Fort Williams, Glasgow, KY on July 1, 2016
We are loving our rural road adventures in Kentucky – once we learned to read the “signs” better. I haven’t really talked much about the four times we’ve had to turn around: twice we had to unhook the car and twice the turn around added a total of 60 more miles to our journey….Thanks to Pam over at Oh the Places They Go! who recommended we use Google Earth to check out the roads before we go. And now we do ….
Anyway, who knew there could be so much history, so many sights to see and great hiking in rural Kentucky! When Bill first decided we’d drive through Kentucky on our way from Illinois (to see his mom) back to Virginia (where our grandsons live), it was easy after seeing how many state parks there are. We thought there would be good hiking and a few points of interest around all those parks. We’d hope to camp in parks-But alas, we’ve discovered many of them don’t have 50 amp hook ups, what we need to run our air conditioners in this HOT summer! But we did find two and now we’re staying NEAR the parks
We are now up to our third day (July 1, 2016) in Cave City, Kentucky, which is just 10 minutes from the amazing Mammoth Cave National Park. We actually thought we’d get in a lot of hiking after exploring the caves and visit the Corvette Museum. Bill did mention there was a Train Museum to think about for a rainy day. Um, not sure I’d like that much more than looking at cars. We discovered an outdoor venue to explore (more to my liking), the South Union Shaker Village not far from Bowling Green (read here if you missed our last post) and now we’ll finish the rest of the story….
Have you also had a very wet summer? It seems as if the torrential rain storms are following us. We thought we were the rain makers but see it’s been hitting all over the US. And this day was no different, July 1, 2016.
It had rained a lot so the idea of hiking in mud wasn’t appealing. We needed to find a dry place to at least get our two miles in for the day. We visited the Cave City Visitor Center. They sadly reported the only walking and hiking was at the Mammoth Cave Park. But added that Glasgow, about 12 miles north, has a memorial to the Civil War at Fort Williams and a cemetery. And that there would be lots of walking on a dry asphalt road. So off we went for the drive and enjoyed a beautiful day as we honored those who fought here and then walked around the beautiful municipal cemetery.
This was a relatively small battle during the Civil War October 3, 1863. But it’s notable because of the reputation of Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan. He was “known as the ‘Thunderbolt of the Confederacy’ and remembered as the ideal of the romantic Southern cavalryman — was born June 1, 1825 in Huntsville, Alabama, but is thoroughly identified with his mother’s home state of Kentucky.” His legacy is very interesting and the rest of his story can be found here.
In December, 1862, John Hunt Morgan led an army of 3,000 men on a raid through Southern Kentucky. He fought various battles and destroyed railroads and telegraph lines along his route. One stop was in Glasgow, where he was met by three companies of Michigan Cavalry. He drove out the Michigan troops and held control of Glasgow for three days while he destroyed Union rail and communication facilities. He fought a small battle at Bearwallow before moving on.
….Fort Williams was built in 1863 to keep John Hunt Morgan out and to maintain Union control over Southern Kentucky. It was raided and captured on October 6, 1863 by Col. Hughes of the 25th Tennessee, CSA. Many men, horses and supplies were captured and taken to Tennessee. General Joseph Horace Lewis, commander of the famous “Orphan Brigade” is buried just down the hill from Fort Williams. (Quoted from here.)
General Lewis was born in near Glasgow, Kentucky on October 29, 1824 and died in northern Kentucky on July 6, 1904. He was a lawyer, military leader and politician. He served as a Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War, and later a U.S. Representative from Kentucky and justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the court of last resort in Kentucky at the time. It was a natural place for him to be buried in Glasgow.
If you are into Civil War history, you know you can easily get lost reading all the detailed and fascinating information about it. We must learn lessons from these past tragedies, and not repeat these mistakes. We are the UNITED States of America and we can’t forget those who fought to unite us!
I try to find interesting tidbits as we learn more history, things that put things into perspective. I didn’t see other significant battles on this date during the Civil War. But on this date, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation declaring a National Day of Thanksgiving to be held on the fourth Thursday of each November. Yes, he made this a unified and national holiday. Interesting (guess he did his research) on October 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”
Let’s move onto our next day, July 2, 2016. We finally got in a
six sorry, an 8 mile hike! We thought it would be dry enough for this adventure and it was an adventure. First of all, decided to go to the North Entrance not realizing the GPS diverted us about 15 miles out of the more direct route – because of the Green River Ferry. I won’t belabor the point, but we were sorry we didn’t think about Google Earth yet! On our first day here, I saw a sign that said the Ferry was closed, not that it was a temporary closure. I didn’t think much about it but heard others mentioning it. Apparently when it is closed, everyone takes a long and winding road trip. It’s only closed when the water is too high or too low….we never really learned much more but our GPS thought it was closed….
We finally found the North Entrance and then the trail head. Bill had studied the map the night before, so we plotted out a six-mile hike. And we read that some trails might be diverted because of flooding, but saw no warning signs. We saw horses and families on bicycles so figured all was a go. We found our trail head and then went forth. It was so serene and an easy trail….for about three miles. While we had the wonderful shade of the trees, we also had the wonderful humidity held in by the trees. We were drenched with sweat! Here’s a brief slide show of our memorable day. Needless to say, it really taxed us:
Sunday, July 3, 2016, we attended Cave City Baptist Church. It was a sweet fellowship and actually larger than we expected. Normally, we do like to take it easy on Sundays, so just walked around the campground. I worked hard at it, but found out I could make it a two-mile walk! Here’s a few pictures from this campground. There was nothing to not like about it. We were just sorry we couldn’t stay in one of the campgrounds at the park. Just too hard over the 4th of July holiday – and we needed full hook ups.
July 4, 2016. I wish I had something exciting to report about this special day in the history of our country. Can you believe we had another major thunderstorm! But somehow, they still set off lots of fireworks around town, actually, starting Friday night, and for four nights straight. So what to do? Go to the Train Museum. Who would have thought it would close early? Yep, closed. But we did celebrate the day with hamburgers and potato salad.
July 5, 2016. Initially, we planned to leave this day. But we thought we needed to stay an extra day to avoid traffic (Bill’s nemesis). So guess where we went since thunderstorms were predicted? Yep, off to the train museum. Which I ended up enjoying. Who knew what a huge role they played during the Civil War? I guess I really didn’t pay attention in school…Yep, the trains moved the troops, supplies and munitions. You do need to understand, the railroads were mainly in the northern states, which was another advantage the Union had over the Confederate States.
The Historic Railpark & Train Museum (and L & N Depot). L & N? Stands for Louisville and Nashville. As you enter the museum to pay, you are also entering the “gift shop” and play area for children. This is a VERY child friendly venue, but probably should be four or older. You then enter a huge model train room with lots of model trains and a large village. Next, you work your way into the downstairs part of the museum and also sit and wait for your tour on actual benches from the original Depot. The museum continues upstairs (there is an elevator) and a small theater area to watch a short video. Some displays were interactive as you could push a button and hear people talk and/or see things light up.
The best part was the tour of the train outside, which highlighted the E-8 Engine, 1921 Railroad Post Office Car, The Duncan Hines Diner, The Towering Pine Sleeper, The Presidential Office Car and The Little Red Caboose.
Our tour guide was a retired pastor. His congregation said this was the perfect job for him since all he had to do was talk and entertain the visitors for 45 minutes, his usual sermon length! He was really good….and after our 45 minutes, he went back and got another tour group! Here are just a few pictures and we would recommend this as a must see! Here is a slide show of a few snapshots I took.
We loved our time near Mammoth Cave National Park, staying in Cave City, visiting Bowling Green and Glasgow. It was nothing like we had expected. But it reminded us clearly how much we love this great nation!
Next up, we visit London, Kentucky. We plan to hike since we will be nestled in the Daniel Boone National Park and several State Parks; will visit the famous Cumberland Falls known as the Niagara Falls of the south; eat Kentucky Friend Chicken at the original restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky (if you know me, you know that’s not me but you will learn why I love it); and most important, visit a RV salvage yard to hopefully get a part we lost when we had the big blowout.
So let’s close with the closing text from the The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”