On March 9 at 6:00 p.m. the Meade County Historical and Archaeological Preservation Society (MCHAPS) hosted a Civil War Round Table in the banquet hall adjacent to the Meade County History Museum. The panel included local historian Steve Straney; author, artist, historian and retired teacher Sherrill Williams; author and historian Tim Watts; and retired professor and historian Dr. Tom Sabetta. The president of MCHAPS, Gerry Fischer, was the moderator.
The main topic discussed was the activities of local Confederate guerillas, including Sue Mundy, Henry Magruder, Bill Marion and Henry Metcalf. All of these men were active in guerrilla warfare in Meade County. March 12, 2020 was the 155th Anniversary of the capture of the guerrillas Magruder, Mundy and Metcalf at the Cox farm in southern Meade County.
Panelists answered questions from the moderator, and also from the audience; many of whom were well versed in Civil War history. Each member of the panel had a chance to share their knowledge of the above mentioned guerrillas.
There was some discussion about the capture on the Cox farm of Sue Mundy, AKA Marcellus Jerome Clarke, and Henry Magruder. They both were taken to Louisville and imprisoned. Within days Sue Mundy was tried and hanged. Magruder was tried months later and was also hanged.
Tim Watts is researching the history of Boone's Rangers for the book he is writing. Boone's Rangers was a Confederate regiment of ninety men from Meade and Breckenridge County. Those men were the first regiment to join Nathan Bedford Forrest's Cavalry Corps. Tim was able to share some of the information he had found about this unit and how invaluable they were to Forrest's Cavalry Corps.
Following the MCHAPS meeting, attendees were given a special opportunity to view a pistol that had belonged to a member of John Hunt Morgan's cavalry regiment that conducted the raid in Brandenburg on July 7, 1863. Rick Hollyfield from Columbus, Ohio was present at the meeting and displayed the Colt 1860 Army 44 caliber cap and ball pistol that had belonged to his great-great grandfather, Armstead Lovelace Barnes. The pistol had ALB, the original owner's initials, carved into the handle. Armstead L. Barnes was born in 1843 in Big Springs, Meade County, Kentucky. He enlisted in Company F, 1st Cavalry Regiment in Big Springs, Kentucky on 14 August 1862. He survived the war, married and raised eight children. He lived in Meade County until the family moved to Kansas in 1884. Rick Hollyfield, the current owner of the pistol, received it as an inheritance. It was passed down to him from his father. It was an awesome experience to be able to touch a piece of history!
The Civil War Roundtable was a unique program where several experts on local history were present to answer questions about events that took place right here in Meade County. Hopefully MCHAPS will present another such roundtable in the future, perhaps to discuss other historical events that helped shape this county.