since my involvement began (here is one very quick rundown of the contests), but still need to do much more. One book on my to-read list for this year is  Kentucky Rebel Town: The Civil War Battles of Cynthiana and Harrison County, by Bill Penn, who is also involved in the group. I've heard good things about this book and look forward to reading it for myself.

John Hunt Morgan
Another fascinating part of this was the idea of being involved at the very beginning of such a group. I have worked with a couple other historical organizations, but they were well-established before I started volunteering, so this is a potentially new experience for me. It's kind of exciting, but also makes me a bit nervous about trying to get this off the ground, as though I have more responsibility than with the other, older groups.

Please continue to watch our web and Facebook pages for further updates. I'll try to post about it here as well.

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