Big Sandy battle remembered

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

148 years ago on Sunday, Confederate and Union soldiers fought for supremacy in the Big Sandy region.

At the time, there was a growing Confederate presence in the area.

Colonel James Garfield led Union troops to the area to try and take the Confederates out of Kentucky. Ultimately, the Union prevailed.

"It was the last time the Confederates were able to march down the Pound Gap-Mount Sterling road without having to worry about the Union harassing them," Patrick Davis said.

Davis has ancestors who fought against each other in that battle, which put Kentuckians versus Kentuckians, which was one of several battles in eastern Kentucky.

"Eastern Kentucky has a very rich Civil War history. Paintsville, Middle Creek, Salyersville and they just didn't know," Heather Grass said.

Officials were disappointed no one else came to the commemoration, but understand that many did not want to risk driving on slick roads.

Re-enactors say these below freezing conditions are pretty similar to what their ancestors fought in in the battle.

"On the actual date this was fought, it was raining, there was ice on the creek, and it was so cold," Davis said.

Everyone at the field says it is important to teach the children of Big Sandy the history of the region.

"How lucky are we to have a Civil War battlefield right in our own backyard. The more that we can promote and educate in our community, then its going to go on long after we're gone," Debi Manuel said.

They are hoping for a much bigger turnout in two years, when re-enactors will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle.


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