2017 Pictures
Soldier and flag
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2017 Overview

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2017 was the fifteenth year of our reenactment. Each year is a little better, as we improve facilities, add displays and are joined by new demonstrators or lecturers. We attended other reenactments, festivals and fairs, and met a lot of people as we continued our mission to educate, entertain and promote a sense of history.

Our first event was a skirmish at the Red River Museum in Clay City. It is a very nice museum, and I encourage everyone to attend their spring or fall events. We took our usual blue and gray coats, as we never know which they need until we get there. Jo Ann Oborski and her daughter demonstrated spinning wheels and a loom upstairs, which provides a rare look into how our ancestors made clothes.

Jo Ann

Another May event was to assist the Letcher County school system in a week long program for school kids. Evelyn held a tea and ball, Willis did some blacksmithing, and Gary and Tudy discussed the life of a soldier. I joined them for a skirmish. Other presentations were cancelled because of rain.

We held skirmishes throughout the Perry County Fair, and let spectators fire the muskets afterwards. The tigers were spectacular, and it was a real treat to see these beautiful animals. Abe Lincoln joined us, and people came to be photographed with him, as they love to do. This year, we plan to set up on the lawn near the walking track, and do our skirmishes in this year’s location.


When August rolled around, several of us went to Jenkins and shot and banged there. Some of the Mountain Man Mafia sutlers joined in the battle, and we all had a good time. Greg Bentley had a nice wildlife display, and Mitch Whitaker brought a bald eagle. Kids from the Jenkins school enjoyed the various stations. Brit Smith had a big wedding which was well attended on the battlefield on August 5.


Willis Strong started the Black Gold Parade when he fired his cannon. Some people say they look forward to “those guys with guns” in the parade. All of them aren’t guys. We set up tents on the triangle, and held periodic skirmishes. Our displays include some artifacts to exhibit, and some souvenirs for sale.

Black Gold Parade

October started with the Mary Breckenridge Festival. Abe Lincoln was requested, but unable to attend because of health. We always enjoy this festival and the parade. We did not grow cane this year, which gave us more time to get the battlefield ready for our reenactment. We attended Wildcat, another good reenactment, and several people from there attended our event the following weekend.

Our Education Day was nice, and well attended. Good weather allowed kids to tour the various stations and sutlers, and enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds. We had about twenty stations and twenty nine school buses. The stations were: 1. General Lee, David Chaltas; 2. Lye soap, Jim Haynes; 3. Birds, Mitch Whitaker; 4. Camp, Greg & Gemma Bentley; 5. Flags, Ron Hornsby; 6. Artillery, Willis Strong and Manton Ray Cornett; 7. Skirmish, Tudy Cody, 8. Weapons, Wayne Watts; 9. Period School, Anita Holland; 10. Nurse, Brenda Taulbee; 11. Salt/History of BOL, Paul Taulbee; 12. General Store, Brenda Nease; 13. Spinning and Weaving, Jo Ann Oborski; 14. Period Music, Steve Ball; 15. Blacksmith, Danny Estep and Wayne Whitaker; 16. World’s Largest Anvil, J. D. Napier; 17. Herbal Medicine, Susan Hull; 18. Honey, Ron and Denise Feist; 19. West Point Military Academy, Carl Oborski, and 20. Declaration of Independence, Dr. Marion Miniard.

Our Saturday reenactment was soggy, but still enjoyable. Kevin Hardsty, a speaker with the Kentucky Humanities bureau, did an excellent job of portraying Jefferson Davis. The rain made pockets of water on the big tent, and we had to keep emptying them, but Evelyn and her assistants had a good tea, and the participants took home a pretty cup and saucer with a rose.

We had a good battle, which included four horses, eight cannons, and a good number of infantry, with some new troops. The losing soldiers didn’t want to fall on the soaked ground, so they limped off to the barn. They had a good dinner of pulled pork or chicken, and some lucky people received door prizes (as did the ladies at the tea).


We had our ball Saturday evening. Gene Gatts had a new caller, Randy Wilson, and a new fiddler, Justin. Ralph Marcum, his usual fiddler suffered a broken arm when an old car he was working on ran over him. They did a creditable job and everyone enjoyed the music.


Sunday was a better day, as the rain let up. General Lee conducted the church service, and we had a good battle afterwards.

The churches of Leatherwood united to hold a Nativity pageant on the battlefield in November. They did one several years ago on Dr. Miniard’s farm, and it was well received by the community. It was good to revive that and the battlefield worked well for it. Mary and Joseph went from building to building along our row looking for a room, and finding none available, went to the barn. After the birth of Jesus, angels sang, and the shepherds and wise men paid their respects. Refreshments were served afterwards. About five hundred people attended.

Mary and Joseph

Our major accomplishments on the facilities were the completion of the bathhouse and rewiring of the Cornett cabin. We are the only reenactment in the area with a bath house, and it was used. We placed some picnic tables on the grounds to allow those walking for exercise to rest, and the Mending Hearts guys, who helped all year long, built fire pits.

We brightened up the roadside marker with gold leaf, which makes it more visible and easier to read. Tim Ison Insurance donated a printer and computer system, which we greatly appreciate. We repaired some of our leathers and bought new cap pouches. Tudy sewed on buttons which had been lost in combat. Larry Isom framed a large original newspaper battle scene for us.


The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky gave us a grant to repair the barn roof. This work is not completed, as our roofer has been unable to finish. We repaired the front roof and porch roof of Elbert’s cabin at the same time.

We have added to our CW displays, and have the best in the region, and Gary brought over a mining display. We are working on presentation and lighting of these displays. We replaced our fluorescent lights in the General Store and blacksmith shop with LEDs, which are brighter, cheaper to run, and require less replacement.

Judge Alexander provided extra funding, and we bought four new Confederate coats and four tables with part of it. We appreciate his support.

This year, we plan to chink the cracks in the outside of the Cornett Cabin, finish wiring that cabin, enclose a wing of the blacksmith shop, and build a shed to house the salt kettles. We will improve our lighting on the battlefield, add motion lights, and add more security cameras.

Kerry Crutcher President/Chairman of the Board