Letters To The Editor

Each month, The Kentucky Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from our faithful readers. Whenever possible, we try to publish as many of them as possible in the 12 pages we have set aside for "Letters to the Editor."


Here are actual letters from November 2013


Searching For Article
On Dynamite Shack Explosion

Dear Editor:
I enjoy The Kentucky Explorer very much. I look forward to each issue.
A few years ago there was an article in the magazine about a dynamite shack exploding. Along with the article was a photo of Mary Alexander and some of her children. I think there was a building, maybe a barn, shown in the background. There was also a small photo of the dynamite shack prior to its being destroyed. Two of Mary's sons were in the shack when it exploded. This lady was related to my mother, Rose Margaret Alexander Jackson.
I think Mary lived in the Jackson County area.
My issue that contained this article came up missing. Perhaps someone borrowed it and forgot to bring it back.
I would really appreciate a copy of the issue that contains this article. I will gladly pay the costs.
Thanks for a great magazine. Keep up the good work.
Gwendolyn Isaacs
91 Davidson Road
McKee, KY 40447


More On Colonel W. R. Cook,
A Notorious Counterfeiter

Dear Editor:
In the September 2013 issue of The Kentucky Explorer was an article by an unknown author written in 1879, regarding Col. W. R. Cook.
The author says Colonel Cook was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Eighth Tennessee during the War Between the States. This is not correct.
Lt. Col. W. R. Cook was in the Second East Tennessee Cavalry Regi-ment. He was enrolled September 1, 1862. After service at the Battle of Stones River, Tullahoma, and the Battle of Chickamauga (Georgia), he was placed in charge of a detail escorting prisoners and wagons to Bridgeport (Alabama) in September 1863.
Col. D. M. Ray of the Second Tennessee Cavalry filed charges against Lieutenant Colonel Cook in November 1863, stating that Cook had provided whiskey to the troopers during the escort to Bridgeport in September. Colonel Cook was dishonorably discharged briefly for gross neglect of duty and general inefficiency by Special Field Order No. 295 on November 6, 1863. This order was revoked November 10, 1963, by Special Field Order No. 310.
During the Battle of Okolona (Mississippi) Lt. Colonel Cook was severely wounded in the back of his neck and was captured, while commanding the rear of the rear guard. He was paroled at Charleston, South Carolina, on August 3, 1864. He reported to Nicholasville, Jessa-mine County, Kentucky, as ordered by General Foster on August 12, 1864. He rejoined the regiment in time for the Battle of Nashville (Tennessee) which took place December 15-16, 1864. He served until he mustered out on July 6, 1865.
Stewart Cruickshank
95 Lutie Street
Nashville, TN 37210


Recalling Mountain Life
Dear Editor:
Thanks for the history of our lives in the mountains. Some folks call the mountains hills. Well, they can call it what they want, but where I lived in Lawrence County, Kentucky, the hills were more like mountains. I now live in the hills and Kentucky people call these hills banks which border the river valley in Springfield, Ohio.
I lived in the mountains until I was 18 years old. We dug our own coal. We grew our food and made our clothes. If we ate it, we grew it. If we wore it, we made it.
What helped me was that I did alterations for 20 years. I liked altering cloth, so that helped my kids through school and college.
Thanks to The Kentucky Explorer I have located a girl I hadn't seen in 71 years.
Thanks so much for keeping the history of Kentucky true. Those who are city born and reared in another state cannot know what it was like to be reared in Kentucky.
Nancy Fyffe
543 E. County Line Road
Springfield, OH 45512
Editor's Note: Nancy Fyffe will turn 92 years old on December 30, 2013. The Explorer appreciates her contributions throughout the years to the magazine.


These are just samples of the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.