Jan.-March 2017
Vol. 11, No. 1
Richmond, Ky.

Bugle Briefs ...

9,000 students have visited battlefields,
historic sites through Field Trip Fund

Through its Field Trip Fund, the Civil War Trust has sent 9,000 young people to battlefields and historic sites in 18 sites across the country. The Trust continues to receive applications every week from teachers who want to take their students to visit America’s hallowed ground. These outdoor classrooms are designed to make Civil War history come alive and makes battlefield field trips available to those who may otherwise not be able to make such a trip.

The field trip fund depends upon contributions from interested donors. Garry Adelman, director of the Trust’s History and Education department, points out that a $40 donation allows two youngsters to visit a battlefield. A $100 gift provides for five visitors, $200 for 10, $500 for 25 and a full classroom, and $1,000 funds 50 and two-three classrooms.

Contributions are made through the Trust’s web site – www.civilwar.org – or by sending a check to Civil War Trust, 1140 Professional Court, Hagerstown, MD 21740. Adelman can be contacted at gadelman@civilwar.org or by calling 1-888-606-1400.

Civil War looks great on rebranded TV channel

Some of the best Civil War documentaries are appearing on the Discovery Channel’s American Heroes Channel.

Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War debuted Dec. 14 and focused on the battles of Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg from a soldier’s point of view.

The channel bills its productions as virtual reality (VR) experiences “bringing the Civil War from 2D to 360 degrees.” Fish eye lenses are utilized to enable viewers to “experience bullets whizzing by their ears and explosions lighting up the battlefield.” The visuals are complemented with 3D audio, which can be experienced when viewed by a virtual reality headset.

The VR experience from American Heroes Channel (AHC) is available on DiscoveryVR.com. The channel previously was the Military Channel.

Civil War art relocation creates uproar

A state panel declared its support recently for Civil War art inside the newly renovated Minnesota Capitol, but not before Gov. Mark Dayton stormed out of the meeting in a huff.

The governor accused Republicans of distorting his position on relocating the paintings for political gain.

On a divided voice vote, the Capitol Preservation Commission passed a motion stating its preference that six historic paintings depicting Civil War battles remain in the governor’s reception room and anteroom. Dayton suggested those paintings should be replaced with “more welcoming” art that represents the “full complexion” of state history.

Holt Home receives first tours from schools

Tours of the Joseph Holt Home in Hardinsburg continue to be popular, including a first-time visit by two Breckinridge County elementary schools.

Hardinsburg Elementary and Irvington Elementary toured the historic structure (circa 1850) recently and heard a Civil War presentation from Larry Elliott, portrayer of President Abraham Lincoln. Assisting with the tour were Judge Maurice Lucas and Holt Home Friends President Susan Dyer.

The renovation of the 6,225-square-foot mansion is nearing completion. It was built by the nation’s first judge advocate general, appointed by President Lincoln.

The Holt Home and surrounding 19.5 acres, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, were acquired by Breckinridge County Fiscal Court in 2008.

Revolving rifles used at Battle of Mill Springs

In May 1861, a company of the 8th Massachusetts Infantry was issued Colt revolving rifles while serving in and around Washington City.

Later in 1861, pickets of the 12th Kentucky Infantry skirmished with Confederate cavalry at the Jan. 19, 1862 Battle of Mill Springs. The pickets, armed with Colt rifles, killed four rebels with eight shots at 300 yards.

The Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle was a revolver-rifle hybrid designed and manufactured by Colt Firearms. Effectively, it was a revolver attached to a rifle barrel and stock. The single-action weapon utilized a percussion lock mechanism with a cylinder of either five or six chambers.

No safety mechanisms existed in the 1850s, therefore once the Model 1855 was loaded it was ready to fire. The use of black powder made the model particularly dangerous as the proximity of the cartridges in the cylinder meant the discharge of one cartridge going off could easily set all others off at once. This would result in molten lead being fired from the cylinder onto the weapon’s supporting arm, thereby burning the user’s hands.

Civil War trivia and interesting facts

• The most contested town in the war was Winchester, Va. It changed hands 76 times.

• The oldest officer in the war was commissioned in 1862. Union Major Gen. William Wilkens was 83.

• A Kentuckian was the youngest officer in the war. E.G. Baxter, 7th Kentucky, CSA, was made 2nd lieutenant at age 13.

• The fight song for Georgia Tech is “The Irish Jaunting Car.” Its tune was borrowed for “The Bonnie Blue Flag.”

Bayonets accounted for less than four percent of battle wounds and artillery fire caused less than five percent. Bullets, however, were responsible for more than 90 percent of the wounds.

• Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, disillusioned by the tactics and goals of the Ku Klux Klan, resigned as Grand Wizard in 1869 and tried to disband the organization.

Articles and photos appearing on www.thekentuckycivilwarbugle.com may be used with permission. For permission, contact Bugle editor Ed Ford at fordpr@mis.net.

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