Monday, May 31, 2010

Bardstown, KY, Civil War Museum

 After my trip to Perryville last Thursday, I spent the following day taking in a few more historic sites and museums.

I began on Friday by heading to the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater in Bardstown since I had heard a lot of good things about it.

When I found it (I had parked in downtown Bardstown, intending to walk around and finding the museum, as I arrived before its 10:00 opening time, and I had trouble interpreting the signs I saw, before realizing the museum I wanted was at the bottom of the hill), I realized that everything I had heard about it was, in fact, true. This museum has an incredible amount of artifacts, from uniforms, to guns, to swords, and even musical instruments. At times, I even thought it might have too much on display to look at on one trip. To try to look at every single piece would be very difficult to do.

The museum is nicely arranged, starting with a brief display about the pre-war years and the first Battle of Bull Run, then goes into discussions and displays of the major battles in the west, in chronological order. It also has a few related displays such as one medical scene using mannequins,as well as the one about musical instruments.

After viewing the room with those displays, the visitor moves into a different area, with even more displays, including a reproduction of a camp scene and discussion of the war on the rivers.

The one artifact that got my attention the most was a flag belonging to the 16th Kentucky Infantry (USA). In the past I had done brief research on this unit after discovering that one of its members, John Clark of Company D, was the last Civil War veteran to die in Campbell County, Kentucky, where I have spent my entire life. I have given a few talks on Mr. Clark, so I have an interest in his life, and was fascinated to see his  unit's national flag. (In looking at this blog, it appears I have not posted any of the information I have found on John Clark, so I will need to rectify that situation in the future.)

The operators of this museum also run 4 other museums in Bardstown. Thanks to the generosity of the hosts, I was allowed a brief look at the Civil War room of the War Memorial of Mid-America museum, where they have artifacts from John Hunt Morgan. That was impressive too.

I wish I had paid to see the rest of that museum as well as the Women's Civil War Museum, though I'm not sure if that was open while I was there, but time ran short for me.

Still, I do highly recommend a trip to Bardstown to see the Civil War Museum of the Western Theater.  They are open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 pm daily from March 1 to December 15. Please visit their web site for more details.

To close this post, let me add happy Memorial Day to all out there. Please remember our veterans who have passed away, just as John Clark, on this special day of remembrance, as well as those serving today. God Bless the USA.

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