As part of Magoffin County’s July 4th
Sesquicentennial activities, a group of us representing Magoffin, Floyd,
and Johnson counties, as well as Civil War reenactors from other counties,
assembled at the Middle Creek National Battlefield in Prestonsburg, KY for
the purpose of following one of the most traveled trails in the area,
especially during the Civil War. It was probably this trail that soldiers
traveled to the Battle of Puncheon Creek/Half Mountain back in 1864.
We gathered at the Middle Creek Battlefield Park and were
interviewed by several media people as the crowd gathered. I was
chauffeured over by Randall Risner and Kay.
I won’t be able to name all the participants but the Friends
of Middle Creek and a bunch of reenactors led by Floyd Davis and his son
Patrick Davis, plus Debbie Manuel and Mrs. Warrix were there.
Dr. Charles Hardin arrived on horseback and then James “Jim”
Puckett and his crew came in with their horses and buggy.
A. B. Conley and his grandson Keenan were there. We met Mr.
Sam Hatcher, tour guide and historian of the Samuel May home.
We traveled up Rt. 404 toward David, KY with the Floyd County
sheriff’s department as escort. Debbie and Kay were dressed in their
Civil War era clothing. Doc Hardin’s horse lost a shoe so he had to lead
it a mile or so before the horse trailer caught up with us at David where
we stopped and had a picnic at the David School.
This school, buildings and grounds, is a delight to see. It
was empty of students as this is summer vacation.
Jim paged his family to bring his horse trailer as the hill
was in sight to travel over to Magoffin County and down Howard’s Branch.
I’m betting his horse could have made it but horses wear their shoes out
on black-top roads.
We traveled down Howard’s Branch to Route 7 which was also
being blacktopped. We went on down to the South Magoffin School where we
were met with refreshments.
I came on down to headquarters with Sam Hatcher as he wanted
to see the Pioneer Village. Later on I went back up to the South Magoffin
School where the reenactors were camping. Bertie Kay Salyer and her bunch
from Brushy Fork had an evening meal for everyone. The Black Powder
Express Band was having a jam session.
enjoyed the buggy rides that Danny Whitaker provided.
On Saturday morning I drifted down to our Pioneer Village as
usual to see if everything was ship-shape for the day’s activities. I
checked the flag in front of the community center as we were to have a DAV
flag raising and found it could only be lowered half way so I had to take
it down and change it. It occurred to me that we had no one to sing the
National Anthem so I scurried around and found a tape and player to get
the “show on the road”.
It was time by then to get a speaker’s stand set up so that
Betty Lykins, Dave Blair and I could announce the parade. A. B. Conley
was there to assist!
I thought everything was in place and ready. After a bit,
someone asked, “Do you suppose that 102 year-old G. V. Joseph will be able
to make it today?” He had been selected as the Grand Marshal. After a
few phone calls, it was found that G. V. couldn’t make it, throwing our
bunch into a frantic state of mind. It had been suggested a few weeks ago
that if G. V. wasn’t able to come in and ride through the parade as Grand
Marshall that Jim Allen and Todd Preston could be co-grand marshals.
Jimmy was quickly called but couldn’t make it so it was left
up to Ole Todd. It took a whole bunch of people to get everything ready.
Finally with the help of Dorothy and Kay, my daughters Theresa and Abbie,
along with Jeff and Melody Arnett providing their convertible for the
ride, we got underway. Daughter Abbie chauffeured me with grandson Preston
Conley as bodyguard (smile) and we got in the line up, right in front of
my DAV buddies who were quite surprised at the turn of events (smile).
Folks, when you see the parade from this perspective, with all
the people, especially the little children and the folks at the nursing
home, it is especially exhilarating. I was told that Winna Lee Williams
had demanded she be released from the hospital so that she could see the
parade. I remember a few years ago when Winna Lee and her husband Ellis
Williams were in our Founder’s Day parade.
The Civil War reenactors made a good impression on the crowd.
Randall and Kay dropped by here on Sunday on their way to the
Muzzleloader’s Shoot asked me to go along. We enjoyed hobnobbing with the
Muzzleloaders and friends. We all had a great time. We talked about the
rest of the activities coming up during this sesquicentennial year. I
personally invited a good many of the people there to write a story for
the upcoming Magoffin County Sesquicentennial book. I understand that one
volume is about finished with enough left over to give a good start on a
second one. A third volume is also underway that will contain events of
this year 2010 in Magoffin. We invite anyone who has pictures of the 2010
Sesquicentennial events to share them with us for this volume. In
particular, we do not have any pictures of the Easter Egg Hunt or the
dramas that were held at each of the elementary schools.
Work is progressing on Volume 4 of the Magoffin County
Veteran’s book and we hope to get it ready soon.
Our address by email is
Magoffin@foothills.net or write us
at Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465.