MIDDLE CREEK — The sun shown bright and the sky was clear Sunday as crowds of people came together in Floyd County to honor the sesquicentennial of those who died at the Battle of Middle Creek.
In honor of the men who fought there, the Friends of Middle Creek organized a Sesquicentennial Ceremony Sunday afternoon. Guns fired and cannon roared as the names of fallen soldiers were read and the military units who fought there were mentioned.
The blustery winds of war are long silenced in Kentucky, but 150 years earlier 3,000 hungry soldiers ravaged by disease and poorly dressed fought across the fields and up and down the mountain side to determine whether Eastern Ky would call itself Union or Confederate.
Allen Central’s ROTC students were on hand to lower a tattered American flag, folding it carefully, and replacing it with a bright new flag on the Forks of Middle Creek.
Bruce Austin’s bugle sounded assembly and played taps; Jacob Ison’s drum ordered the march and led the Appalachian Home Guard in procession. Rev.
During the ceremony Patrick Davis, co-commander of the Friends and the Appalachian Home Guard discussed the battle and its significance while Paul Manuel, Navajo Austin, and Floyd Davis reviewed known casualties and units. The Friends are beginning a year-long effort to add more names to those who died in the battle.
Nathaniel Cook’s history and service were reviewed followed by an homage to the civilians who lost their lives given by Vice-Commander of the Friends, Michael Warrix.
“The Friends of Middle Creek would like to offer their thanks to Doug Marcum and Woodmen of the World’s Flag Replacement Program for donation of the American Flag; The Commonwealth Battery for artillery support; The Allen R.O.T.C.; Frank Fitzpatrick and the Middle Creek National Battlefield for continued assistance and support; and the citizens of Floyd County for their interest and participation,” said Floyd Davis in a statement.
The Friends of Middle Creek is a civic organization dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Eastern Kentucky’s Civil War heritage whose goal it is to promote knowledge of the regions unique position in historic events and how those events have had a lasting impact on Eastern Kentucky and to advance the development of the Middle Creek National Battlefield through reenactments, education and community service.
The reenactment of the Battle of Middle Creek, which has become a tourist draw for history buffs and Civil War reenactors, is held every year in September.